Saturday, February 28, 2009

Who Fixes The Food Machinery?

Last day of February, sounds like March is not coming in like a lamb but I wouldn't call it a Lion, either.

I have been thinking about the people who keep the wheels rolling. Especially those who keep all the food machinery rolling.

We go to the grocery or restaurant, well mostly the grocery these days and take for granted all of the packages of food products in every shape, size and description.

I have been on enough plant tours to know that just doesn't happen easily. Some people make it look easy.

Design and engineering and testing is one thing but we have food machinery in this country that must be the envy of the world. Who keeps all that machinery running?

As a teacher you could quickly identify those who wanted to go to the shop and build and tinker. That is a special talent. I tried to encourage this talent all I could and get them through school so they could do what they are really good at. Repairing machinery.

My mechanic students are some of my most prized contributing citizens. Several advanced to the top of their trade and even teach others. They are the kind that take something apart just to see how it works. The trick is learning how to put it back together to run even better than it did when you took it apart.

I don't take good mechanics for granted. They are a prized professional to me. Some of the best don't dress or act like a professional like we think of in a highly developed skill and knowledge level but they truly are the best at what they do.

Ask any farmer who has a break down at planting or harvest. Those people are worth their weight in gold. As this economy stuggles, they shouldn't have to because they keep the wheels moving.

I am a little closer to the automotive, trucking, and farm mechanics. Some of my students are even airplane mechanics, very skilled and specialized workers. But what about all those food processing machines that pop out packages faster than popcorn pops?

Those have to be very prized employees. Without them the machinery stops, the product quits rolling and the expenses overtake the income until the system is at full steam again.

Career Techinal Education is heavily funded in the Stimulus as it should be. Perkins got a good boost as Congress at least realizes the value of these skilled professionals.

I just wonder who keeps all this machinery going?

If you know of any, I would be interested in knowing more about them and what they do for a living.

Ed Winkle


  1. I don't like being a mechanic. But, I've never been able to afford to hire one. I've rebuilt all sorts of mechanical things by reading the shop book. But, I really don't like to do it at all. I do like to build things. Putting fertilizer on my drill was fun, working on the stuff later is not.
    I once added extra hydraulic cylinders and a foot extension on the back of a Freeman 200 baler. That was fun. Made the cylinders myself.
    I need to rebuild the plunger and plunger rails on my Hesston three tie baler. I do not want to do that. Have been putting it off.
    Have a 585cu inch Moline engine to rebuild, also a Hercules out of a White. Instead I grind feed and tinker with my 1949 MM Z.
    I hate working in cold wet weather. I always slip with the wrench and bust my knuckles. Perhaps I'm lazy. Seems like a good excuse!

  2. I am not good at it at all. I taught so many to be better at it than myself I depend on them, maybe a little too much!

    Everything is so complicated these days you almost have to specialize at it to be any good.

    I have a set of batteries to clean and recharge and 4 transmissions that need serviced. 12 degrees right now and no heated shop so that isn't going to happen today!

    I like tinkering with planters and drills and making them work better. It seems too much machinery is run out of adjustment.

    I am sure the machines that process all our food don't have the tolerance of a drill or combine and that was the reason for my post.

    I really wonder who keeps that machinery running as I am not nearing a processing facility and don't know anyone who does that for a living.

    That 585 can be a beauty or a boat anchor!

    Good luck!

  3. Hi Author

    Thank you for this useful post on Food Machinery, really helpful for me.
    Please keep posting more stuff on this topic.


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