This last Monday I started a new job. I have really liked it so far. I get to drive one of these monsters around all day. I am working for the Davis School District mowing their large playing fields. Here are some facts about the mower...they say it has a top speed of 20 MPH but when I drove past one of those radars that shows your speed I didn't get over 18 MPH...the mower has three mowing decks, front, left, and right and each deck has three blades...with all 3 decks down I can make a 16 foot sweep of the field...when the decks are down and the blades are on the top speed is only about 10 MPH...I'm by myself all day, just mowing and listening to my i-pod, and when it finally gets warm I'll be soaking up the sun! My route includes schools in Kaysville and Farmington.
It has been a week filled with lots of adventures for sure. Here is how my week went...
Monday-Training...sat around for at least an hour before watching a 30 minute movie on how to operate the mower. Finally went outside and was able to drive the mower around the parking lot. There was 3 of us starting Monday so after we were comfortable with the mower in the parking lot we drove 2 mowers and a truck over to Antelope Elementary and practiced mowing and driving the mower around the field for the next 2 1/2-3 hours. That got really boring. When it was finally time for lunch we drove the mowers back to the shop and took a lunch break. After lunch I found out that my mower needed to be drove to Davis High and parked so it was ready for Tuesday morning. That was really really cold. It took me and hour to drive the mower from the Freeport Center in Clearfield to Davis High. 20 MPH all the way baby!!! As soon as I left the Freeport Center it started to rain. Of course, just my luck, and I had left my rain suit in my car. When I finally made it to Davis High I called the 2 other gang mowers to come and pick me up. I had to wait outside for about 30 minutes while they drove up from Bountiful. Once they picked me up we drove around Kaysville and found some of the schools that are on my route.
Tuesday-This was the big day of adventure! The first day out on my route by myself. They assigned me and another guy or own DSD trucks for the summer and told us to go see if they had keys in them. Neither on of them did so we sat around for about 45 minutes while they tried to find the keys. Once the keys were found they couldn't get the trucks to start. They told us to go outside and someone would meet us to jump start the trucks. It took about 30 minutes to get both the trucks started and then we were off! Or we were supposed to be anyway...I put my truck in reverse and noticed that the gear indicator on the dashboard didn't move. Oh well...I pushed on the acclerator and nothing, I just rolled forward a little. Oh no,
there was a building right in front of the truck. Next I pushed the brake with my left foot and hit the acclerator hard, still nothing but rolling forward. I tried again but my foot got stuck and I couldn't get the brake fast enough...I rolled the school district truck into the building. Oops!!! The guy that jumped the truck was still putting his cables away and ran over to make sure I was ok. He got in the truck and he couldn't get it to move either. He was so mad that the district even keeps trucks like that. He said that the truck didn't have a transmission. They finally found a truck that would work and I was finally off to Davis High. When I got to my mower and started to go to Windridge Elementary I couldn't get the mower into high range. So instead of being able to go 20 MPH I could only go about 10 MPH. I wasn't going to go all the way to Windridge and Farmington going only 10 MPH! I called the mechanic and she didn't answer. I waited for 20 minutes for her to call me back and of course it was something dumb and easy to fix. When I got to Windridge I was able to mow the entire field and I got stuck on my last sweep of a hill. I called the shop again and waited for someone to come pull me out. While I was waiting my uncle, who also works for the district, happened to pull up for a job at the school. He thought it was pretty funny. Looking back on it now it was. They finally got me unstuck and I headed to Farmington. All these events happened in the first 3 1/2 hours of the work day. Great way to start my first day on the job. Surprisingly I was able to get 3 1/2 school done Tuesday even with all the delays I had.
Wednesday-Flat tire. I drove my mower all the way to Famington Jr. High and finished most of their field and got low on gas so I called the shop to have the gas truck come fill up the mower. When he got there he noticed that I had a flat tire. He called one of the mechanics and they said they would be there as soon as they could. I sat outside and read my book for about 20 minutes then I got cold so I went inside to hang out. Within 15 minutes the mechanic was there. He said he needed to take the tire to Les Schwab so I could just hang out in the school. I went to the library and read a book for an hour. Finally he got back and I was ready to mow again. I didn't have any other problems the rest of the day.
Thursday-I didn't have any problems. Just mowing all day.
Friday-I got stuck again. This time at Fairfield Jr. High. The west side of their field was extrememly wet and I had decided that I wouldn't come out this far in the field next go around. Pretty much right at that time I got stuck. I called the shop and they sent someone out to pull me out. When I finally got out there was a rut from the tire that was about 8 inches deep. Oops. The rest of the day went pretty smoothly.I was able to finish my whole route in the first week. I think when I get my route down better and how to get to the schools I will have quite a bit of down time. My brother has done this job for 3 years and he said you just drive the back roads a lot wasting time because you have to have 8 hours a day. Works for me. I will just listen to my i-pod and get tan. :)