Week 1: Let’s get straight to business

By , February 5, 2014
Manny Esteves


Well I certainly hit the ground running and I wouldn’t have it any other way. As soon as I got into the shop and met the team, there was no time to waste. We had orders heading out in all directions, south to Tampa, north to New York, west to Minnesota, and east to Holland all in one week. And those were just part orders for repairs and maintenance. Dan started me off with working on the guide wheels for Viper, our newest coaster that is heading out to China. This is one of Great Coaster’s biggest projects yet as it currently stands to be China’s tallest, fastest and longest wooden coaster so we’ve certainly got our work cut out for us if we want this finished by 2015 and you can take a look at how great it’s going to be here! One of the things I’m really taking advantage of is the opportunity to see everything down to its smallest component and learn its purpose in the grand scheme of the entire structure. That’s what engineering is sort of about, knowing how things work down to the smallest detail so it can be fixed, improved, replaced.

Another thing that’s great are the guys I’m working with. They answer every single question I throw at them and are eager to answer more. I’m just trying to listen and retain as much as I can. While the guys are more than willing to tell me and show me how things work around the shop, they’d much rather let me see it for myself. One day some guide steel needed to be bent for Gwazi in Busch Gardens that and Bill pulled me away from the wheels since he figured I’d want to see this. Once they bent a couple of pieces Steve asked if I wanted to give it a shot. It was so cool to be able to see it up close and be able to control how the track bends.

Thankfully I’ve got Dan checking over my work as I made some rookie mistakes with the guide wheels. But hey, I’m learning. Week 1 is in the books and if the rest of my time here has half as much stuff to do, then I’ve got a lot to learn.

Lesson 2: Try to retain as much of the information of what you’re working with. It’ll all come together to make something amazing when it’s time

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