August 10th, 2005


Hya mule!

As part of the school construction projects we're working on, I have forty one APC SmartUPS 2200s on order. Each of these battery backup units packs just shy of two thousand Watts of power for keeping things running when the lights go out. They also weigh a hundred and thirty five pounds apiece. They come strapped to their own little wooden mini-pallet.

Because they weigh so much, they can't be shipped via FedEx or UPS; they come via common carrier (NewPenn in our case). Some nimrod back in the 1960s thought that it would be a good idea to design the loading dock in our building with a doorway that's only twelve feet tall (11' 6" with the overhead door up as far as it will go). Despite all attempts to tell them to use a small truck, or at least one with a hydraulic tail gate, NewPenn has been showing up with full-size eighteen wheelers, which of course cannot fit in our dock.

This means that we get to lift these things down from the truck (double-parked on the street), carry them to a flat cart on the sidewalk, and hya mule! our way up the ramp in the parking garage to the level of our floor.

To date we have received twenty seven of the forty one. My crew and I have thus lifted and lugged 1.8 tons of UPS units, with another ton on the way. Total weight when all have arrived will be 5,494 pounds — two and three quarter tons. That's not counting the 300 Ethernet switches (six large and 294 small), 9,650 patch cables, and 1,944 other items that we'll receive before the start of school.

And yes, sore muscles and all, I am enjoying every minute of this.
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