Sunday, August 2, 2009

The First Krang

It sure didn't take long.

The Saturday night that I brought Engine 10 to the area of its new home, I actually left it at the main fire station of the district I now work for, because the annual open house was the next day. Having an old rig or two for people to poke and prod during the day works well. I was assigned a different detail on the open house day, so left instructions on starting and operating the engine in case it had to be moved.

They moved it while setting things up early the next morning. No problem.

When I finally got back to pick it up on Monday night, it was parked adjacent to the truck bays, on the outside pull-around loop. I approached from the rear, walked up the officer's side to the front, and then started my walk-around, around the back tailboard and up the driver's side, with nothing open or sitting loose. It was tight by the building, and I had to take care to not bang the door into the building. Started her up, checked the wheel alignment as straight ahead, and goosed the throttle to pull away.

*krang!* Engine 10 lurches to the right.

Oh expletive, what the expletive was that??? That was right outside my door window, front left corner. I poke my head out and look down.

She had been nosed up so close to the building that the steel/concrete bollard that guards the building's corner was slightly in front of the front left corner of the bumper, and completely invisible from the cab. My walkaround from the officer's door around the back to the driver's door missed it. Argh!!

When I pulled forward into the bollard, the awesomeness that is the huge front bumper was not impressed, and nudged the entire pumper to the right while peeling paint from the bollard. However, when the bumper cleared the bollard, Engine 10 settled slightly back to the left and kranged the diamond plate side step under the driver's door into the bollard. There was no damage at all to the bumper. However, the amber clearance light was neatly peeled off the step, which itself had been pushed in a couple inches and buckled slightly upwards.

More bad language followed. Sorry.

Cranked the wheel to the left and backed slowly up to pull sideways away from the bollard, then pulled away to survey further and pick up pieces of clearance light.

I was very unhappy. I am Engine 10's new caretaker, and I let her down awfully early.

It actually won't be that big of a deal to repair, although the original equipment clearance light might be tricky to find (cast iron housing). Mainly I am very lucky that the bumper survived with nothing more than bollard paint on it, and that the bollard did not get to the fender and cause further harm.

A close call, and I knew better... walkarounds are 360, not 320. All the way around.

That was the first krang. Hopefully the last.

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