Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Five Minutes

Five minutes – that was all it took as I sat on the road today for a crew of fellows with some very cool equipment to bring down a tree – probably 40+ feet tall, cut it into manageable bits and load it into a truck, clearing the road on which the felled tree had landed.

I pulled up as the first car at the stop sign and glanced at my clock.  Then I watched as a CAT frontloader with jaws had a guide wire attached to it to direct the fall of the tree across the road.  Down it came – looking like it moved in slow motion, but landing in a split second.

Then beyond my line of vision the guys must have quick cut the tree into manageable chunks for the CAT to come round and grasp in its claws and carry to the flat bed waiting patiently for its load.

I have no idea why that particular tree was felled.

Maybe it was diseased.

Maybe it was already leaning from this summer’s Derecho, which cut a wide swath through our part of the world.

All I know is that when I got the signal to move on, I looked down at the clock and to my surprise, saw that it was now 4:09 p.m. – exactly 5 minutes from when I pulled up to a stop.

All I can say is that was one cool CAT.

I know it’s not cool to wax poetic about Caterpillar.  And true to my kind, I support the boycott and divestiture efforts against Caterpillar because of its profits from the home demolitions occurring in the West Bank.  But the engineering of these machines and the skill in the techniques shown by the guys on the road today were something to behold.  And given their efficiency, some in the county where I live are wondering whether they could give some pointers to the folks subcontracted to build the 18-month bridge (so named because of the amount of time it is taking to rebuild it).

See IPMN Divestment Call about divestment from Caterpillar, Motorola, and Hewlitt-Packard.  See CPT (Christian Peacemaker Teams) site about CPT's work and the conditions in the West Bank.

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