Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Pallet Smasher, an invention that will set the ice distribution industry on fire.

pallet smasher of Columbia Ice
Every couple of days a semi backs up a big refrigeration trailer, affectionately called a reefer, to the back of our main ice plant in Acheson.  Ernie hops on the forklift, Andy or one of our other summer workers on the pallet jack and together they start putting big pallets of ice on the reefer.  Usually they load between 18 and 24 pallets of ice at a time.  No big deal, easy breazy cover girl, except for the last two pallets which often need a little smash mouth encouragement to get all the way in the reefer so the doors can be closed.  In the past before the Iceman had his moment of genius, Ernie would use a regular old pallet which would work...sometimes, unless the pallet wasn't strong enough to push a pallet with ~2 tons of ice on it, and the pallet in front of it forward a few inches.  In that case the pallet would break, we would have to search for wood to make a brace, a time consuming activity while the cranky driver waited for us to finish loading the pallets of ice.

One day while watching such events unfold, the Iceman of Columbia Ice, me, had an epiphany.  For a first time ever a light went on inside my big round frostbitten melon.  Why not take one of the stronger pallets, get some wood, screws, nails and make one big, tough, man-sized pallet?  Then when Ernie needed to move the pallets of ice a few inches forward, all he would have to do is put the pallet on the forklift and go smash.  Smash is a little bit of an exaggeration but you get the drift.  More of a thud and then a scrapping sound as the two pallets of ice slide forward a few inches.  Not only will the Pallet Smasher save us time, it will also cut down on broken pallets which really isn't a problem but could be a problem if someone started smashing pallets.

The next question is how to patent the Ice Smasher since after this article there is bound to be a big demand.  There are numerous businesses that need to smash the last two pallets on the back of a truck.  It could be worth millions if I can get it patented before someone in China knocks it off.

Ernie is the owner and I am the Iceman.  Together, along with summer help we are Columbia Ice, Edmonton's ice company.

The Iceman
Call for ice: 780-960-7161
Follow: @ernieiceman
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