: Physical Labour... Who here has been paid to do it?


screature
Jan 24th, 2012, 03:33 PM
I have.... many, many times and many, many unpaid times.... too many to count... well at least if I did try to count I am almost 100% sure I would be forgetting something... ;)

Let's hear the stories... the good... the bad... and the ugly....

Joker Eh
Jan 24th, 2012, 03:47 PM
Isn't that just called a job?

okcomputer
Jan 24th, 2012, 04:21 PM
Was part of a wrecking crew when they were gutting a dorm at Acadia U. Hardest three weeks of my life.

Started at 6:30am, went to 5pm. On our hands and knees prying up carpet with our hands, then butter knives, then finally some of us wee given hammers.

Tearing down double-thick drywall, so much dust and 40 years of randomness.

rgray
Jan 24th, 2012, 04:39 PM
Did a lot of demolition between academic gigs when starting out. Gutted a few significant landmarks in eastern Ontario.

Nastiest gig was removing pigeon crap from the Canal museum building in Smith Falls. Pigeons are the most disgusting creatures on the planet.

Spent 2 weeks at in in the height of summer. Full haz-mat gear. Temperatures over 140F every day inside the roof. You'd go in with dry socks and come out with boots full of sweat to above the ankle after just an hour - you'd literally pour it out. After diggings all (huge dump truck full) that sh*t out and vacuuming, we got to go back and soak everything with bleach... !!!!! XX)

Paid well tho'....... :D

Should note that I went back to visit the museum after it opened. Guess what was flying around the unoccupied space in the building.......

As well, my house was built in 1815 so physical labour occupies most of my "spare" time.....

jayman
Jan 24th, 2012, 04:44 PM
Isn't that just called a job?

How much physical labour is there being a desk jockey? ;)

Myself, I'm building/finishing my basement, built a shed and landscaped my back yard last summer, put cupboards up in my garage, the list doesn't stop. On top of that, for my "9-5" I'm a Red Seal Construction and Maintenance Electrician.

Macfury
Jan 24th, 2012, 05:01 PM
1. Leaning out of windows of high-rise buildings under construction and scraping the spilled concrete off them.
2. Slopping hogs.
3. Pulling nails out of old boards.

CubaMark
Jan 24th, 2012, 05:28 PM
Prior to entering the enormously enriching (as in not $$$) world of academia, I worked on highway paving crews and doing brush clearing in ditches along secondary roadways with the Dept. of Transport.... a looong time ago....

johnp
Jan 24th, 2012, 05:41 PM
1. delivered newspapers (via my bicycle) in my early-teens - that was certainly physical.
2. worked summers in a (fruit & veggie) cannery (to put myself through my early university days) - stacking boxes of cans off a labeller, catching and weighing fresh berries (for jams and the like), catching green beans in boxes, peas in trays, and etc. Go, go, and keep going ... for hours on end!!!
3. worked at sea (Gulf of Alaska) for 9-months of a research trawl survey -- long hours (dawn to dusk), in the fall/winter/spring weather of the open ocean.
4. measuring halibut (two summers, at a seaport in SE Alaska) - long hours, big fish, lousy weather.
But 3 and 4 were great experiences, and they seeded my way into graduate school!!

Heh, fond memories!! Hard work at times, but it paved the way to what I wanted, and worked for me at the time.

BigDL
Jan 24th, 2012, 06:40 PM
Starting at 13 years old scrubbing floors and janitorial work for minimum wage of a buck ten per hour ($1.10)

Demolition work in my teens.

Freight Handling and pick up and delivery truck driving in my 20 and thirties. Labouring work into my mid thirties.

In my fifties driving a truck delivering fuel oil and then M/T caskets. Working for a dairy building pallets of food stuffs, loading and unloading trucks.

Currently, I am working for a trucking company loading and unloading trailers and containers, now in my late fifties.

jimbotelecom
Jan 24th, 2012, 06:53 PM
I was a bell canada linesman for 3 years before returning to university.

kps
Jan 24th, 2012, 07:06 PM
Wow, where to begin..

Worked construction in early 70's as a young'n and did plenty of demo work, including old oil boilers enclosed with what I think was asbestos. We chipped it off before we broke up the cast iron. Can any old timers confirm what that stuff was?

Did geophysics for a mining company in the bush. Not unusual to wade chest deep in swamp water for a long time.

Spent many a time handbombing my loads even when I owned my own rig. From fifty pound boxes of apples to frozen sea food and just about anything else that someone was too cheap to put on pallets. Just part of the trucking game, I suppose. Best was loading green coffee in the Brooklyn piers weighing 150 Lbs per bag. Usually me and a helper would load 250 bags for a total of 37,500 lbs. There were times I had to load a 40' ocean container that I just pulled out of Red Hook Marine terminal empty and it was like 140 degrees inside.

I still have the hooks I used to load the coffee bags with and this was more than 22 years ago. So for your viewing pleasure, I took the following iPhone shot:
*

steviewhy
Jan 24th, 2012, 07:48 PM
sudo rm -rf /

eMacMan
Jan 24th, 2012, 07:52 PM
That is of course why it is called working for a living.

Physical job aspects ranged from extremely sedentary (Draftsman) to very active (Construction).

If I were to un-retire it would almost certainly involve some physical activity.

Must say the more sedentary the job the less I enjoyed it.

kps
Jan 24th, 2012, 08:07 PM
Given the time period there is a good chance it was asbestos. My old man was a plumber and I used to help him out on jobs as a kid in the 70's and we routinely serviced boilers with asbestos insulation.

Other than that I did plastering for the better part of 20 years before going back to college for a 3rd and hopefully final career change.

Thanks, that's what I figured...asbestos. No masks, no nothing...just chip it off, breathe in the dust, handle it with your bare hands and carry on. Ah the good old days...LOL

Lichen Software
Jan 24th, 2012, 09:20 PM
Planted trees one summer. Not arduous, but hard on the back and lots of flies.

Worked in the grinder room of a paper mill. The job consisted of keeping four 4 x 4 x 16' holes filled with 4' long logs. I moved 36 cords one night.

I worked one summer driving logs on the river. That job was actually historic as it was the last year log drives were allowed on the river.

I had one session of hammering out the floor of and arena for the installation of a new boiler. I ran a 90 lb jack hammer for a week. I am not that big. It was the quickest 10 lbs I ever lost.

Things not done for money? reonovated one house, built another and did silly things like lay hardwood, rewiring, decks etc.

Lichen Software
Jan 24th, 2012, 09:25 PM
KPS they used to use an asbestos laden plaster or cement on boilers. Sometimes it appeared to be just fibers in the mix. I saw other ones where the build up was like a cast with a plaster into a gausse type material. So chances are it was asbestos. Mind you, at that time it might also have been in all sorts of other things such as your brakes and in and around the hot pars of appliances.

G-Mo
Jan 24th, 2012, 09:34 PM
Define paid? I completely renovated my house myself and then added a 300 sq ft addition and then sold the house for a significant profit... Sweat equity!

Macfury
Jan 24th, 2012, 10:15 PM
Thanks, that's what I figured...asbestos. No masks, no nothing...just chip it off, breathe in the dust, handle it with your bare hands and carry on. Ah the good old days...LOL

We used asbestos for modeling compound in grade school.

How did you use those hooks to lift a coffee bag. Where do the hooks go?

SINC
Jan 24th, 2012, 10:25 PM
We used asbestos for modeling compound in grade school.

How did you use those hooks to lift a coffee bag. Where do the hooks go?

Anywhere they want. ;)

That is, if they are like the hay bale hooks we used to use and they look very similar.

G-Mo
Jan 24th, 2012, 11:06 PM
How did you use those hooks to lift a coffee bag. Where do the hooks go?

http://www.sweetmarias.com/Colombia_2008/Colombia_2008-Images/145.jpg

Macfury
Jan 24th, 2012, 11:39 PM
http://www.sweetmarias.com/Colombia_2008/Colombia_2008-Images/145.jpg

Right in the freakin' bag? Why don't they leak coffee beans?

cap10subtext
Jan 25th, 2012, 12:01 AM
Landscaping, ditch digging, red seal chef in the industry for 10 years...

Respect to those who are still doing it, glad I'm not. If I had to do it again someday, I would but it wouldn't be my first choice.

Think I'll try carpentry next if it comes down to it...

KC4
Jan 25th, 2012, 12:05 AM
Right in the freakin' bag? Why don't they leak coffee beans?

The bags don't tear. The fibers part to allow the hook to pass through and then close after the hooks are withdrawn. Maybe a bean or two would pop out, but not many.

kps
Jan 25th, 2012, 12:52 AM
The hooks must go in the corners (the customer will look for holes, rips, stains, etc.) The burlap is thicker where the stitching is. You and the helper you're loading with must develop a commonality, a rhythm when grabbing and tossing those 150lb bags, otherwise it just "don't work". I forget the tie and tier for the bags now..I think they were only 4 high when stacked on the floor of the trailer.

kps
Jan 25th, 2012, 12:58 AM
KPS they used to use an asbestos laden plaster or cement on boilers. Sometimes it appeared to be just fibers in the mix. I saw other ones where the build up was like a cast with a plaster into a gausse type material. So chances are it was asbestos. Mind you, at that time it might also have been in all sorts of other things such as your brakes and in and around the hot pars of appliances.

Exactly what it was, a plaster and lots of it. Created lots of dust when we were breaking it apart.

Kazak
Jan 25th, 2012, 02:00 AM
Interesting thread.

In my teens and twenties, I paid for gas and college by working at a sewage treatment plant (emptying the holding tank and cleaning manhole floats were the worst jobs), being a mover (who knew how many people own pianos?), installing solar heating panels on roofs, tying grape plants, and delivering photocopiers.

screature
Jan 25th, 2012, 10:21 AM
Isn't that just called a job?

No not really.

Many jobs require little to no physical labour. Back in the days of "Manpower" (Job listing service provided by the government, brick and mortar offices with hundreds of jobs listed on file file cards stuck up on boards) there was a Labourer section, from skilled to unskilled.

One of the first jobs I ever had (I was 16) was with a buddy of mine hand digging 8' x 8' x 8' holes (down to the weeping tiles) at the foundations of town homes to allow for a contractor access to fix cracks in the foundation.

The first foot and half was easy as it was top soil, the next 6.5 ft was leda clay. For those unfamiliar with leda clay it is sticky as hell and would take a lot of effort to throw the clay off of the shovel. Once you got down to the 4 ft level and there was a 4 ft pile of earth and clay up top so that meant there was 8 ft you had to throw the clay to clear it out of the hole and was simply impossible to throw it that far due to it sticking to the shovel.

So once we got down that far there would only be one of us in the hole doing the shovelling with the other one on top of the pile. His job was to receive the shovel that would be thrown up to the top with the clay on it and clean it off. So it was a two shovel system with a clean shovel being thrown into the hole with the other one on top being cleaned off, back and forth, back and forth. Arduous back breaking work.

To add insult to injury we had several holes dug like this and then over the week-end there were major rains and when we returned on the Monday the holes had land slid the wet leda clay which becomes almost liquid with enough water back into the holes and we had to re-dig them, this time with rotten sticking dead worms as part of the equation. All in swelting high humidity, in the 90s F with the humidex.

Worst job of my life and for this we were paid a whopping $3.25/hour.

Many, many other physical labour jobs followed this through my University years...

Landscaping, Military Engineer (Reserves), mover, construction, window washing (at height), working on Pure Spring delivery trucks, tree planting and as a carpenter's assistant.

The carpenters assistant job was the best, extremely varied work, every day was different and satisfying with the last job being a renovation/restoration and addition to a 100 year old farm house. That was just after I received my BFA from Ottawa U... it was so satisfying I considered switching career path to become a carpenter, but having about $15K in student loans I decided to stay on the path I was on rather than going back to school again.

screature
Jan 25th, 2012, 10:27 AM
Define paid? I completely renovated my house myself and then added a 300 sq ft addition and then sold the house for a significant profit... Sweat equity!

Employed by someone else.

screature
Jan 25th, 2012, 10:32 AM
Lots of varied jobs here and hard workers... keep 'em coming. Love to hear other people's hard work stories...

While paid physical labour can be gruelling, personally I believe it is character building and I am glad I did it.

Captstn
Jan 25th, 2012, 10:33 AM
"When I was younger, so much younger than today"

Roughneck-Oil drilling rigs-(Alberta/Ontario)
Mining-Subsurface (hard rock-Northern Manitoba)

Now I just mess about on boats for a living:)

screature
Jan 25th, 2012, 10:36 AM
"When I was younger, so much younger than today"

Roughneck-Oil drilling rigs-(Alberta/Ontario)
Mining-Subsurface (hard rock-Northern Manitoba)

Now I just mess about on boats for a living:)

Now there are two of the toughest jobs in the world.

MLeh
Jan 25th, 2012, 10:40 AM
Never dug ditches, but I had a variety of after-school and summer jobs including working as a cook in a fast-food place (before McDonalds brought the production line to fast food), and working on a production line. Both hard work and I believe I made $2.10 as a cook (once I got promoted to 'assistant manager trainee', which meant the manager trusted me to lock up at the end of the day so he could go home early).

The production line work was hard work, and long hours - started the shift at 6:00 am (before the buses were running to that part of town, so I'd take the bus as far as I could and then walk the last 2 miles, uphill, to work). The shift ended when the production run was done. If it was a good day, I'd be done by 3:30 pm. If there were issues with the production equipment, we could be there until 10 pm. Non-union shop, but the pay was good, and depending on who was lead-hand for the overtime sometimes they'd bring in Mr. Sub sandwiches when we worked into the evening. I was in the best shape of my life at the end of that summer, and had buckets of money as I didn't have the energy to actually go out and spend it.

I still get to do some physical labour (climbing around construction sites), but mostly it's standing around outside looking down dark holes, waiting for the electrician. Other people handle the shovels though. (I'm the person in the hardhat, steeltoes and vis-vest with the clipboard.)

groovetube
Jan 25th, 2012, 11:06 AM
I started with working for contractors in my area, I lived in a rural area so that's pretty much the source of most summer and first jobs. It was first a helper for a mason, hauling bricks up the side of scaffoldings and mixing mortar for the chimney bricklayers, then on to digging out basements (on hands and knees to a conveyor), building additions etc. I learned what backbreaking work was. Helped later when I gutted my own house and rebuilt a lot of it. Later, a touring drummer, hauling your own gear up many flights of stairs, and pounding like a nincompoop for minimum 2 hours a night, that was more physical work then even I had bargained for. Sometimes, if you're on a radio tour, you do that 3 times a day, on about 2 hours sleep for months. Kept me relatively fit even at nearly 50 now. I look around at friends who are at least 100 pounds over, and am glad now I did all that.

Dr.G.
Jan 25th, 2012, 11:39 AM
When I was teaching grade six in Waycross, Georgia, a tornado nearly took our school away one afternoon (it landed about half a mile away). The school board could not afford a tornado shelter, so the PTA got together to dig a huge culvert and place into the ditch a corrugated steel tube that could hold all of the children and teachers at the school. I helped out with the digging .......... in 97F temps with 90% humidity .......... and thought I was going to die.

I also helped out a student (along with about 20 in our class) to help pick tobacco leaves and cotton. This boy's family, a tenant farmer, was going to lose his little farm if he could not get in the crop. I spent four hours out in the hot sun, along with my students and a few parents, but we got in the crop and he saved his farm. Again, thought I was going to die.

I think of these two experiences each time I shovel snow for a couple of hours after a big snowstorm here in St.John's. I find any sort of physical labor good for the body, and helpful when trying to think.

Kazak
Jan 25th, 2012, 12:10 PM
Thanks for the reminder, groovetube. For four years, I was a working musician, too. In the 80s, keyboard players were judged by the size of their racks, and I had two full ones, including a Yamaha CP-70, which came in two sections, 165 and 150 pounds respectively. A friend built me a plywood case big enough to hold my synths, cords, pedals, and drum machines. It came in two halves, each of which doubled as a riser for one of my racks. Great concept and design, until we had to lug it in and out every week. Ack!

SINC
Jan 25th, 2012, 12:40 PM
Oh where to begin?

My father was a cop who mostly worked nights, so my days growing up were spent with my Granddad who was a gardener for the city we lived in. He looked after two parks, one cemetery and three schools. From the time I was old enough to help, I spent my weekends and summers as his helper. We loaded and unloaded his truck at each location, lugging hoses, garden tools, wheelbarrows, bedding plants, bags of fertilizer etc. as we used them at each location. Flower beds to be dug, lawns to be cut with a push mower. First real physical labour I did which began about the time I was 10 and continued uninterrupted until I was 18 and he finally retired. He had to as I took a job at the newspaper and he was too old to do it without me.

Working in the production department of the newspaper was a tough grind. Things were still letterpress in those days and with lead being the main raw material, lifting it daily had me in the best physical condition of my life. Not to mention unloading and stacking one ton rolls of newsprint without the benefit of a fork lift each month and bundling and tying, then stacking 9,000 newspapers twice weekly.

Also helped my father build a cabin at the lake when I was between 14 and 18. Felled huge Tamaracks to use as the foundation, erected the frame and hammered fully half the nails in a 20 x 24 foot building. Everything hauled in and cut by hand without benefit of any power tools. My job was the rafters as dad didn't like heights.

Then there were the three homes with unfinished basements that had completely finished basements when I sold them. I did everything myself with the help of my wife. Framing, insulation, wiring, heating ducts, flooring, plumbing, drywalling, ceiling stipple, trim, carpet, etc, etc. Also building fenced yards at each location, along with outdoor storage sheds, decks, patios and even one garage.

And the cars. I had a collection of vehicles and rebuilt most of them from the ground up. I would buy, rebuild and sell one to get another. Then make enough to get two more and wound up with four at one time. Still have one. Rebuilt motors, transmissions and rear ends. Brake jobs, tune-ups, broken springs and axels repaired. Body work and prep for painting as well.

Owned a third interest in a fly in fishing lodge in the early 80s and my two partners and I spent hundreds of hours building log guest cabins using raw materials available on site. An addition to the main lodge, a generator outbuilding, boat houses and docks. Plane load after plane load unloaded and lugged from the dock up the hill to the camp. Cut an air strip out of the bush with chain saws and a stump puller to avoid more costly float plane service for clients. That was one of the toughest challenges and took two complete summers with work crews of a dozen or more friends helping. They got free fishing privileges for their assistance.

Nearly forgot my after school/Saturday job pumping gas at the local Chrysler dealership. Clean all windows, check the air pressure in all tires including the spare, check the coolant level and the oil. When the pumps weren't busy, fix flat tires and detail trade-ins before they hit the used car lot. Used to repaint all the rubber with a solution of 90% gas and 10% black paint to make stuff shine like new, but dry quick. Same thing under the hood and in the trunk. Got high on those gas fumes many times. No smoking anywhere near a detailing car for that reason. Full wax job on each one too. I did hundreds over the years.

Yep, I've had a callous or two in my day.

screature
Jan 25th, 2012, 12:41 PM
Thanks for the reminder, groovetube. For four years, I was a working musician, too. In the 80s, keyboard players were judged by the size of their racks, and I had two full ones, including a Yamaha CP-70, which came in two sections, 165 and 150 pounds respectively. A friend built me a plywood case big enough to hold my synths, cords, pedals, and drum machines. It came in two halves, each of which doubled as a riser for one of my racks. Great concept and design, until we had to lug it in and out every week. Ack!

I started with working for contractors in my area, I lived in a rural area so that's pretty much the source of most summer and first jobs. It was first a helper for a mason, hauling bricks up the side of scaffoldings and mixing mortar for the chimney bricklayers, then on to digging out basements (on hands and knees to a conveyor), building additions etc. I learned what backbreaking work was. Helped later when I gutted my own house and rebuilt a lot of it. Later, a touring drummer, hauling your own gear up many flights of stairs, and pounding like a nincompoop for minimum 2 hours a night, that was more physical work then even I had bargained for. Sometimes, if you're on a radio tour, you do that 3 times a day, on about 2 hours sleep for months. Kept me relatively fit even at nearly 50 now. I look around at friends who are at least 100 pounds over, and am glad now I did all that.

I have had similar experiences with 8 years of on location video production experience in my past, but I didn't mention them because strictly speaking I don't think of it as a physical labour job although there was much physical labour involved.

I would often have several shoots a day each involving carrying over one hundred fifty pounds of gear to and from my car to the location (which could sometimes be several blocks away depending on parking availability) setting it up , tearing it down and doing it all over again a couple more times. Not to mention sometimes having an ENG camera on my shoulder for hours at a time...

It was extremely physically demanding work but I was in great shape back then and could handle it despite often times being in very hot weather wearing a jacket and tie... very sweaty... but I looked good. Good deodorant was a must to not be musty/musky smelling. ;)

Kazak
Jan 25th, 2012, 12:50 PM
I don't think of it as a physical labour job
I didn't either, until I read gt's post. It reminded me of, for instance, loading out of Yellowknife at 4 am on a Sunday morning in November, when it was -20 out, and us still sweaty from the playing and the teardown.

gt's right about the stairs, too. Most places didn't have too many, but the ones with full flights were inevitably steep and narrow with tight landings.

screature
Jan 25th, 2012, 12:53 PM
...Working in the production department of the newspaper was a tough grind. Things were still letterpress in those days and with lead being the main raw material, lifting it daily had me in the best physical condition of my life. Not to mention unloading and stacking one ton rolls of newsprint without the benefit of a fork lift each month and bundling and tying, then stacking 9,000 newspapers twice weekly....


Certainly you couldn't do this by yourself... how was it done?

But this story made me remember another physical labour job I had at Carleton University as the Charlatan's (the University newspaper) distribution manager.

Basically I was a glorified newspaper boy, delivering hundreds of newspaper bundles around campus (although I also sent out the mailed copies and managed the distribution list as well).

SINC
Jan 25th, 2012, 01:20 PM
Certainly you couldn't do this by yourself... how was it done?


The rolls in those days weighed 1800 pounds or so and came on the floor of a semi trailer truck. We had no loading dock, so the semi backed up to the rear door of the shop which was at ground level. The rolls were 72 inches wide, nearly as wide as the semi. We had a used rear tractor tire we got from the local Case dealer and set it on the pavement just outside the double door. We then hopped up on the truck and two of us pushed the first roll off the semi's bed and let it fall on the tractor tire, a drop of about three feet. The tire cushioned it from hitting the ground and held the roll in place to prevent it from rolling as it sank into the centre hole of the big tire as it overlapped the tire by a foot or so each side.

Once on the tire, we used two 2 x 4s about six feet long as pry bars to ease it off the tire onto the concrete floor of the press room. Two men and one little chunk of 2 x 4 about six inches long with a 45 bevel on one end allowed us to manipulate the roll to where we wanted it. You simply pushed the big roll up onto that tiny piece of wood and swung it to direct it to where you wanted it to go. It was surprisingly easy once you got used to it. The first row of rolls went against the wall and a chock was place in front of it on the floor so it could not move. Ditto for the second row.

Once the second row was in place, out came two 10 foot long 2 x 12s that were placed on top of the second row of rolls to make an inclined plane. We would line up the roll to stack on the floor about 15 feet from the base of the second roll. then four men would begin to push the roll as fast as we could and the momentum created would allow us to propel the roll up those two planks and it would drop into the spot created above the two rolls on the floor. (Imagine stacking beer cans on their side in your fridge.) The two ends of those 10 foot boards would them flip up at 45 with the weight of the upper roll on them, wedged between the two rolls. A gentle pry with the short 2 x 4s would take just enough pressure off the boards to pull them out to repeat the process.

We only got 20 rolls each month, all that would fit in a semi, and it took us all morning to offload them. Then the truck driver would return and take away the trailer. I never even thought about it at the time, but there could have been some nasty injuries if anything went wrong or a board broke, but it never happened in the seven years that I did that job.

groovetube
Jan 25th, 2012, 01:22 PM
I didn't either, until I read gt's post. It reminded me of, for instance, loading out of Yellowknife at 4 am on a Sunday morning in November, when it was -20 out, and us still sweaty from the playing and the teardown.

gt's right about the stairs, too. Most places didn't have too many, but the ones with full flights were inevitably steep and narrow with tight landings.

Ha ha. I never just loaded my drums, there was also that damned monster svt head, which isn't designed for one human to carry but we tried (he had 3) the myriad of amps, the hardware bags. Of course I insisted on a 26 BD and the heaviest double braced hardware money can buy.

Ever play the Limit in Victoria? I recall after a long and gruelling can tour, we were exhausted and when we got there, after looking at the number of flights of stairs all the way up, it was like those scenes where 4 flights stretch into 20...

Not to forget the icy metal fire escape style back stairs like at the night gallery in calgary, nor that damed knee wrecker at the back of barrymores in ottawa :)

Kazak
Jan 25th, 2012, 02:01 PM
Don't have time to check my gig list, but off the top of my addled head, we played New York, New York (nicknamed "Narc Narc"), and that was a long, narrow stairway. We played the Old Forge in the basement of the Strathcona--the only gig where they had a custom-made cage for the stage (fortunately, we didn't need it). And CFB Esquimalt, which was very nice.

Sorry for the potential derailment.

fjnmusic
Jan 25th, 2012, 02:04 PM
I remember back in the day schlepping my Fender Rhodes from gig to gig. Must have weighed about a hundred pounds. That plus about five other smaller keyboards so you'd have a wide array of sounds. Now I use a Korg N1 which is still about 50 pounds, but it's 88 keys and has pretty much every sound I need.

Bobby Clobber
Jan 25th, 2012, 02:12 PM
Infantryman when I was young. Size 12 boots, size 3 helmet. You'd understand if you'd ever been one. Slogging, digging, humping. Great times. Good thing I wasn't smart enough to feel the pain.

groovetube
Jan 25th, 2012, 03:53 PM
Don't have time to check my gig list, but off the top of my addled head, we played New York, New York (nicknamed "Narc Narc"), and that was a long, narrow stairway. We played the Old Forge in the basement of the Strathcona--the only gig where they had a custom-made cage for the stage (fortunately, we didn't need it). And CFB Esquimalt, which was very nice.

Sorry for the potential derailment.

new york new york as in the city? I don;t recall any bad loadins, but I do recall many a show down there where there were 7 bands, and every drummer HAD to use their own kit so it was a real crapshow. Eesh.

Canada, well, they like their crazy loadins. Make us work eh?Though I did like the IATSE shows where I wasn't allowed to so much twist the wingnut on my cymbal stand for fear of some union infraction :)

derailment yeah, sorry :)

Kazak
Jan 25th, 2012, 07:09 PM
Sorry for the confusion, gt. New York, New York was a club in Victoria.

Yeah, union gigs are nice. Where would you like the piano? Ah . . .

fjn, I had a Rhodes too, at the bottom of the second rack. I think there were many Monday afternoons and Sunday mornings the guys wished they were a two-guitar-bass-drums band.

KC4
Jan 25th, 2012, 08:40 PM
Growing up in the country, there was always something that required physical labor that needed doing, but mostly it wasn't paid work.

However, I worked for others, cleaning barns and stalls to make money to board my own horse. Many times I'd be working with a not so friendly thoroughbred in the stall with me.

Once the wheelbarrow was loaded high with dirty, stinking, soggy horse bedding, then I'd have to roll it outside (thankfully down) a hill to add it to an immense manure pile. Repeat 12-15 times.

Hard, heavy work for a scrawny, wimpy kid who was allergic to hay....and dust....and horses.

On occasion, I would also would help around a dairy farm at milking time, because it was my friend's family farm, and the sooner the chores were done, the sooner she/we were free to do our own thing. This I did for free, but I remember it was very physically intensive work. I wouldn't want to do it for a living.

Just for fun last summer, I volunteered to be a farm hand for a day at a family dairy farm in PEI. They were short handed, so gladly accepted my offer and really put me to work. ...Milking, cleaning, slopping troughs, cleaning, slinging hay, feeding silage, cleaning, and so on. I survived, but was nearly exhausted at the end of the day.

screature
Jan 26th, 2012, 10:56 AM
The rolls in those days weighed 1800 pounds or so and came on the floor of a semi trailer truck. We had no loading dock, so the semi backed up to the rear door of the shop which was at ground level. The rolls were 72 inches wide, nearly as wide as the semi. We had a used rear tractor tire we got from the local Case dealer and set it on the pavement just outside the double door. We then hopped up on the truck and two of us pushed the first roll off the semi's bed and let it fall on the tractor tire, a drop of about three feet. The tire cushioned it from hitting the ground and held the roll in place to prevent it from rolling as it sank into the centre hole of the big tire as it overlapped the tire by a foot or so each side.

Once on the tire, we used two 2 x 4s about six feet long as pry bars to ease it off the tire onto the concrete floor of the press room. Two men and one little chunk of 2 x 4 about six inches long with a 45 bevel on one end allowed us to manipulate the roll to where we wanted it. You simply pushed the big roll up onto that tiny piece of wood and swung it to direct it to where you wanted it to go. It was surprisingly easy once you got used to it. The first row of rolls went against the wall and a chock was place in front of it on the floor so it could not move. Ditto for the second row.

Once the second row was in place, out came two 10 foot long 2 x 12s that were placed on top of the second row of rolls to make an inclined plane. We would line up the roll to stack on the floor about 15 feet from the base of the second roll. then four men would begin to push the roll as fast as we could and the momentum created would allow us to propel the roll up those two planks and it would drop into the spot created above the two rolls on the floor. (Imagine stacking beer cans on their side in your fridge.) The two ends of those 10 foot boards would them flip up at 45 with the weight of the upper roll on them, wedged between the two rolls. A gentle pry with the short 2 x 4s would take just enough pressure off the boards to pull them out to repeat the process.

We only got 20 rolls each month, all that would fit in a semi, and it took us all morning to offload them. Then the truck driver would return and take away the trailer. I never even thought about it at the time, but there could have been some nasty injuries if anything went wrong or a board broke, but it never happened in the seven years that I did that job.

Wow quite the procedure and yes if anything went wrong there could have been some nasty injuries.

dona83
Jan 26th, 2012, 11:20 AM
I helped demo and move a restaurant, they were shutting down one location that wasn't doing well and expanding the other which was. It was a 13 hour day of hard work but I wouldn't mind doing it again if I got the call.

BigDL
Jan 26th, 2012, 12:04 PM
The rolls in those days weighed 1800 pounds or so and came on the floor of a semi trailer truck. We had no loading dock, so the semi backed up to the rear door of the shop which was at ground level. The rolls were 72 inches wide, nearly as wide as the semi. We had a used rear tractor tire we got from the local Case dealer and set it on the pavement just outside the double door. We then hopped up on the truck and two of us pushed the first roll off the semi's bed and let it fall on the tractor tire, a drop of about three feet. The tire cushioned it from hitting the ground and held the roll in place to prevent it from rolling as it sank into the centre hole of the big tire as it overlapped the tire by a foot or so each side.

Once on the tire, we used two 2 x 4s about six feet long as pry bars to ease it off the tire onto the concrete floor of the press room. Two men and one little chunk of 2 x 4 about six inches long with a 45 bevel on one end allowed us to manipulate the roll to where we wanted it. You simply pushed the big roll up onto that tiny piece of wood and swung it to direct it to where you wanted it to go. It was surprisingly easy once you got used to it. The first row of rolls went against the wall and a chock was place in front of it on the floor so it could not move. Ditto for the second row.

Once the second row was in place, out came two 10 foot long 2 x 12s that were placed on top of the second row of rolls to make an inclined plane. We would line up the roll to stack on the floor about 15 feet from the base of the second roll. then four men would begin to push the roll as fast as we could and the momentum created would allow us to propel the roll up those two planks and it would drop into the spot created above the two rolls on the floor. (Imagine stacking beer cans on their side in your fridge.) The two ends of those 10 foot boards would them flip up at 45 with the weight of the upper roll on them, wedged between the two rolls. A gentle pry with the short 2 x 4s would take just enough pressure off the boards to pull them out to repeat the process.

We only got 20 rolls each month, all that would fit in a semi, and it took us all morning to offload them. Then the truck driver would return and take away the trailer. I never even thought about it at the time, but there could have been some nasty injuries if anything went wrong or a board broke, but it never happened in the seven years that I did that job.Your post reminded me of how much freight was moved with basic tools such as incline planes, levers (pinch bars/2X4's etc) fulcrums (hard wood or steel blocks) and rollers (pieces of steel pipe) also you mentioned big rubber tires to cushion the effects of gravity.

I once picked up a piece of machinery sitting on the ground with simple tools and the aid of a PTO powered tail lift on the truck.

The shipper was an "A Type". He insisted I use the tail lift like a fork lift to pick up the crate of machinery. I insisted the device was built to do that, then he insisted I use a cinder block wall as a brace. I advised him the mortar of the wall had not yet set so no.

He said "his guys" were there to assist us. Five men of various ages were standing with the shipper.

I had never indicated to him in anyway that me and my helper would not accept the shipment but the shipper went off saying he was going to call my boss. So off he went as the crew that were working for him rolled their eyes.

My helper and I broke out the pry bars and rollers moved the machinery which weighed more than a thousand pounds (450Kg) moved it on to the tail lift and up to the front of the truck. Without the aid of "his guys"

Put everything away prepared the shipping document and we were waiting for the shippers return to sign the contract. "His guys," wisely I think, refused to sign the shipping documents.

He came roaring out of a door from the warehouse pronouncing my boss had said I must take his shipment. I said Ok! Sign here please!

Buddy was shocked where was his shipment? On the truck sign here. How did you do that he asked. I said "we get paid the big bucks and it's a trade secret." "His guys" refused to tell him as well.