CHAPTER 2: Another day, another digger

Ram pulled up to the construction trailer early the next day. Ms. Silverado was already there. Ms. Silverado was the engineer in charge of the project, and Ram was the job foreman. Ms. Silverado dealt with the paper and government people in suits. Ram dealt with the workers and government inspectors. "How'd things go downtown?" Ram asked.
"Pretty good!" Everybody has been updated and we're on schedule, in spite of the rain." she replied. "I need to go over the latest plans for the bridge approach. I understand they've found some soft ground we hadn't counted on." They unrolled the plans on Ram's hood and started making alterations.

The Cats wake up

In the distance you could hear the Cats warming up their big diesel engines, roaring"Rrrrrrring! RRRRRRRRing Power!
The Cats were an interesting bunch. They dominated the construction business: Cats do almost every phase of road work.
Many accuse them of being "clique-ish". They tend to stick to themselves. After work they all get together and hang out as a group.
They have special dietary traditions. Although many Cats will use a non-Cat made fluid from time to time their parts are unique. You can only get Cat parts from a Cat (Ring Power) dealer. The Cats are very proud of their heritage, and travel all over the world building roads.

Polly and Peter show up Bright and Early

Peter was pulling up with a his flatbed. Polly was riding on top. Right behind was Ram, and Ranger, the county inspector. Ranger was there to take core samples. The initial layers of asphalt had to be at least 4 inches deep. If they weren't, they'd have to put down more asphalt before putting down the traction coat.

Ranger, the County Inspector

Peter's flatbed had the ramps down, and Polly was rolling down them. She was huge! Sammy really liked Polly. In a way, she was the most important part of the construction crew: She actually MADE the pavement!
Polly was really nice to him. Sammy wished he could be important and popular, like Polly. After Ranger finished his inspection, Mack and his brothers would form a sort of "asphalt brigade", carrying yards and yards of hot asphalt to feed Polly's ravenous appetite. She would creep slowly down the road, leaving 2 inches of fresh pavement behind her. Then Bo and his friends would roll it and compact it. Lola would paint the stripes, Larry would put down the sod, and this segment of the project would be done!

Cleared to lay the traction coat!

Ranger drove up and came over to talk to Ram.
"Looks like everything is good to go!" All the core samples are 4 inches or more. You're ready for the traction coat!
Ranger was known to be meticulous on enforcing road construction standards. The saying was that roads he supervised were "Built Ford Tough"

Ram didn't have any problem with Ranger being tough. Ram's father, Dodge, always said if a road's worth paving, it's worth paving right! Ram was proud of his record: his projects almost NEVER failed an inspection.

"Thanks!" Ram said to Ranger. "Have a great day!"
"Pave well!" Ranger replied as he drove off.

NEXT: Chapter (3) "Phase "B"



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