I attended my first-ever NASCAR event last Friday at the Texas Motor Speedway – the NASCAR Camping World Truck Winstar World Casino and Resort 350. We were there to watch Texas811 sponsored driver Mason Mingus put the pedal to the metal in his Silverado #15 truck emblazoned with the Texas811 logo. As the start flag dropped and the trucks began jockeying for position, it was at once exhilarating and a bit scary, thinking of Mason strapped into his steel cage cockpit and flying around at speeds normally only seen in school zones. (just kidding!)
It was fascinating to watch the pit stops and the well-choreographed movements of the pit crew to get a car in and out in just seconds, gassed up, tires changed and minor adjustments made. The winner of the race ended up being Erik Jones, who led 117 of the 147 laps and had the top speed in series history at Texas Motor Speedway at 158.002 miles per hour.
158 miles per hour! That works out to just over 231 feet per second. A football field is 360 feet in length, including the two ten yard end zones. Now add in the fact that there are nearly two dozen other vehicles out there on the track, also traveling at a pretty good clip. You can begin to see that there is no margin for error on a NASCAR track.
The same holds true for digging in Texas. The pipes and buried lines aren’t moving at 158 miles per hour, but there are sure a lot of them – and you don’t know where they are unless you call 811 first to have them located.
The risks taken by Mason Mingus and other NASCAR drivers are finely calculated, yet there is always that edge of the unknown – a tire blowout, a mechanical failure, driver error.
As an excavator, you can minimize your risk, too, but only if you call 811 BEFORE you dig – and once you begin your dig after lines are marked, observe the non-mechanized equipment tolerance zones on either side of the line and hand dig carefully near the buried items.
NASCAR drivers observe strict safety rules – and so should you!
Until next week, safe digging!