Manitowoc Crane BikeFriday, August 15 2008
The OCC crew makes a unique "crane bike" for the Manitowoc Crane Company. While Mikey teaches second graders about cranes, Jason and Paulie butt heads over design speed! The OCC team also continues their search for talented metal workers. (Repeat)
Paulie and Mikey are in Manitowoc, WI to get ideas for a custom "crane bike" which the Manitowoc Crane Company will display at the International Exposition for Construction Machines: CONEXPO 2008.
The first thing the brothers notice on their visit to the Manitowoc Crane Group--an internationally renowned manufacturer of industrial cranes based in Green Bay, WI--was how much of it seemed like home. Between OCC and the family's steel manufacturing business, the Teutuls are no strangers to building machines out of metal. The Manitowoc Group makes some of the biggest cranes in the world, and they do all their welding and assembly in-house. "They do basically the same thing we do," Paulie noted while touring the Manitowoc plant, "just on a way bigger scale!"
Both brothers get to operate the giant industrial cranes that Manitowoc Crane is famous for. Mikey worries that he might back over something and crush it, but at a top operating speed of 1-2 MPH, most things should be able to get out of the way. Mikey enjoys moving the giant crane around, "This has definitely given me a new obsession with larger toys.. We've worked with some heavy equipment before, and this definitely takes the cake. This is as big as they get."
Back at OCC, Junior approaches Jason, "Hey, want to build a crane bike?" Jason is psyched for the project and starts working his magic to design a bike that mirrors the look and feel of a Manitowoc Crane. Manitowoc has provided Jason with dozens of pictures of all types of Manitowoc cranes, so he and Paulie have a good source for ideas.
The lattice style gantries are the most recognizable aspect of the cranes, and Jason and Paulie decide to work that in wherever they can, especially on the fenders. While they're working, Paul Senior pops in to see if they are making use of a drawing sent by a Manitowoc employee. The design includes a crane sticking out from the handle bars, which Jason thinks looks ridiculous, but he'd rather add that to the design than argue with senior.
Once the crane is in place though, Jason realizes it just won't work, so he tries moving it to the back. That seems to click and the design moves along.
Paulie and Jason get to work putting the bike together, but Senior calls a halt to the work, as Manitowoc has not approved the design yet. "We've had problems in the past with that," Senior tells the camera, "in fact we built an entire bike without approval once. We got stuck with the bike."
Manitowoc has sent some scale model, working toy crane set made from die cast, industrial grade steel and Mikey and Paulie unpack assemble them. Mikey says, "Some of these builds bring out the inner kid in me." (Aw Mikey, what doesn't?) He and Paulie look like kids on Christmas, assembling the cranes and seeing how much they can lift. Senior joins in to admire the design. "Some of these cranes go 150 stories ... and they're this thin."
A few days later, the design approved, Paulie discusses the gas tank with Rick. Since there are so many extras on the rest of the bike, they've decided to keep the gas tank simple. Paulie thinks it will only take Rick "15 minutes" to do. Rick gets right to work on it, though it willl probably take him most of the day to fabricate.
Jim Quinn meanwhile is working on the truss for the crane/sissy bar. It's made of thin bar stock, but they've borrowed ideas from Manitowoc's designs and once together the crane should hold a lot of weight. Paulie says he is creating "the biggest sissy bar in OCC history": a 4 foot high crane that will tower over the back fender!
OCC is still looking for fabricators and mechanics and they bring several of the people they think are most promising and run them through some basic mechanical tests. Senior is very impressed with some of the candidates, "In fact, some of their mechanical know-hows can run circles around Paulie, which unfortunately is not saying a lot."
Paulie, meanwhile, is finished with the crane tower sissy bar and rick is working on the handlebars. Since the sissy bar represents the tower style cranes, Manitowoc also wanted the tube style crane represented, so Rick is fabricating the handle bars with nested bars to mimic that style.
Some drama ensues when Paulie realizes that Jason hasn't finished the handlebar risers. Jason tries to remind him that he's assigned him two other urgent projects, which meant he had to wait to do the risers. He knocks them out fast so "Paulie won't have a hissy fit, like a little girl." When they try to fit the risers on though, they are too big, and Paulie tells Jason to redraw and re-cut them. Jason protests that it will take him over 30 minutes to re-cut the pieces because he'll have to re-draw them from scratch. They start a shouting match as Paulie insists it won't take him near that long, "Have it done in 10 minutes or your fired." Jason gripes about it, but he has them done in about 15 minutes. Not as fast as Paulie wanted, but far faster than Jason's estimated 30 minutes.
The next day, Jason and Jim Quinn confer on how to cut the front fender and use the WaterJet to carve it out. Jason gets to work assembling the front fender, and when Senior arrives, Jason is the only one working on the bike. Senior is irritated about that "I'd better not hear from Jim Quinn that Jason is behind in his design work. If I do, heads are gonna roll."
The bike gets finished without further drama though, and tear down goes smoothly. The parts are ready to send out to Nub Graphix for paint.
The search for new talent continues with welding and fabrication tests for various potential hires. Everyone does well, so it's going to be a hard task to chose between the candidates.
The frame is done, and assembly begins. The wheels are the most complex piece, with yards of braided cable to wind into the hub. Christian starts the wiring and Paulie and Rick start adding the engine and wheels.
While they are assembling, Senior drops by and complains about problems with his vision. He's been seeing a doctor, but his left eye keeps getting worse--he feels a lot of pressure and has little sight in his left eye--and he may need to go in again. Paulie is worried about him, he says it's never good to see your dad in pain, but he adds, "the best part is he'll have to leave the shop to visit the doctor. I'm kinda hoping it will take all day."
Mikey is invited to talk about cranes to a local second grade class at Willow Elementary School. He starts out a bit stiff and nervous; he's playing to a tough audience that doesn't appreciate his jokes ("You can call me Mr. Teutul, that’s Mr. "To Tell" cuz I'm here "to tell" you about cranes."). But he soon relaxes and when the toy cranes come out, so does his inner kid and everybody has fun learning about cranes by assembling and operating the toys.
The tins are back from Nub, and Paulie and Senior grab them and, with Ricks help, start to put them on the bike. The tower is still missing, and while Pauli wonders about that, he knows the tins will keep them busy till it shows up. They decide the gas tank needs just a little more pizazz so they add a small piece of "diamond plate" to the top of it with double sided tape. Senior's eye feels a bit better so he decides to help Paulie out installing the front fender, which only leads to a fight. Pauli explains, "Sometimes its just easier to let him do things his way and not get all worked up about it." He gives up trying to help and walks away. Senior keeps bolting the fender on, "Whenever Paulie just lets me do it my way--the better way--the fender went on like it should've in the first place."
Paulie waits till "Dad was gone and I knew we could get some work done" and he and Rick assemble the rest of the bike. Only the crane tower is left. Finally, the next day, the crane tower arrives and Paulie is able to run the pulley wires and assemble the rear fender.
The bike fires up beautifully, except for a gas leak that is quickly fixed. The bike is ready for it's trip to Las Vegas. Once in Nevada, Senior takes the bike for a test ride on a desert highway before presenting it to the delighted Manitowoc Company executives at the International Construction Exposition: CONEXPO 2008.