News | June 26, 2017

Scrap handler hits the road for Camp Kinser

By Tim Hoyle Disposition Services

The scrap operations personnel at the DLA Disposition Services site at Okinawa, Japan, have some new help thanks to a late night road trip from Naha.

Arriving at the military port in Naha around 2 a.m., Logistics Chief Rocky Chavana and his colleagues went to work to safely transport a very large scrap handler from the port to Camp Kinser. Chavana said the movement did require some detailed coordination that began with a ground transportation request through the Marine Corps Base road master that also had to be approved by the Japanese for transport on public roadways. He noted the item was too tall to transport on a trailer so it had to be driven on Okinawa’s Route 58 with lead and follow on escort vehicles.

“The drive was quite challenging as the item does not have a steering wheel, but rather joysticks with a slide lever to steer the turning wheels,” Chavana said. “My driver practiced on the machine numerous times before we attempted to make the drive.”

Chavana said the drive took approximately 1.5 hours to travel the required 10 kilometers. He noted that the unit itself is not designed to travel at a high rate of speed, and the 12-foot height of the boom required a close watch to ensure it would safely clear overpasses and street signs.

“The route of travel was mapped out and taken very slowly so that no damage occurred to the machine, pedestrian vehicles or overpasses in transit,” Chavana explained. “The movement occurred during the hours of 2 to 3 a.m. so that traffic patterns would be minimal and obstruction to pedestrians were minimized.

Besides getting a big hand with the scrap at Camp Kinser, the staff can also enjoy the nice radio system and the air conditioning in their new rig.