Storms, Stress, and Surprises: Why Nebraska Isn’t So Boring After All

People say that Nebraska is boring. It’s a fair assessment if you’ve only experienced the straight, flat, corn-bordered interstate stretching interminably between you and a more desirable destination. But I will say this in defense of my home state: there is nothing monotonous about springtime weather on the plains.

Even lifelong residents (like me) are surprised every time a storm materializes out of the clear blue sky. At best, it’s a bit of a thrill; at worst, it’s a devastating tornado. Most of the time, it’s just a nuisance, particularly if you run a blasting & coating operation.

A couple weeks ago, on a sunny day with a perfect forecast, we received a large delivery of gates and panels totaling around 1,000 LF. These parts were to be pretreated and powder coated only (no blasting), which meant they needed to be kept clean and dry until they were coated.

The customer had asked permission to deliver them early, as storage was an issue. No problem – I always appreciate thoughtful planning & communication. I told them we could store the parts until it was their turn to be coated.

As the last gate was being unloaded, the clouds came rolling in.

A stressful game of Tetris ensued.

The blast booth, paint booth, and shop floor were already full of 30’ steel beams, spread out on large carts. It looked like a dense forest of steel in there. Some beams were freshly blasted, others were still wet with brand new liquid primer – either way, the majority of them had to stay indoors. 

Frantically checking the data sheets, Chauncey was able to find a few carts that were cured enough to withstand moisture. He moved those outdoors and brought the gates in just as the first drops began to fall.

Because this time-sensitive logistical nightmare unfolded during business hours, the radios were still buzzing with customer pickups, dropoffs, and requests for help unloading. Time doesn’t stand still just because there’s a storm.

I share this story for two reasons. 

  1. If you’re dropping off for powder coating only (no blasting), your part MUST stay dry. For best results, transport on sunny days only.
  2. If you’re picking up a blasted part (no coating), consider waiting for a sunny day. We’ll keep your part safe and dry in the meantime.

And as always, please be patient with your coating providers this storm season. Weather can really throw a wrench in our logistics.

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