Today was a lengthy one. 6AM to 10 PM.
No epic breakfast.
I started my day driving to Pueblo, Colorado for forklift training.
Now, I am not unfamiliar with them, I just had to get reacquainted.
I remember the first time I drove a forklift. I was a 19 year old crane rigger for a company called “Blacks Crane Service” owned by Butch Black. My pr job was to attach a load to the crane and direct it to it’s location with hand signals, but I primarily did demolition work.
I worked for the foreman, Larry Lubbers. This man was ornery and had it out for me. Several times he nearly had me killed with his antics and bullying. May he rest in peace. I am sure he was only misunderstood.
One particular day, Larry coerced me into driving a forklift to a job site through busy streets even though I did not have a driver’s licence or training.
If you know anything about forklifts, they usually steer from the back, complicating matters.
Hydraulic fluid spewed out of a hose and I had to continue to raise the fork so it would not drag on the ground.
Larry initially followed me, shouting expletives in unison with the flashers on his work truck. Angry at my incompetence, he drove to the work site without me.
This is the route I took. Google Map Link
It seem short, but the fear of failure, the stress of driving unfamiliar equipment made me wish for death. At least I was wearing my hard hat, but that is another story all together.
When I finally got the forklift on site, I was somehow responsible for the broken hose that prevented the forks from lifting and I was sent home for the day. I’ll never forget about Larry. No matter how hard I try.
This all reminds me of another guy named Larry who lifted me by the throat and slapped me silly when I was a teenager. I still can’t swallow correctly, other Larry. Shame on you.
Anyway, back to reacquainted.
When I went to Sunstate Equipment Company for training, I was full of anxiety.
I thought I had left the crane company behind for more relaxing work, like prison operations.
The sign to the entrance was somewhat ominous and dark to me.
I was surprised to find that they were nothing like Larry. They were informative and answered all my questions.
After classroom training, I felt comfortable and confident in the instructor. Before I even tried a forklift again, I had a new outlook on the equipment.
In fact, I felt pretty nifty with appropriate training under my belt.
Like in the clouds, or at least 54 feet high on the fork mast.
By the end of the session, I was certified to drive one of these bad boys.
I consider today a big win despite missing breakfast.