Elevator Man Stories

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Come on well we all have a story

I know you all have a story or two about working on elevators and escalators. After 40 years in the business i thought I’ve heard them all. Please send your stories to me at elevatorinfo@att.net   I’ll post them on my blog, might even include them  in a new book “Elevator Man Stories II”

We have had three fatalities in our trade in the last couple of months, please work safe you guys. For the retirees laying on the couch eating Double Stuffed Oreos and watching the Discovery Channel please think about our members still out there giving an honest 8 for 8 all the while risking their lives and putting up with the “Eye in the Sky” and all manor of Corporate BS.

Work Safe My Brothers,

Jim Collett


December 3, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mongrel Elevator Controllers

I’m looking for any and all information for the controllers in the picks. This junk is alive but not well on the East Coast. The first two pics are one controller and the second is another.



December 2, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“A Day In THe Life”

While running Construction and Repair the hits would just keep on coming. The good thing was, I had the best bunch of guys that could handle everything and anything We had installed a four-stop duplex over in Bellevue. These were fast, high-capacity hydros, with big jacks with huge tanks. The building was a first-class place. The beautiful lobby had a giant Turkish carpet set in a perimeter surrounded by terrazzo. The machine room was at the same level. The first disaster, the machine room got so hot the fire sprinkler went off. Normally not a big deal but in this case it was a really big deal. First problem, the sprinkler was directly over the tank. That wouldn’t have normally caused concern. Second problem, the last genius on the job left the tank lid off. The tank flooded and 75 gallons of a water-oil mixture flowed out of the tank. Well, it had to go somewhere. It did, it flooded the first floor. The good thing was that there wasn’t the whole 75 gallons to clean. The drywall took care of that. Every space that was dry walled on the first floor had a brown stain half way up from the floor.  The expensive carpet looked like a skating rink.


We are on the hook to replace all the drywall and save the Turkish carpet. We had had some major oil spills in the past and I used a carpet company named, believe it or not, “The Fuzzy Wuzzy Rug Company.” They were on the ball and had removed and cleaned the carpet in a few days. The work is progressing with the carpet replaced and the sheet rockers doing their part.


US, in their infinite wisdom, had come up with a little gadget that was supposed to act as a recovery system. Problem was the outlet line in the machine was installed below the oil level. It was piped into the manifold by the factory. It recovered all right and siphoned the oil out of the tanks into the already-flooded pits, out onto the lobby where our (by now we owned it) newly cleaned carpet resided. Call “Fuzzy Wuzzy” again. They removed, cleaned and reinstalled the carpet. They had a tough time due to the fact that the carpet was starting to shrink.


We did it! Everything was getting back to normal. The recovery system was trashed and all we needed to do was get the oil out of the pits. I sent a crew over with a pump, empty drums and a truck full of Drysit. They got started and were well into the job and then the hose blew off the pump. These guys are busy in the pit and by the time they knew something was amiss, twenty gallons of oil was sprayed all over our carpet. “Call Fuzzy Wuzzy” for the third time. They cleaned it, but it was several inches smaller than it used to be. This time the rug didn’t make it. Oh well …


We were self-insured at the time and were going to be out big bucks when a miracle happened. I sent one of the young Adjusters to tune up the elevators and he happened to look at the sprinkler heads. “The sprinkler contractor had installed the wrong fuses.” Way too low of a temperature for an elevator machine room. These fuses belonged out on the patio. At least US didn’t have to cough it all up for the new drywall and our beloved carpet.


September 18, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment