Hubie Carts

Instrument lines at Bill and Dave’s company all use a kind of in-house engineered mounting cart for building and testing our boxes on the shop floor. Some people call them Hubie Carts, others call them R2 Carts, after R2D2 from the Star Wars movies. No matter which name you call them by, everyone on instrument production lines knows what they are. Each cart is made out of rectangular metal tubing that has been welded into a frame with two arms that stand approximately 4 feet tall. The bottom of the cart frame has four wheels spread out in such a way that the carts are almost impossible to tip over, especially when they have a heavy test instrument mounted on them.

In the assembly area Hubie Carts are king. It makes boxes easy to work on and push around between test and the assembly groups. Myself and my dayshift counterpart Gary have really come to appreciate these carts. While we’re doing the final assembly of the boxes we have a instrument chassis that we load up with close to 100 pounds of electronics. A box on the cart can be accessed at almost any angle by spinning it end over end or in a 360 degree circle. To lock the box in a good position for soldering or bolting up a board mod one of the cart’s mounting arms has a sprocket gear and a spring loaded catch. Makes it easy and fast to get the right angle and hold the unit there.

Gary and I came in to work one day recently to find all our Hubie Carts had been removed from the area and replaced with a new model, but they were about a third of the size. Both of us were like, “What the fuck?” We asked around to try to find out who took them away and get them back, but nobody knew anything. We had no choice but to begin using the new, shorter Hubies. After a couple of days working with these midget carts I started to notice my back and neck were causing me some pain. I suspected the pain was being caused by the shorter carts. I had to stoop over in my chair to work on the units, or strain my neck to see something on the boxes I was building where previously with the taller carts it wasn’t necessary. Gary was having the same problems it turned out. Both of us were pissed off. Our anger grew at whoever was responsible for taking away our original carts.

In the next few days Gary and I kept digging to solve the mystery of the missing, taller Hubies. We finally got a break in the case when someone mentioned “Ergo” to us. Ahah! Those dirty Ergo bastards probably had something to do with this. It all began to make some sense to me, I should have known. Those shifty, evil, Ergo Assessors probably had noticed our tall instrument carts months ago after we arrived here from the Spokane division. They must have hatched a secret plan to eliminate our equipment for some dumb reason or other. I hate those guys. Nothing good ever happens when the Ergo freaks are involved. Like thieves in the night they appear and remove equipment and tooling under the guise of protecting you from yourself. They’ve already taken away my superior pneumatic pistol grip torque drivers and replaced them with weak electric torque drivers and mounted them on overhead booms that keep hitting me in the face at my workbench. I’m still mad as hell about that one. Anyway, we finally had a lead on the missing carts. Now all we had to do is start making some phone calls to the Ergonomics department and get our shit back…


~ by factorypeasant on June 12, 2005.

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