Friday, April 1, 2011

Chiller Delivery

Our chiller unit arrived today.  We got a 10 hp glycol chiller from ProRefrigeration in Auburn Washington.  Even though we had the specifications on the unit and knew the size, it’s much bigger than we realized.  The units about seven feet tall, six feet long and four feet wide—and weights about 2,000 empty. 

The delivery is good news considering we ordered the unit about nine or ten weeks ago and it’s a critical piece of equipment that keeps our beer cool while its fermenting and carbonating.  The problem is that we were unable to unload the unit because of the way it was shipped.   

As you can see from the picture the only way we could get it off was by picking it up for the side but that would require having a forklift outside or being able to drive our forklift out of warehouse but we don’t have a ramp.  The other option was to drive our forklift onto the trailer, but the gap between our dock and the flatbed was too great to get a 10,000 forklift over. 

What we learned when our brewing equipment was delivered that we could use a pallet jack to pull the delivery or equipment to the end of the flatbed then use the forklift to lift the item into our warehouse from the loading dock.  The problem here was the unit was shipped on a step over the tractor’s back tire.  No one at the shipping company told us it was coming on a step and we didn't think to ask because it never happen before.  

The only real option was to rent a forklift that could pull it off from the outside then move it into our warehouse.  It would be a tremendous waste of time and money to pay for a forklift to be delivered for ten minutes of work, but we really had no choice.  Of course it was 4:00 pm on Friday so after a few phone calls we realized that wasn’t going to happen. 

Luckily a forklift place around the corner, ProLift offered to let us use one of its lifts to move the unit from the step down to the lower part of the flatbed so we could get it off ourselves.  So the we drove the tractor over to their shop and they moved it for us then re-strapped it to the flatbed and we drove it back to the brewery.  From there we pulled it off with our lift.    

Not the best use of three hours on a Friday afternoon, but at least we have our chiller and of course, thanks to the guys at ProLift for helping us out.  

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