Mighty Machines

A live-action show on the thrill of machines and how they work.

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  • Pipeline Welders
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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.

  • River Diggers
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    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
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    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
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    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.

  • Grapevine Clipper
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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?

  • Tanker Tip-up
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    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.