I am an industrial photographer who stumbled upon a gold mine . . . of heavy equipment. I went home this past week and found myself in the midst of three amazing machines. Heavy machinery always astonishes me with the amount of raw power behind it. As I was shooting, I noticed that these machines made physically demanding jobs relatively easy. You climb up, sit down and start it, next thing you know you have moved 1000 pounds of dirt from one pile to another in one all encompassing scoop of the bucket.
Among these awe-inspiring machines I have a favorite. I was just introduced to this beauty while on this shoot. It is a Caterpillar CS56 Vibratory Soil Compactor.
This machine is used to compact the ground before putting a foundation up for a building, putting blacktop down, or doing a fill in of dirt. This roller has a sheepsfoot liner on it. Way back before the roller was invented, people would have their animals (sheep or horses) step on the ground to compact it, and that is why they gave it the name sheepsfoot. Anywho, the liner gave an interesting design to the dirt.
Now with this blog coming to an end, I have one last story to tell. As the day was coming to a close I asked the man who was operating it how he ran the roller. He looked at me with a big grin and said, "It's not hard. You can do the next run through." So i sheepishly climbed up into the operating seat thinking this would end badly. He confidently told me what switches to turn on, what levers to pull, and what buttons to press. Next thing I know, I am operating this robust piece of equipment. He hung out on the side, and let me have at it. It was truly a highlight of my day. Lucky for me this wasn't the only piece of equipment I got to photograph. I will be doing two more blogs on this, so check in to see more of my photos from my "gold mine" experience!