Saturday, August 16, 2008

The post in which I nearly die

This morning I was involved in a rather unfortunate accident at work. I survived it, and so did my machine, but my pride, and nerves are a wee bit shot at the moment.

See on Thursday we switched back to 12 hour shifts. So last night(Friday) I was working my second 12 hour shift on about 6 hours of sleep. Now normally I am fine with not taking breaks as it really disrupts my 'rhythm' at work. I got in my machine at 7pm last night and other than a couple of 'organic' breaks while waiting for pea trucks early on in the shift I didn't stop working except our early road move. We moved into a crap field that had been underwater earlier this year thus screwing it way up and making it hard to harvest. Add in the fact that we had 3 machines in a space that wasn't big enough, and you have lots of fun. So I was told when I requested a break that I could 'go do whatever the hell you want' so I went and knocked out the front portion of the field before assisting with the almost finished back. I was then lined up as lead viner for a road move at the end of shift(about 5:15 am shift change is at 6:30).

After last week's incident in which we took out power lines we have all been hyper vigilant about our bins being dropped for road moves. When I got in my machine I had yet to drop it, so the foreman had me drop it and we went on our merry way.

All along the way for some reason our viners were scraping crap that they shouldn't have been(read lines, trees, etc) and we mentioned this to our lead and our follow car but they said that there wasn't anything they could do about it.

Part way through our move and almost to our destination we recieved a call redirecting us from our original destination to a new one. We were given a road, we'll call J Loop, to go down. Well J Loop does what the name implies and loops around and connects to the main road in two spots. What we were not informed was that we needed to go past the first entrance to J Loop and turn onto the second one. So we reached J Loop road, and turned right onto it. This was now about 6 or 6:15 in the morning and was rather foggy and still semi-dark. So we are driving down the road and our lead car gets a ways ahead of me, and I am approaching some wires that look rather low so as is customary I slowed way down to pass under them. As I was passing under I heard a TINK! on my mirror, so I slowed even more, when I suddenly heard a TUNG* somewhere behind me. Not liking the sound I slammed my machine to a stop, and grabbed my CB and alerted the follow and lead car that "I think I nicked a wire" to which the machine behind me responded "YES". The guy from the lead car and the follow car all came running and had me idle down my machine, and sit there while they figured out how to de-tangle the wire. Meanwhile I was sitting in my cab not touching anything, bawling my eyes out.

Finally after what seemed like an eternity(was probably about 10 minutes) they determined the wire wasn't live and were able to remove it from my machine and very carefully direct me down the length of the remaining road and into our field.

It wasn't until about a half hour later in the van that I heard the full extent of the damage I had done. Apparently when I hit the wire it popped out of a barn, sending sparks flying through the air, and popping an old short pole(about 7 feet) and bringing it down onto a fence. According to the boys when I make things FUBAR I'm a wee bit of an overachiever.

*TUNG- the sound an empty coffee can makes when rapped on. Not a good sound on a giant metal machine that has just contacted power lines.


barcardicider said...

Holy Hannah!

Tranny Head said...

Yikes! Too bad it's not the sort of thing you can whistle and walk away from like they do in the cartoons. Glad you survived!