Saturday, January 14, 2006

Shitty Jobs #1 - Les Tremies

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The clay for making the tiles is fed to the presses via conveyor belts.
The conveyor belts are fed from two big hoppers or "doseurs" or "tremies" in French.
There are two of them because they feed different belts going to different presses, and the belts can be swapped over giving a level of redundancy in case of one breaking down.
The tremies are reloaded with clay from the quarries via tipper trucks.
The drivers of the tipper trucks often spill clay on the ground around the tremies.
The tremies vibrate as the shake their doses of clay onto the belts which start below ground and lift the clay up to the presses. As they vibrate bits of clay escape onto the ground.
The net result is clay all over the ground around the tremies.
And in rainy weather this becomes mud. And in winter it becomes frozen mud.
And near the end of each shift some poor schlep has to shovel it all up into a wheel barrow and cart it across the (wet, slippery, frozen) yard to the waste tips.
Its always a good idea to be busy at the end of a shift so you don't have to clean the tremies. So even if I've been stuck on the press or the balancelles for 7 hours solid, there are times when I'm glad I'm too busy to be picked on.


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