Springing into a New Year

08 Mar

Apologies once again for not posting for a while; the best laid plans and all that. At least it’s good to be busy, or so they say! 2013 has already seen quite a few changes to the Groundforce Technical Department. A makeover of our main office, which has been looking a bit tired of late, has just been completed. We now have a brand new kitchen which is sure to see a lot of use throughout the day as countless cups of tea and coffee are prepared to sustain the hardworking team.

Our recently promoted Design Manager Emma, has been treated to a dividing wall which has created a private office space that she has taken to calling the “rabbit hutch”. I have also been partitioned off in spacious office of my own in the corner. (I am not sure if the door is to keep me in or everyone else out!) A lick of paint and new carpet tiles will finish the job nicely; we are just not looking forward to taking everything off the walls and moving furniture about.

We have recently welcomed Chris Wilson into the Technical Team as our new Bridging Engineer. Groundforce Bridge is the latest division within Groundforce, supplying as the name suggests, temporary Vehicle and Pedestrian bridge crossings for a variety of applications. Chris is still smiling as you can see despite being thrown in at the deep end as he currently is the only engineer supporting Product Manager, Terry Mead. Terry is a hard man to keep up with as he is regularly on the road at 4am covering inter-galactic mileage chasing down business across the length and breadth of the UK. A day in the life of the Terry and Chris double act will, I am sure, make for an interesting blog article in the near future.

Returning back to a previous blog subject of load monitoring of struts. We are introducing a few new developments that will improve the range and reliability of the wireless technology to provide seamless radio coverage even in the most adverse conditions. Originally developed for servicing long tunnels where cellular communication is impossible, this new technology will, I’m sure, prove invaluable to us and our customers in the near future. This new system will be used on a upcoming major project in Oslo where reliability for obvious reasons is a key issue. 

The secured contract in Oslo is the result of a recent short but sweet visit to the Norwegian capital. This is prestigious contract is for fifteen lengthy heavily loaded hydraulic props. We have allowed for potentially large temperature induced load fluctuations over the 15 month duration contract, it was certainly very cold whilst I was there! The props will be fully monitored for load so we are hoping for some first class research data which again will be presented in a later blog. I will need to keep an eye on expense claims of staff visiting this job as the price of beer (and most things) over there is ferocious.

The same trip saw me accumulating more air miles, flying the next day down to Marseille, which gratifyingly was slightly warmer than Oslo. My schoolboy French came in for a hammering generally getting lost after “Bonjour Monsieur”! Nevertheless as a result we are at last confident of securing a major project in France, although there is much work to do before the predicted March 2014 start date.

Anyway, now ensconced back in sunny Leeds, I will end my ramblings for this blog and will endeavour to keep to the monthly timescale to avoid incurring the wroth of our marketing team again! 

Tony Gould
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