Laissez les Bons Temps Rouler - Winter 2011 travel blog

ceiling decoration

sink on the wall

bare fiber glass walls

clamp collection

slide

bundling the wires

women @ work

Movie Clips - Playback Requirements - Problems?

(MOV - 1.63 MB)

robotic cutting


Although our guide at the Tiffiin RV manufacturing plant knew less about RV's than we do, we enjoyed the tour a great deal. We love learning how things are put together and RV assembly is a massive feat of organization of a huge variety of components. On many factory tours we have been restricted behind barriers, but here they let us wander at will, probably getting in the way of the workers at times. We started in the cabinetry and milling building. The air was thick with saw dust, which left the look of snow flakes on many of my photographs. Hardly any of the workers wore masks. The guide said that they were available, but the employees decide whether to wear them. It can't be good for your respiratory system to breath saw dust eight hours a day. There were air treatment systems in place, which probably improved the situation, but I was left wondering - Is it better of have the autonomy and freedom to make foolish decisions or is it better to have government safety regulations in place that people must follow? Depends if you come from a red state or blue state, I guess.

Tiffin is a major presence in northwest AL and southeast MS. Beside the plant we saw today there are others nearby assembling components such as the fiber glass sides, countertops, bedspreads and window treatments, and windshields. Although it is a big company, we saw a video where the president said if you have questions, feel free to call me. From what we have heard, Tiffin owners have taken him at his word and he is a hands on leader.

The factory was a beehive of activity. In the last two years RV manufacturers have struggled and many have gone under, but things seem to be going well here. We were surprised to see many of their top of the line motor homes in production. But we also saw their new 20 and 32 foot line, that is designed for lower gas consumption. They seemed to have a product for every need. The robots that cut out the required shapes on the wood and countertop material were especially interesting to watch. I had to wonder which of the hard working folks we watch today would be replaced by robots next. Do robots mind sawdust?

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