The people I meet and the things I learn
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Thread: The people I meet and the things I learn

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    UnionSchnauzer's Avatar
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    The people I meet and the things I learn

    One of the many benefits of my job is I'm constantly learning. Being an on-call 24/7 365 service technician means I often deal with all sorts of machinery. Recently I was asked by a new maintenance crew to service two generators at their facility and help them develop weekly/monthly/yearly maintenance and inspection forms so they can keep tract of these assets.

    They have a fairly new 150KW Generac that I provided and installed a few years ago. That one is no problem. The second is a Kohler that was original to the construction of the building in 1976 and located in the main electrical vault in the basement. That one is a bit tricky since we have little documentation on it. So I lifted the numbers off of the unit as a whole, the controller, the engine, and the generator. Then I called Kohler.

    I was on the phone with Kohler technical folks when they asked for the serial number. I gave it to them. That's not it, has to be longer. No ma'am that is all. Can't be she said. Yep, it can. I replied 'it is a gold painted unit'. Oh, my she said, you do have an old unit. I'm afraid we may no longer have those manuals available. I'm gonna give you a phone number she said. You call this guy. He will tell you everything. He was our top man on these old units. He is retired so call after 8 am.

    Man, I hate to do that. This poor guy retired and all. Now they bug him at home. I pondered the whole thing. I have other resources and I may go that route. But later I called. I was floored. I made this old guys day. He asked for the model number and as I got about to the forth number he finished it. Told me all about that unit and what the numbers meant. He asked about the hours and general shape of the power plant. Under 400 hours I said and located indoors. Wow. It was like he found his lost dog. He asked about the source of fuel which is natural gas. Okay he said, use J8 plugs instead of J6 because they will give you the performance you want and told me what to gap the points and plugs at. Get this additive to the coolant. Use this, do that. I could hardly right it down fast enough and did not think I was going to get him off the phone.

    A few days later, in a unused office in basement we found all the books on the Kohler unit. I took them to a imagining shop and had them put in a disk so I now have them in digital form. Everything he said was right on. Wow. That man knew those units and he loved what he did and boy does it show. If he lived closer I would have offered to buy his lunch and cleared my afternoon and took a new pad of paper with me.

    I hope when I retire I too can offer what I learned and pass it along with such enthusiasm. With passion and real world results that the digital books will not have available.

    isaac
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    Kennyd, RandyM, Gizmo2 and 23 others like this.

  2. The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to UnionSchnauzer For This Useful Post:

    5304 (04-10-2016), ColonyPark (04-10-2016), eyeboltman (04-10-2016), farmgirl19 (04-10-2016), johnH123 (04-26-2016), Levi (04-10-2016), RandyM (04-10-2016)

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    GTT's Pilot in Command (PIC) farmgirl19's Avatar
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    Amazing! I'll bet he would be great to buy lunch and spend an afternoon with. A great mind, that had a passion for his work.
    Zebrafive, 5304, Levi and 4 others like this.
    If man had enough horse sense to treat his wife like a Thoroughbred, she'd never grow into an old nag.

    If you climb in the saddle, be ready for the ride!

    Happiness is contagious; Be a carrier!

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    eyeboltman (04-10-2016)

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    Great story! Many times when I call manufacturers of machines I need parts for that were built in the forties and fifties when you give them the serial # the laughing begins.
    1025R FILB, vintage: 2015
    54D MM mowing deck
    Imatch hitch
    2 inch receiver for three point
    "18" cart
    Piranha Tooth Bar
    Ken's hooks and differential lock pedal
    Artillian 36" forks
    Stihl equipment: Saws; MS261C, MS462C, MS661RCM and Blower; BR600 and Trimmer; FS70R and Hedge Cutter; HL 56K and Pressure Washer; RB400
    Husky log splitter

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    Corndog Hater ColonyPark's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing a great story. As s surveyor I meet all kinds of folks while out in the field. I often come home with stories for my wife and kids. Sounds like the same for you
    BigJim55 and UnionSchnauzer like this.
    Jamie

    2011 JD 1026R - w/60" NON-AutoConnect MMM, FEL w/WR Long Toothbar, 47" Front Mount Snowblower, 54" Front Mount Blade w/ Rubber Edge, 48" KingKutter Tiller & Brush Hog, CountyLine Carry All and CountyLine 60" Rear Blade, Pat's EZ-Change Quick Hitch System
    1990 JD 185 - 46"MMM w/Power Flow Bagger

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    UnionSchnauzer's Avatar
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    Haha, ya been there Jeff! I laugh now too.

    I once called about a boiler controller. This unit controlled the operation of four boilers. It would rotate which one was lead each day and would bring on the others as needed. It opened louvers etc. It was a nice unit. Wasn't sure if it was functioning correctly. Now this thing was not that old. Maybe 80's. When I called the manufacture, they was glad I called with that particular unit. They claimed that the guy who invented and was the lead engineer for it dropped dead of a heart attack right there in his office. Six months later they had a fire and the offices was a total loss. No records for that unit remained. They would send me a brand new model free of charge and a return label to send the one I had back so they could remake the diagrams for it. Wow. Sure, I did. Customer has a new unit with full warranty and documentation at no cost to them besides my time to swap it out and box it up. The factory was able to get a working unit so they could be able to provide support for it in the future.

    isaac

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