EXAIR & Tough Mudder Ohio 2015

Several months ago, maybe even last year, a group of EXAIR employees started joking and talking about trying to get a team together to do the Tough Mudder in 2015.  After several months of joking, things got serious and 4 of us signed up to do the event at Mid Ohio Sports Car Course.   You may have seen a few of my blogs that involve Mid Ohio but they normally also involve a motorcycle.    The event was held on Saturday, May 9th, and was my first official “race” at Mid Ohio.   Prior to a few months ago, if you asked if I would ever “run” (I use the term run very loosely here.) a 10 mile race, I would have laughed in your face and said no way.   Let alone a 10 mile race with a whole slew of obstacles. Never underestimate the power of co-worker’s friendly chastising aimed at one’s toughness…

This was after the first wall during the pre race pump up speech / comedy show.
This was after the first wall during the pre race pump up speech / comedy show.

For the team, an Application Engineer (me), our CFO, and two from Shipping & Receiving.  As soon as we hit the first obstacle, which was a 6′ wall you had to clear in order to get to the starting line, our EXAIR mind-set kicked in.   There was no discussions on who would go first, who is going to take what position, or who is going to be the weak link.   It was simply teamwork.   We each helped where we knew our strengths were, anytime we needed a solid ballast, or good step off point, I was the man.   If we needed upper body strength, it was obvious that the handling of heavy freight found in shipping and receiving provided the necessary muscle – most definitely not me.

Needless to say, we made it through the entire course in less than three and a half hours which was absolutely shocking.   Not as shocking as the last obstacle, where we got shocked with 10kV before the finish line (see below).

Electroshock Therapy 2.0 - 10kV wires that will make any man scream.
Electroshock Therapy 2.0 – 10kV wires that will make anyone scream.

The fact of the matter is, we went there as a team, we conquered each obstacle and didn’t only worry about ourselves, but helped many others clear the same obstacles, and each one of us faced and conquered a personal fear.   For me, it was being able to complete a 10 mile run, and a slight fear of heights.  (You can see here that we had to jump out and grab onto a pendulum then swing and hit a bell, after which you would fall 12-15 feet into a pool of 15′ deep water. )

Didn't even come close to that bell, but I did remember to let go of the swing at least.
Didn’t even come close to that bell, but I did remember to let go of the swing at least.

The fact that people from three different departments in EXAIR worked so well together on something only one person on the team had ever done before speaks volumes to the environment and the way we conduct our day-to-day business here.

From the front offices, to the shipping dock, EXAIR is here to help you tackle any obstacle and face any fear you might have (involving your compressed air system that is).

Brian Farno
Application Engineer Manager
TOUGH MUDDER FINISHER
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

 

Longshore Racing Debuts at the Baja 1000

Ryan Longshore, a design engineer at EXAIR, famous for his hard work on our new High Lift Reversible Drum Vac, will now be famous for something else. He left Cincinnati, OH last Thursday November 6th, 2014 to run the Baja 1000. He is running the race with a few members of his family and friends as a part of Longshore Racing. His trip to the race is 2,168 miles. After driving to Ensenada for the start of the race, They will compete in 1,275 miles of racing, unlimited UTV class 19.

Longshore Racing
For any one unfamiliar with UTV class 19, here is a photo of the vehicle they will be using.

The Baja 1000 is one of the most grueling off road races in the world.  According to Scores International, the race this year will be 1,275 miles starting in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico finishing in La Paz, Baja California Sur. The course crisscrosses the Baja California Peninsula drive along the cost of the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California at various times.

The temperature in La Paz now is 87 degrees and sunny, so I hope he gets a chance to enjoy himself.

If they complete the race (a huge accomplishment), the convoy will then depart from La Paz to drive back to Louisville, KY.  For those of you scoring at home that is roughly 6,500 miles or around 80 hours of windshield time.

As I’m writing the blog the number 1943 is 398 miles into the race after running for 18 hours.  They only have 40 hours to compete in the Baja, so they have an uphill climb to finish in the allotted time, but they seem to be putting on a good showing so far.

Best of luck to # 1943! EXAIR is Cheering for You!

Monday Morning Update: The Longshore Racing team made it to mile 625 where they suffered an insurmountable breakdown – two broken front right ball joints. The repair vehicle was a couple hours away and they were unable to make the repairs in time to finish the race. Ryan has stated it has been an amazing journey and they have begun talking about next year.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer
@Dave_Woerner
DaveWoerner@EXAIR.com

 

Photo Courtesy of Longshore_Racing

Taking Yourself Out Of Your Comfort Zone

During the warmer Ohio weather months, April through October, my blog posts may include information about taking my motorcycle to some road course tracks (and now even a cold month or two).  I take my bike to open track days where (mostly) amateur riders can get on a proper race course. There are people on the track for the first time and people who race professionally.   They will generally divide the riders into several groups, Novice, Intermediate or Advanced.  The control riders/coaches at the track will help you to determine what group you should ride in and then help you throughout the day.   Below is a video of a control rider that is also a professional rider at Mid Ohio Sports Car Course.  (Don’t mind the music, it’s not my cup of tea either.)

For the novice group there are classes after each session, as well as skills practiced in every session.  This is to help teach the beginning track rider that the same habits you use on the street are not meant for the track, as well as how to be as safe as possible while being on the track.  This is the most watched and controlled group due to the fact it generally has the most riders and they are all the newest to the track.

For intermediate group there are optional classes and you just run your own pace.  They step up the skill level by not enforcing you to focus on a skill during each session or requiring you to go to a class after each session of the day.  The pace is considerably faster than novice and the only ways to get instruction are to either ask a control rider for it or if they see something to help you with they will generally stop you and coach you on how to do it better.

The final group is advanced, or race class.  This has the same elements as a professional race minus the grid at start-up.   There aren’t really any passing rules and the control riders are mainly all professional racers or former racers who can still make your head spin as they fly past you.  Similar to the intermediate group the only way you will get help is to ask for it.

For the past two years I have been running in the intermediate group and it is a serious meat grinder.  You will have people in there that are fast enough to be in advanced group, but are too scared.  As well as having people who let their ego and pride tell them they don’t need to learn anything from a novice class and should really be in novice learning as much as they can.  I stayed in Novice for over the first year of track riding that I had done.   Some people choose to never leave the novice group because that is exactly where they are comfortable.  They don’t want to worry about the other classes and are perfectly fine with not even being the fastest person in Novice.  This is perfectly acceptable for some, but I had to push myself out of my comfort zone in order to really enjoy the entire experience.  Even though I have been to the track several times now I am always out of my comfort zone in intermediate because there are always new people showing up and you never know when you will running with a group that should be racing, or a group that should be getting coached in novice.

Here at EXAIR we have customers that could fit into each of these groups also.   The customer who doesn’t know what an engineered solution is and doesn’t understand the cost of compressed air.  The intermediate user who has used some of our products in the past but is encountering new issues and knows that we can help lead them in the right direction.  As well as the advanced users who know exactly what they need and sometimes even request a special unit to fit their exact needs.

No matter the case, we can help as well as coach even the most advanced users of our products on how to use compressed air better.  If you are reading this and you don’t know the difference between a Super Air Nozzle and an open pipe, then give us a call.  We will help teach you the differences as well as make sure you understand the need for engineered solutions on your compressed air system.  It may be out of your comfort zone for the first few calls but we will make sure you get to the level you want to be so you get back into your comfort zone.

Brian Farno
Advanced Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

 

EXAIR’s Runners, Crazy but Generous

In case you haven’t seen any of our blogs concentrating on our makeup of employees, EXAIR has a group of employees who actually think running is fun.  Needless to say, I do not find running to be one of my strong suits.  A few members of the EXAIR running crew are going to be running a rather difficult race this weekend.   This race has been said to be “one of the most grueling sub-mile runs on the planet” (according to the event organizers).

That’s right, this race is not a marathon, or a half marathon, it is said to be the oldest micro-mini marathon.   You may be asking yourself what kind of race is this?  Well it is a hair more than 1/3 of a mile, steeply uphill. This will be the 37th year for the Straight Street Hill Climb.

Straight

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The best parts of the race is all the proceeds benefit the Cincinnati Soap Box Derby, a great family event here in Cincinnati that goes on every year.  This is yet another way that the members of EXAIR give to our local community.  Now if we could just get Professor Penurious to finish up his Soap Box Derby car, and find someone willing to let their kid ride in it, we may get to compete in the downhill race too!  I doubt it would go as smooth as the video below however.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

If Money Weren’t An Issue.

For every year I grow older I find it harder and harder to open my wallet for certain things.  I guess some would say “cheap” where I believe I have just learned from experience the things that I prefer to keep my money for.  However, if money weren’t an issue there is plenty I would love to indulge in.  For instance, a garage with enough “toys” to keep myself and any number of friends race needs met, or a driveway like the video below.

At this current point in my life, I won’t have to worry about the upkeep on either of those.  However, there is one thing I do have to worry about and that is the upkeep and cost of compressed air.   While some operators believe compressed air is free or that a single blowgun with no engineered solution really doesn’t cost that much, they are sadly mistaken.  It is because of this that EXAIR offers the most efficient way to use your compressed air in many point of use applications.

Take the real life example below.

It boils down to this:

Less Compressed Air Usage = Lower Operating Costs = More Profit = Race Track in Front Yard.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

It’s Track time yet again.

Even though we didn’t get much snow this past Winter the road courses are just now starting to open up here in the Ohio area.   As soon as I get home from work I will be kissing my daughter and wife goodbye for the weekend and heading towards a small town in Indiana called Greencastle.  There’s not much there and the only two things close are Depauw University and Putnam Park Road Course.   I know I have blogged about track days many times but with this much anticipation for the first track day of the year, I can’t help but bring it back again.

Two good friends of mine and myself have spent the last week prepping out bikes for the track day.   The main difference this time is I will have a different bike at the track.  It’s not mine unless I wreck it and it’s quite a bit different from my SV.  So of course I have went through it as best I can and think I’m ready.

All I know is I am ready to get some footage similar to what is shown below.

This track day is of course going to be interesting and a learning experience.   Much like I went through when I first started here at EXAIR and began to learn about our full selection of products.  You see as an Application Engineer here at EXAIR I not only need to know if we sell something but I need to know how it works, why it works, and what kind of applications it can work in.  So this weekend I will be learning something new much like I still am here at EXAIR.

We’re constantly coming up with or hearing about new applications for our products.   If you have one and would like to share or need help with an application just let us know.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF