Week 1 Continued…After Much Discussion

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Well, after many, many measurements, evaluations, and discussions with the original trailer company and new trailer companies, it was decided that the trailer originally purchased by R&R Rigs to create the Boiler/Grilling Trailer for the Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill would not have the structural integrity that Rick was looking for in a trailer.  After visiting a trailer company last Friday night, Rick decided to swap out the original trailer for a new trailer that did not have the roll bar around the sides of the entire trailer.  Because of the Boiler/Grilling Trailer’s design, Rick would have had to cut the roll bar in several places, and he was concerned that doing this would weaken the structure and balance of the trailer.

In searching for a 20′ trailer that did not have the roll bar design, Rick was pleasantly surprised to find the product he was looking for, for the same price, but that far exceeded the original trailer in quality and durability.  Not only would the new trailer have a similar design as the first Disaster Relief Boiling Rigs that were built by R&R Construction Service, BUT the new trailer is also 10 times the original trailer because it has a stronger steel structural frame, 6, 10-ply heavy duty trailer tires with sidewalls, and 2 rear outriggers.

The new trailer was delivered to the R&R Rigs’ warehouse on Monday, and Rick and his welder immediately went to work cutting the steel pieces that would be welded to create the steel structural trusses for the roof of the trailer.  This steel frame also will support the 2, 24′ I-beams that will be used to support the electrical hoists.  The electrical hoists will be able to transport the boiling pots’ food baskets up and down the cooking line, delivering food to the drop table at the rear of the trailer.  On the side of the Boiler/Grilling Trailer that has the 2 grills and smoker, the electrical hoist on that side will transport a custom-made meat rack.  The meat rack will contain aluminum sheets that can be pulled out to dump the meat on the drop table.  In addition to the meat rack and cooking baskets, the electrical hoists will also be used to lift the propane tanks off of the front of the trailer so that they can be refilled.  So, the steel frame and I-beam configuration is basically the framework that will support the weight of the trailer operations.

On Tuesday, the structural trusses were put together “on the floor” to make sure that all of the parts of the trusses go together and are perfectly straight and level.  Then, today, Rick started erecting the trusses on the Boiler/Grilling Trailer itself.  The erection of the trusses also is a very exact procedure in that they must be absolutely level with the trailer and with each other.  Tomorrow (Thursday), R&R Rigs will erect the rest of the structural trusses, weld the 2, 24′ I-Beams to the steel frame, and install the galvanized metal roofing panels.  This Boiler/Grilling Rig will be ready to be painted with heat resistant paint by Friday.  Stay tuned to see the completed steel structural frame and roof of our trailer.

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On the Job, Week 1

So We Begin!

Starting a large boiler/grilling trailer is always a challenging task because the first 2 weeks of the project consist of an all-out shopping spree for materials for the trailer.  Because it is such a large-scale cooking trailer, the materials for the project are also extremely massive.  The first thing that you buy is your actual trailer.  R&R Rigs starts out with just a heavy-duty, 20′ trailer with up to 6500 pound axles, which is very important because this trailer is going to be sporting a heavy load of metal on top, and that trailer needs to support that weight.  We picked up our trailer on Wednesday after July 4th, and hauled it out to the shop.

The first action taken on the custom cooking trailer is cutting and welding the steel frame that will support the roof and the I-Beams.  Custom steel trusses for the roof are meticulously designed and leveled to ensure that the placement of the roof will be perfectly balanced for the trailer in transit.  R&R Rigs uses only the strongest, most durable steel material for both the framework and the I-Beams.  The I-Beams themselves are capable of holding up to 1 ton of weight. The I-Beams are attached to the custom metal roof trusses, giving the trailer even more durability.  The roof of the trailer is built high enough so that the heat from the boiling pots, the grill, and the smoker will rise enough to keep the cooks relatively cool (depending on the weather at the Gulf of Mexico, of course) and also protect anyone who works boiling or grilling food on the trailer fairly dry from the elements.

After the framework, roof, and I-beams are installed, then the entire trailer is painted with a heat resistant paint.  The heat resistant paint is designed to withstand temperatures of up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.  The top of the roof is not painted, but the underside of the roof is painted to help handle the heat and to make it so that the roof will not rust underneath.

Because every trailer has a different configuration of styles – this 20′ trailer has a roll bar that goes around the entire trailer bed – exact measurements must be made and then checked multiple times in order to place the aluminum and aluminum diamond plate order.  The placement of the boiling pots, the grills, & smoker will be worked in around the two entryways at the front and rear of the trailer, so it is very important for balance and load that these units are placed strategically, also considering the tongue weight of the trailer.

Building a custom cooking trailer is all about precise measurements, accurate cuts, and clean welding as all of the metal pieces are fitted together.  R&R Rigs excels at making sure that the finished product is a cohesive piece of machinery that will last for many years.  Keep checking back to view our progress as we finish up Week 1.

How and Where The Trailer Business All Began

The Inception of R&R Rigs

Beaumont, TX, was the site of the emergency relief site that was set up to help out local residents and workers that had been devastated by Hurricane Ike.  Rick Daniels joined the catering company LA Grill in assisting with the set up, take down, and running of the cooking site at their location in the middle of a Bingo hall parking lot.  With no water, electricity, propane, or gas, Rick was the project manager in charge of material acquisition, site maintenance and clean-up, and equipment maintenance.  Rick was also in charge of keeping the site’s busy crew performing tasks throughout the day that would provide clean cooking pots and pans, enough propane for the burners, and enough gas in the generators to cook up to 10,000 meals a day at lunch and dinner.

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This cooking/catering operation utilized a large cooking trailer and many portable pots for cooking hot meals.  The food arrived on refrigerated semi’s that parked around the cooking site and kept the food cold until it was ready to be served.  Food was packaged in bags, and the bags were placed in boiling pots and then boiled until they reached the right temperature to be served.  Then the bagged food was transported via an electric hoist to the end of the cooking line and dumped out on a drop table.  The food was then put into cambros to keep the food hot until it could be served to local residents and disaster relief workers in clam shells (styrofoam containers).

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While running the site, maintenancing the equipment, acquiring propane, gasoline, and other materials for the cooking/catering site, Rick had his eye on the cooking trailer that was used to boil the bagged food.  Because he is always looking to improve systems and structures to make them more efficient and durable, he came back from Beaumont, TX, with an idea for a cooking trailer that would cook more food, cook the food faster, and be made out of trailer material that would be more durable.  He got his chance to “build his theory” when he was contracted by an international company to build his boiling unit.

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The first unit he built had 4 large boiling pots and a smaller boiling pot that could be used to boil rice.  The boiling pots had the capability to cook 100 cases of food an hour, easily cooking food for up to 10,000 people a day.  The boiling pot system was specially designed with a double-walled pot system to bring the water to a boil quickly and then hold that temperature throughout the cooking process, efficiently using the 2, 100-gallon propane tanks so that they did not have to be refilled as often.  Rick installed 2 electric hoists on the trailer so that both cooking lines could cook and deliver food at the same time.  The most important aspect of this trailer is that it can “stand alone” at the emergency relief site with an onboard generator, an onboard water tank with a water pump, sink, and reservoir tank, an onboard gasoline tank, 2, 100-gallon propane tanks, and an electrical system that can either work off of the generator or work off of shore power (once the electricity is restored).  So, this trailer would be able to go into a totally devastated area (like Beaumont, TX, after Hurricane Ike), set up with water, electricity, gas, and propane, and cook food for people until destroyed utilities could be restored.

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Upon completion of Rick Daniels’ invention of a disaster relief boiling trailer, the goal became to design and build custom cooking trailers as well as offer repair and maintenance services for existing cooking trailers.  He accomplished that goal by restoring, maintenancing, and cleaning 3 cooking trailers and 2 smokers after his return from Beaumont, TX.  Rick also completely renovated a 28′ mobile kitchen for the same international company for which he built his first Disaster Relief Boiling Unit.  Rick Daniels with R&R Construction Services’ sister company – R&R Rigs – is now in the process of building another disaster relief cooking trailer for North America’s largest environmental services company.  This company is handling parts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill clean-up and waste disposal and will be using the cooking trailer to feed approximately 2,500 employees.  Stay tuned to this blog to follow the construction of R&R Construction Services’ newest cooking/catering trailer project.

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