This is the first episode of our weekly vlog series, which will showcase some of the more interesting things we get into on a daily basis. The goal of these vlogs is to showcase our deliveries, installations, cooking classes, customer interaction and experiences plus more.
In this weeks Wood Fired Vlog we had a double header pizza oven delivery in the Sacramento area, I had 2 clients up there who both needed an oven around the same time and I was able to make it work for the same day. When possible, I will try to utilize the same installation company for both deliveries, but I was not able to do that with this one. Gabriel’s installation was going to take a crane to get it into his backyard, and John did not have access for a crane so we had to utilize a all-terrain style 12k forklift. If you are interested in why we use on installation method over another, make sure to check out our last blog post on How To Install A 3,000 lb. Pizza Oven.
For the first installation at Gabriel’s I called our friends at Summit Crane out of Vacaville and Kurt was able to confirm via Google Earth that he could do the installation. The second installation at John’s was a lot trickier; the crane could not get close enough to be able to lift the oven in place. When this happens, we usually need to go with the all-terrain which has a boom on it similar to a crane, but can get in close since it is not as big. Sometimes you can find a crane company that has these rigs and can provide an operator, but I was not able to find anyone in the Sacramento area that did. I called Sun Belt rentals, who did have the all-terrain, and asked them if they knew anyone who could operate. They referred me to an independent contractor named Tommy who went to the site and said he could do the job. There was definitely some hesitation as independent contractors rarely come with the certification and insurance that a crane operator/company has, but Tommy was highly recommended and I could tell during our conversation on the phone that he knew what he was doing.
With both installations figured out, we selected a date that worked for everybody and scheduled it. I woke up that morning to the worst windstorm that Northern California had experienced in 2 years. We were experiencing 40 mile per hour gusts and 20 mph sustained winds at our shop and the conditions were even worse in Sacramento. I got on the phone with Kurt from Summit Crane who was understandably concerned, and he flat out said that it was too windy for the crane at Gabriels. We looked at forecasting and it said that the winds were tampering off as the day went on. It was 7 AM, and the first install was scheduled for 10 AM. I asked Kurt if we could put the install off to 12 PM in hopes that the wind will die down, he said he would send his operator out there but we were on the hook for the charges if he got there and we couldn’t find a break in the wind. The case I had against rescheduling at this point was I knew it would be incredibly difficult to find another date that worked for both home owners, Sunbelt rentals, the operator Tommy and Summit Crane. I decided that we would take the chance I go ahead as scheduled.
We got to Gabriels at 10 AM, and our operator arrived with his crane around the same time. The winds were not bad, but not good, and things went downhill from there. We tried to set the crane up on the driveway, but soon found out that once the outriggers on the crane went out, we would most likely crack the driveway. This forced us to set up on the street, which in turned completely blocked traffic. While setting up, the jig on the crane had issues, causing a delay. In all, it took about 4 hours for this installation from start to finish, normally it is more like 1.5 hours. There were some upset neighbors, sheriff showed up, but we eventually got the oven in there and headed off for installation number 2 at Johns.
Tommy had not been available for Johns installation until 4 PM this day. I remember being fairly annoyed by this, as the original schedule had us starting install number 1 at 10 AM, and finishing around 11:30 AM. The 4 PM install at John’s ended up saving us, as that was exactly the time we arrived after leaving from Gabriels and heading straight there. Tommy was a pro, I was impressed by his ability to operate the 12k with the oven and get it in with no issues whatsoever. Unlike install number 1, number 2 went exactly as planned and we placed the oven right as the sun set.
Our first vlog episode ended up being pretty dramatic, and although a lot went wrong, the ovens got to their destinations safely and both clients were happy. Looking ahead we have a handful of other installations coming up before we get slammed with a week of rain, these will probably make up the next couple episodes before we shift to taking you behind the scenes of our manufacturing process, along with some awesome cooking videos with our favorite chefs.