Elevator Installation Difficult on Uncle Sam

If you think elevators are needed in a two story building, then you will definitely see the need for them in a floating city. The USS Gerald R. Ford is a 12.9 billion dollar, 25 deck, 250 foot from keel to mainmast aircraft carrier with contingent of 6000+ sailors and aircrew; literally making it a floating city. It is one of the biggest and costliest warship ever built. This massive behemoth even has 11 elevators for moving ammo up and down. But there is one big problem.

170408-N-WZ792-198 NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (April 8, 2017) The future USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) underway on its own power for the first time. The first-of-class ship — the first new U.S. aircraft carrier design in 40 years — will spend several days conducting builder’s sea trials, a comprehensive test of many of the ship’s key systems and technologies. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ridge Leoni/Released)
Nine of the eleven elevators don’t work! Some are not even installed. Talk about dead in the water.

During its shakedown phase (not to be confused with a Shakedown Cruise, the song ruined that phrase forever) even this cutting edge war machine was having some fits and starts.

At first, the hope was to complete elevator installation and testing of all 11 before the Ford was delivered with at least half of the elevators certified for operation. Instead, according to Bloomberg News,

“‘[T]he vessel won’t have all the elevators installed — much less functioning’ According to Luria, a 20-year Navy surface warfare officer whose served on two aircraft carriers and as shore maintenance coordinator for a third. ‘Essentially, the ship can’t deploy,’ Luria said. ‘It can’t carry ammunition.’ She said went on to say that the elevators don’t meet code.“

If only the Navy knew about modular elevators they wouldn’t be left high and dry! Typically, our elevators are manufactured in eight weeks once the drawings are approved and they install in one week. Of course we don’t really have our sea legs and the capacity is probably well outside of our capabilities. Ammo is extremely heavy. But, we are as patriotic as the next company so we would be willing to come aboard and give it a try.

All kidding aside the real point is that elevators are complex pieces of equipment and unless you are putting one in a nuclear aircraft carrier it is usually the largest moving object in a building. So we have real empathy for the folks in the Navy and salute their efforts for our country! And when you need an elevator that installs in a week (not in an aircraft carrier), consult our team of experts we won’t steer you wrong.

But, here is one last suggestion. We know it is bad luck to rename a ship once christened but maybe the Navy should consider renaming this one Edsel instead of Ford.

Click here for the whole Bloomberg Article.

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