My good friend Jeff Mann, the true Yard Ramp Guy, has asked me to revisit some of my original contributions. And so: my From the Archives series. Back again to ramps, one of my favorite inventions...
I never really watched much science fiction as a kid, but my boys loved it. Dragged me to all those Star Wars movies, always had Star Trek and all those other space shows on the TV. I can't say as I'm a huge fan now, but I can definitely see the appeal. (Except for robots. We've already lost enough jobs to them; manufacturing lines hardly even need people anymore.)
Something always bothered me about a lot of those movies, though, and I only recently figured out what.
In Star Wars, when they want to travel between ships they climb the ramp into a shuttle, raise the ramp, fly over, lower the ramp. When they're delivering cargo, same thing. It makes sense.
In Star Trek, though, they have teleporters, and they use them all the time. I don't know if that stuff is possible, but it just nagged at me until I realized: they're basically like lifts.
When you're loading or unloading something, a ramp is almost always going to be cheaper, easier, and faster. Not always by much, but it will be. Less upkeep, too. I don't know how much power teleporters use, but I feel like it can't be cheap to run one. Plus, the teleporters come out in those nice, carpeted rooms. They can't possibly load all their stuff from there. There'd be marks all over the carpet.
Since they have imitation gravity on those things, why don't they just lower the gravity there and push them up ramps like they're full of feathers? Heck, you'll be saving on power this way.
I know I'm being nitpicky here, but it kinda feels like the writers on the show assumed that technology would get rid of the need for logistics. You're always going to need to load and unload things, no matter how many years in the future you are and, if you ask me, teleporters aren't going to replace ramps anytime soon.
The Yard Ramp Guy®: New Forklift Ramp Q&A
This week, my friend The Yard Ramp Guy answers three essential questions that I'm predicting will have you seeking a new forklift ramp from him in record time.
Click HERE to read all about it.