The Product Has To Be Made Before You Can Purchase It

by Rhonda
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Most of us who shop do not give it any thought as to how that product got on the shelf. All we expect is to see the shelves full when we spend our money on the needed items. Food, clothing, tools, anything you want to buy, came in on a truck. It takes a lot of trucks to keep America going and those shelves full.

Take your pop for one example. Some one has to make the cans/bottles and take it to the pop factory so the pop can be put in the container. Sheets of thin metal are on flatbeds and the van trailers who deliver to the can factory where that metal turns into the product you are familar with. When made it is put on pallets and then put in a trailer to be taken to the pop maker (and others who use cans for their products—like our canned fruit and veggies.

I went to several Pepsi plants to deliver cans/bottles and it sure was interesting. On one visit, I gave 20 oz clear bottles, 22 pallets in a trailer stacked floor to ceiling. 77,682 bottles. At this plant they put the labels on here. I arrived at 4pm and backed into the dock. I went inside and stood by the door and watched the forklift driver take the stack of bottles on the pallets, still wrapped in their plastic and put them on the conver belt—about 3 stacks. Each stack is 8 to 11 layers high depending on the size of the bottles. The stack then moves into a enclosed "closet" and each layer rises to the top for the bottle conveyor belt. The board separating the layers is removed to the left and the bottles go single file to the right and thru curves and hills. A burst of water is put into them and then the bottles do a upside down and go downhill to drain and then go back up and upright to the pop filler. From there the pop goes to the package area. On another visit to this same location, I was the last truck in of 7 or 150 pallets to make a batch of Mountain Dew that night.

When I arrived at the 7-UP plant, a worker asked me if I was the driver late with the flats as they are making 10,000 7-UP and the truck is 6 hours late and they need the flats ASAP. I stood in the recieving area to watch what was being made today. To my right and thru a garage door opening, I watched the right top conveyer belt doing 16 oz 7-UP in packages going to the north or my left as they left the machine at my end.

To the left of this is another machine that had RC with orange lids in packages and they were on a conveyer belt under the 7-UP's whizzing by. I walked the few feet to that opening to see to the left. Was another machine that did cans and today was Sunkist Orange already in its carton and moving along the belt to the trucks and storage area. At the other end of the building, the forklifts were taking the product to storage and to the trailers.

When you carry a pop load it needs to be loaded to the right of the trailer and then that leaves a small gap to the left side wall. This prevents shifting as the road does slant to the right. If done the other way, your load will shift, pallets will fall off and if the pop breaks, you have a mess and the load may not be accepted. You will have to clean it up or take it back. During cold tempertures you leave your truck running to keep the product from freezing. The running engine keeps enough movement in the trailer so the product will not freeze.

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