A live-action show on the thrill of machines and how they work. A live-action show on the thrill of machines and how they work.
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February 10, 2009
Length after length of pipe needs to be joined together to make a pipeline. Across the countryside clanks the bulldozer that carries the arc-welding generators used to weld the pieces of pipe. Sparks fly and grinders screech as the pipeline grows longer and longer. A robot X-ray machine rolls through the pipeline to check each weld.
February 9, 2009
When the pipeline needs to cross a river, the trench has to be dug under water. A curious machine called a skagit helps out. With cables and pulleys on both sides of the river, the skagit operates a weird bucket that claws mud from the bottom of the river up onto shore in a gloppy mess. Poor Dump Truck doesn't like such mucky stuff in his cargo box. Ugh!
Laying down the Pipeline
February 6, 2009
Five bulldozers all in a line lift up the pipeline, move it out over the trench and carefully lower it in. Oops. A bend in the pipeline and a bend in the trench don't quite match up.
The Grape Harvester
February 5, 2009
This tall machine uses its special fingers to shake every grape off the vine. Shake, shake, shake: the vines are picked clean and all the grapes are placed in the big bins.
February 4, 2009
Who would guess that grapevines need a haircut? Clipper does his best to trim off the leaves that shade the grapes from the sun without hurting the fruit.
At the Tomato Factory
February 3, 2009
How many tons of tomatoes are in these wagons? Enough to make a lot of ketchup! At the flushing tower, a stream of water floats the tomatoes out the exit door and into a huge water conveyor. Look at them bounce around! Along they go, over to the giant escalators where they get a thorough washing before they enter the factory to become ketchup or juice. Yum.
Bringing in the Harvest
February 2, 2009
All the tomatoes are ripe and ready for picking at the same time. The best way to pick them all at once is with a harvesting machine that slices off the entire plant, separates the leaves and stems from the tomatoes, and sends the round, red fruit into a big wagon. The tractors pulling the wagons drive alongside, and as one wagon fills to the top, the next one moves into position to catch more tomatoes.
Towing a Mighty Machine
January 30, 2009
Once Big Digger is aboard the float, Ollie makes him safe and secure by strapping him down and attaching flags to him to indicate that this is a wide load. Off they go down the road to the construction site. Big Digger is excited to be going to his very first job!
The Float Trailer
January 29, 2009
Giant tow trucks haul special float trailers loaded with heavy equipment like tractor shovels and bulldozers out to the construction sites. How do those big machines manage to climb aboard the float?
January 28, 2009
Tanker Truck has slipped off the road into a ditch. He did it just to see whether Tow-Truck-in-training knows how to get him out safely. Guess what? The rookie has a few tricks up his sleeve that surprise old Tanker.
Tow Truck Training
January 27, 2009
Tow Truck, or T.T., is happy to show us where all of his equipment is stored neatly in compartments, ready for any job he might encounter on the highway. Chains, check. Tool box, check. Some of the trucks or buses he may have to rescue are very heavy, so his tow bar and boom are strong and powerful.
Over the Mountain Pass
January 26, 2009
It takes three strong engines to pull the passenger cars up the steep slopes of the mountain. Hugging the sides of the mountain, crossing narrow bridges over cascading streams, and chugging through tunnels, the engines never fail to reach their goal. What great views!
Mountain Work Train
January 23, 2009
Here's a job for the work train: shore up the rails that have been partly washed out by snow melting off the mountains. Because the work train shares the track with the passenger trains, he has to quickly tip the gravel and dirt out of his side-loader cars and then get out of the way.
Ride the Mountain Rails
January 22, 2009
A narrow-gauge railway built in the high mountains during a gold rush still has customers today. This railway is more than one hundred years old. The engines run on diesel now, but the passenger cars are much the same as they were when the prospectors took the train instead of having to scramble up over the rocky slopes.
January 21, 2009
No school would let a classroom be left in a mess, with the equipment dirty, so at the end of the day all the machines get their cabs swept out and their tracks cleared of packed dirt. It's a good habit and ensures everything will work much better for much longer. Park in nice, neat lines and let's have a happy wave goodbye. So long!
Mighty Earth Movers
January 20, 2009
Today's lesson is how to build an earth ramp: very useful at any building site for getting heavy equipment in and out of excavations safely. It's great to be able to make a nice, steep slope with a huge mound of earth at the end, but it's even more fun to push right through and knock it all down!
Backhoes Dig a Trench
January 19, 2009
It takes lots of practice to learn how far to stretch out and how much dirt to try to move at once. Just a gentle touch on the controls makes the difference between a trench that is perfect and one that collapses. All together now: reach and scoop! Oops, missed.
Machines Go to School
January 16, 2009
Big machines need to learn how to do their jobs. Where do they do that? At school, of course! Mini-excavators, front-end loaders, backhoes, and bulldozers march out of the parking area and head for the open-air classroom where the lessons take place and the practice begins.
Empress of the North
January 15, 2009
Majestic is the word for the elegant paddlewheel that propels this old-fashioned riverboat through the waterways of Alaska. As big as a house, the wheel churns the water so quietly that the Empress doesn't frighten the whales passing nearby.
January 14, 2009
The shiny, bright red airboat skims across the Everglades driven by an airplane engine that powers a giant fan. With no parts to get tangled in the weeds, this flat-bottomed boat can go anywhere. It just needs to keep a lookout for alligators.
Hooray for Hovercraft
January 13, 2009
Captain Susan demonstrates how the hovercraft can manoeuvre in the water. Down the ramp and into the water it goes, floating on a cushion of air. It can move really fast and can even spin around in one spot. Watch out for the spray! If you get too close, you will get wet!
Go Boat Go!
January 12, 2009
Look at this strange craft sitting on the ground. It has a rubber skirt that fills with air, swelling like a balloon and lifting the craft enough to move it around. Those enormous fans at the rear propel the craft forward while the funnels on each side change its direction. What can it be? You guessed it: it's a hovercraft!
Ready for Takeoff
January 9, 2009
Jet Girl is a Challenger 605. The first model of that design had its flight test back on a cold, winter day when there was snow on the ground. The flight crew checked the plane inside and out before it took off, and then tested it to see if there were any problems during the flight.
January 8, 2009
Inside Jet Girl's cockpit, it's time to check out all the controls; they make the tail move, the flaps go up and down, and the wheels retract. Everything looks just fine. Before the cabin interior is installed, the flight test gives Jet Girl her first taste of flying. She is so excited!
Jet Meets Wings
January 7, 2009
The wings fly through the factory with the help of the overhead crane. Next comes the fuselage, to be mounted on top of the wings and carefully bolted into place. Now Jet Girl really looks like a plane, but she needs engines to go with those wings: two jet engines, please!
Building an Airplane
January 6, 2009
Jet Girl remembers how she was assembled at the factory near the airport.
The Big Press Run
October 6, 2008
Everything is ready to go for Charlie the printing press as he gears up to print 650,000 copies of the weekend edition. The plates are on the rollers, the paper is humming along through at top speed, and the robot squad keeps Charlie supplied with new rolls of paper.
The Plate-Making Machine
October 3, 2008
The crew of plate-making machines put all the words and pictures onto thin metal plates that go onto the drums of printing press. Each page of the newspaper gets its own set of plates.
Rolls and Robots
October 2, 2008
A team of robots is at the ready to help collect the vast rolls of paper from the delivery trucks, organize them in the storage area and bring them to the printing press whenever he runs low on paper. The robots are happiest when they have instructions to follow.
Hot off the Press!
October 1, 2008
Four storeys high and almost as long as a city block, Charlie the printing press is simply huge! But don?t worry, he's a gentle giant and full of interesting stories - after all, he's printing the newspaper.
Meet the Car Shredder
September 28, 2008
Inside Shredder's control booth, his operator monitors to make sure everything is fine with the conveyors and grinders.The metal gets separated by a big magnet from the plastics and foam and wires.
Joining the Fleet
September 24, 2008
TGhe brand-new Coastal Renaissance greets his first cars and trucks on board for the maiden voyage.
The Queen of Capilano
September 23, 2008
A small and jolly member of the ferry fleet, the Queen of Capilano zips to and fro on a short run to a nearby island bringing kids to school, people to work, and fresh supplies from the mainland.
Loading up the Ferry Boat
September 22, 2008
Spirit of Vancouver Island explains how the control tower keeps a watchful eye on everything and regulates the loading so the ferry boat stays balanced and safe.
Metal Shredder Plan
September 21, 2008
What,s going on here? All this junk metal is going to be shredded up into pieces and recycled into new metal things. Mighty grapples and loaders pick through the endless piles of scrap metal and old cars, and feed it onto a conveyor belt that brings it to Shredder,the biggest machine on the scene.
Aboard the Spirit of Vancouver Island
September 19, 2008
As he carries buses, trucks, cars and people back and forth from Vancouver Island to the mainland, Spirit jokes with the impatient trucks. He passes other members of the ferry fleet as they service other islands. He shows off his bridge and engine room very proudly.
September 18, 2008
Bucket Crane and Ladle Crane are the heroes of the steel mill. They run along the rails in the steel-making mill and use their strong cables and giant hooks to hoist the scrap bucket and the ladle filled with the molten iron. Up they go and over to the furnace, where each in turn is tipped into the red-hot furnace. Now we make the steel! White-hot and ready to go to the caster where the steel is moulded into slabs.
September 17, 2008
Electro collects different types of scrap metal to be added to the recipe to make steel. Metal from old cars or stoves or trimmings from a sheet metal factory are dropped into a huge scrap bucket. When the scrap bucket is full, it operates by remote control and runs into the steel mill, to be hoisted up and emptied into the steel-making furnace.
The Blast Furnace
September 16, 2008
Iron ore pellets are delivered by ship and fed by conveyor into the blast furnace. Limestone and coke are added to make a good mixture and molten iron pours out of the furnace into tube-shaped railway cars with a round opening on top. These torpedo cars are slowly moved over to the steel-making mill, where more ingredients are added to the recipe.
Coal and Coke
September 15, 2008
Pusher is a warm hearted machine with a hot job. He operates the tall doors to the coke ovens where the coal is cooked so it will burn hotter in the blast furnace. Quencher, the rail car, carries the still burning coke ato the quenching tower where water puts out the fire and cools the coke, making nice clouds of steam.
The Car Crusher
September 14, 2008
Big Mouth can't wait to get cars into his giant jaws so he can squeeze them and crush them flat. Forks stuffs the old cars into Big Mouth, gives them a couple of pokes to make them fit and then stands back while the crushing begins. One, two, three, four. Four cars squashed flat as a pancake perfect for loading onto the transport truck which hauls them to the scrap yard.
At the Steel Mill
September 12, 2008
Slab Hauler shows us how he can use his strong pincers to pick up slabs of hot steel and transport them to the slab yards and into the rolling mills. He introduces us to Dozer, who grooms the hills of crushed coal, and Scraper, who transports the coal to the coke ovens.
September 11, 2008
Gipsy Lady hovers in the air like an enormous dragonfly as workers on the roof guide a huge object into the right spot.
September 10, 2008
When the job calls for lifting big and heavy objects onto an area where a regular crane can't reach, an air crane - a Sikorsky helicopter named Gipsy Lady - does the job.
A Tall Reach
September 9, 2008
Once the counterweights are in place, the gantry section and the luffing jib are all assembled, and Stretch begins to extend his boom extensions. Now it's time for the big lift.
Build a Mighty Crane
September 8, 2008
Stretch is a mobile crane that is so big he needs another crane - Little Brother - to assemble him at each new work site.
September 7, 2008
Forks the front-end loader is kept busy unloading junked cars that arrive by tow truck and whisking them off to his pal Big Mouth.
The King of Hide and Seek
September 5, 2008
The Navy submarine Corner Brook gives us a tour while he is in port for a little maintenance work. Corner Brook never wants anyone to know he is there, and his entire outer hull is covered with special tiles that make him very silent.
Sunken Treasure Hunt
September 4, 2008
Newt is used to working in cold, dark and often murky water. He gives up on the lights and uses his sonar to find what the boss lost off the boat.
Meet a Minisub
September 3, 2008
Newt is a one-man submersible, a submarine that works in deep water doing everything from checking oil rigs for underwater damage to recovering the booster rockets from the Space Shuttle, to conducting fish surveys.
Visit the Reef
September 2, 2008
Atlantis tells why he loves to dive down into the sea to view the wonders of the coral reef.
Under the Waves
September 1, 2008
Atlantis is a submarine taking people on a trip under the sea in the beautiful Caribbean. Atlas and Tender are his pals with their jobs to do. Tender brings the people from the dock out to the sub and Atlas secures the sub while he is on the surface and the visitors are boarding.