From concerts and launchpads to seafaring icebreakers, PIRTEK technicians have had their share of fascinating service calls over the years. Below is a compilation of some of our most interesting service calls.
Daytona Beach, FL: Launchpad at Kennedy Space Center
PIRTEK Daytona owner Dan Ferretti has a contract to maintain hydraulic assemblies at historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, FL. The 39A launchpad was first used during the Apollo program in the 1960s and ‘70s and now supports SpaceX launches. Dan’s contract provides overall management and implementation of ground systems capabilities, flight hardware processing and, of course, launch operations.
Kent, WA: Coast Guard’s Healy icebreaker
The United States Coast Guard’s Healy icebreaker was in its Seattle port preparing for a trip to the Arctic. Part of that preparation was the replacement of 57 hoses and steel fittings by PIRTEK Kent, led by owner Gregory Shideler. The ship houses cranes and other machinery dependent on hydraulic power. The hose work was intense, taking several months to complete, but was completed on time and the U.S. Coast Guard has been a regular customer for Kent for many years.
Harahan (Elmwood), LA: Marsh buggy
More than 40 percent of Southern Louisiana is considered wetlands, which means standard transportation is insufficient for traversing the water-saturated regions. That’s why a general contractor just outside New Orleans in Kenner uses a marsh buggy for remote jobs. PIRTEK Elmwood owner Carl Prince was summoned to fabricate a pair of 30-foot hoses for an onboard pump for the buggy. Carl considered the call uneventful, but uncommon nonetheless.
Cincinnati: Amusement park rides
Each winter when a local amusement park — located in Mason, OH, about 25 miles northeast of Cincinnati — reduces its hours for the offseason, PIRTEK Cincinnati owner Floyd Mays takes on the task of servicing the dozens upon dozens of rides. Depending on the needs, Floyd said the service requires about a day per ride at the 364-acre attraction, billed as the largest amusement and water park in the Midwest.
Esssington, PA: Cylinders on heavy-duty trailers
About 10 times a year, the team at PIRTEK South Philadelphia in Essington answer the call to rebuild large hydraulic cylinders on trailers used at The Navy Yard near the Delaware River. Operations manager Craig Johnson said the trailers are used to move heavy equipment. The cylinders, two- to four-feet in length, can take upward of three days each to complete the rebuild, Craig said.
Overland and Fenton, MO: Air-conditioning hoses for older cars
A particularly hot summer in Metro St. Louis drove in a different clientele to PIRTEK locations: Owners of older cars wanting air conditioning. Dave Penning, owner of PIRTEK Overland in the St. Louis suburb Olivette said many customers requested custom hoses for the air conditioning in their older cars, and some of them who were having A/C installed and needed custom hoses. Cars included a 1964 Corvair and a 1942 Ford pickup. PIRTEK Fenton, also in the St. Louis area, reported a fair number of cars coming into the center for air-conditioning hoses as well.
Elk Grove Village (O’Hare), IL: Hydraulic loading dock at music festival venue
Lollapalooza is an annual music festival that tours North America and was in setup mode for its Chicago stop when crew members noticed the loading dock to the stage had a hydraulic leak and wasn’t functioning. The company that was setting up the temporary stages, called PIRTEK O’Hare after another repair company said it would take three days, said Bert Banaszak, branch manager. Bert and his technician, Eric Hooten, arrived at the venue in less than an hour and completed the repair in 20 minutes.
Denver (North Valley): Hydraulic hose while aboard a barge
PIRTEK North Valley owner Carl Jones chuckles as he recalls a service call that required a ride on a barge to complete. The floodgates on one of Denver’s reservoirs needed to be replaced. Attempting the task, a hydraulic hose broke on the winch that is used to access the gates 130 feet below surface. To reach the failed hose, a barge was enlisted to carry the PIRTEK truck and crew to the job site. The job was completed and everyone stayed high and dry for the most part.
PIRTEK Franchise Fascinating Service Calls – A Compilation