Thursday, March 13, 2008

What can brown do for you? terminology load side

So last time I gave some terminology about the unload/sort. Now I will focus in on load side.

There are two main belts on load slide, belt-to-car and slide-to-car. Pens 1, 4, 5, 8, & 9 were slide to car. Pens 8 & 9 were rare because they were the only slide to car belts next to each other. Literally, pen 9 was above pen 8. On a slide to car you have a pick off who waits for the packages to come down the belt and he pushes or pulls them to smaller belts that go to the loaders. The loaders had the return belt under them. This belt also carried bulk. So if they missed the bulk it would end up in the sort aisle. Now a slide to car belt could take theoretically take more volume because the packages could sit on the slide. One last thing about the slide to car pens, since they had direct access to the return belts, the air cans were usually unloaded on them. Air cans were full of next day air from sunrise or late planes. Normally there were two air cans and most of the time they were unloaded on pen 9. In my 5 years there, I can only recall 3 times that the air cans didn't come down pen 9's return belt. Two times when the return belt was overloaded with packages. Once during peak season when there was no room for the air cans on the belt. Once again, this was a reason that the return belts needed to stay on and doors 7 & 13 needed to stay clean throughout the night in the sort aisle.

On a belt to car you had a single belt with about 5-7 cars on either side. The person/persons in the front is called a splitter. Because the splitter just had to push or pull packages to either side of the belt. As the package went down the belt the loader would look for his package and then load it. Belt to car loaders needed to be faster I felt because the packages were constantly moving along the belt. You always wanted to stay ahead of you work and not fall behind. There is no return belt on the belt to car pens. All missorts usually just piled up at the end of the belt...made it look really ugly. I changed that on my belt (now that's a hook...not a good hook but a hook). Bulk was put on the belt by bulk drivers, which posed a problem sometimes because it was hard to get the packages up to the belt. The interesting thing about the belt to car pens was that you could turn off the belt on the pen separately from the belt moving packages from the sort aisle...or both at once.

On load side, supervisors had to take hourly stop counts. Drivers had a target for stop counts. Meaning that if they had a planned day of 80 stops and they were only at 10 after 1 hour, you as the supervisor would have to "take" work from another driver that was heavy that day. It got confusing sometimes. And to be honest in all my time on loadside I moved the work around maybe 4 times. We would wait until the on-road supervisors showed up (usually around 7 am).

Drivers began to leave the building at 9 am because of next day air. So you never wanted to be around if there was a lot of packages left out. No matter how hard a load sup tried, we never got out until after 9:30 usually closer to 10. When we were in the back...9 was a late day. Yet, we all needed to come in at the same time...fair? Nope, which is what cause a lot of our problems.

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