Fire Truck Lunch Box – The alarm rings, 4:00 a.m. always comes too fast, you brew a pot of coffee, take a shower, get ready for a cold morning, (pray that the snow doesn’t come down the night before) take a lunch bag and fill half a gallon coffee cup, Twinkie in hand, get out from the door you go, 5-6-7 days a week. This is not a normal 9-5 job.
You pull in the truck yard, run a harmless 3000 gallon liquid waste tank truck. Walk into the office, enter, you take a stack of two-inch work orders, place them in several types of orders. You go back to your car to move the tool box, lunch, and coffee to the tanker’s little taxi. Here it is mid-winter and 30 degrees brings challenges to any vehicle, tankers made of steel and aluminum and sitting all night they tend to freeze, yes, the engine turns on, the fan in the cabin lights up, but the diesel engine takes a long time to warm up.
Fire Truck Lunch Box
Now the day starts, for a 15-minute pre-trip, you find, low air on one of the front tires, two hydraulic valves need to be heated with a propane torch to make them open and close, you find another driver taking 4 of your 20 emergency hoses at night before, so go to find a hose. You have to go through 30 trucks in the yard to find a hose so you can get to the road, then you direct the tanker to the store to pump the front tires and on your road.
Your work includes going to restaurants, food stores, coffee shops, and hospitals, driving to all businesses that have kitchens that produce F. O.G. (fat, oil and fat). Have you ever seen the “Dirty Work” program, this one is the worst, OK, the best, if you can smell what you can see on TV, you might give up!
One hour from the moment you start your truck, you have arrived at your first stop, knock on the door, no one answers, and you knock again. You must remember, this is a previously scheduled appointment for all businesses. Again, another manager is late at work. Flexibility is a must when working in this industry; at this location clean oil traps and take waste oil from their deep frying pans. We must not forget, it is still 30 degrees, can you imagine what oil does when it sits outside in the trash area? It is placed in a barrel at around 300 degrees, the solids are no longer liquid. Oil is held in 50 gallons of barrels, not only one, or two but three barrels, this is a high-volume restaurant, forgetting the final manager, the challenge is to suck a very thick barrel of oil. This keeps you busy for about an hour, giving managers time to come. Having to wear two pairs of gloves, hooking three from a 20-foot hose, it’s time to turn on the vacuum pump, at 5:30 in the morning with idle on high tankers, the pump screaming and the suction sound tends to make people upset about sleeping around the business. (You see some lights burning in the dark) In summer you can empty the barrel in about ten minutes, but in winter, 45 minutes later the barrel is empty.
When the manager pulls your head into the back door with a 50-foot thinner hose to clean the oil trap. Amy’s manager signs a work order and runs to the other end of the building; he knew about the smell that would rise in the air as soon as the oil trap cover was removed. Oil traps are cleaned every week of the year. When you enter the restaurant, you carry several spanners, screw drivers, scraper, glasses and a strong stomach. When you open the lid, the smell will surprise you, every time (each kitchen has a different smell). The liquid has pushed up to the cover, this thick liquid smells brown, green, the color of oil, food, chemicals and everything that passes through the sink of three compartments passes through the oil trap before being allowed to proceed to the sewer. The trap is 3 feet 3 feet and about 3 feet, you see about 10 inches of greasy sticky substance oozy that EPA says is not allowed into the sewer that goes to the wastewater treatment plant. When you reach the bottom you find about 15 inches of food that must also be removed. While leaning against the trap to scrape the four sides, my hand slipped and almost entered first into the trap, the trap was cleared in 15 minutes and the work was done. So, proceed to the next job and work until after sunset.
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