FTLComm - Winnipeg
July 8, 1999

Big machines are a clear indication of the never ending quest by humans to extend their toolmaking capacity. The nature and work of these machines is sometimes really at the limit of my understanding. Often when I see one of these things I realise just how it was made. Most things start with a simple problem and an engineer sets to work designing a solution. That solution gets modified, then re-modififed and finally a production version evolves which goes into service and is almost always upgraded to the point that the original

function may seem like only a dim memory.

This contraption is designed to strip off the upper surface of a road. That concept alone makes me wonder why, but we leave that for the moment and have a look at the how part. Moving on tracks along the street this unit has an elaborate grinding system that chews into the streets surface then conducts it up a conveyor belt to a waiting truck that works its way along in front of the "streeteater".

Now if you are into street destruction this seems like just the thing for you. It will satisfy accountants and bankers as it looks formidable and unless you have streets you want to destroy, it is pretty useless.