Kaiser employee.Technical Forums » Open Discussion Archives » Kaiser employee.

Kaiser employee.
Post by jeepistdougiowa on Sept 30, 2006, 12:15pm

I stumbled into a guy who worked for Kaiser Jeep from 63 to 72 on the CJ2a discussion board, asked for a little insight into what was happening there at the time, and how well he recalled the M715s....here's what he said.

Doug: As they say, after 60 the mind goes first, or is it second? As a smart -*&% kid just out of high school and saving for collage by drinking 3.2 beer all night, I didn't pay a lot of attention to the vehicles because there were so many everywhere. I worked the M151 line in the Stickney Avenue plant installing grills, as well as unloading trucks, driving forklifts and generally filling in where needed. I transfered to the main plant where they built civilian and military vehicles. I moved stock, installed tires and bumpers on CJ's, Wagoneers and trucks, including the M715's, though the production volume was low at that time as Kaiser was more interested in the Civilian market, which provided a broader product line to attract a new owner (eventually American Motors). Assembly people disliked the Military products because the volume was low and the parts were considered special. I once heard my uncle, who was in charge if all inventory and material handling in the main plant, state that on average a part, from the delivery dock to the assembly line,.could be moved op to 19 times. That sounds impossible to believe, however, the plant was very old, there were Assembly lines in 3 and 4 different floors above ground, and there were 2 and 3 floors of basements, which held inventory and machining operations. Everything was forklifted up large elevators or hung on overhead conveyors. and in a non computer environment, vehicle broadcast tickets (bills of material for each vehicle) often were out of sequence with the parts delivery. If your running 95% civilian product with common parts its OK, however, putting chrome bumpers on a M715 because material handing could not get the parts to you did not go over well with management. The rule of thumb was , always install a parteven if it was the incorrect one. That way you could not be cited for poor work performance, and besides, the repair bay at the end of each line would change out parts overnight. At first I thought this was a union rule, but when I joined management I quickly learned that daily production targets were always to be met, even if a third shift in the repair bay was needed to rework a half a days production. Military vehicles with civilian interiors, civilian tires, on and on. JIT (Just-In-Time) delivery of today just would not have worked in that old factory and system. which at one time was the largest automotive plant in the world.

Regards: Rogan Murdock

I just found it very interesting to actually hear first hand from someone who was there when our trucks were built... figured you guys would too.
Re: Kaiser employee.
Post by tacomainUT on Sept 30, 2006, 3:22pm

I know I did. Thanks!
Re: Kaiser employee.
Post by compexp on Sept 30, 2006, 3:37pm

Re: Kaiser employee.
Post by tacomainUT on Sept 30, 2006, 4:12pm

what isnt' too cool is that that dude is into collage. Collage is for fruits. I hope they fired him when they found out about that.

Friggin' fruit.
Re: Kaiser employee.
Post by k8icu on Sept 30, 2006, 10:04pm

I saw the title and was like what I don't have any employees....lol.

I've taken the tour of the factory and seen some of the photos of the old days. The building is many floors like he said and vehicles from start to finnish moved up and down those many floors so I can bet some of those things did happen. Also I know a lot of guys that work for both ford and GM here since we have a couple of each plants around these parts and they have told me the same thing about production. Meet the standard even if its wrong and let them fix it at the end of the line. So it seems that even today that line of thinking still prevails!
Re: Kaiser employee.
Post by brute4c on Oct 1, 2006, 9:02am

Re: Kaiser employee.
Post by kaiserjeeps on Oct 3, 2006, 2:40pm

Very cool Doug. Good read.
Re: Kaiser employee.
Post by firefightinsam on Oct 3, 2006, 6:46pm

I think I may still be fixing some of those issues missed at the end of the day.
Re: Kaiser employee.
Post by jeepistdougiowa on Oct 4, 2006, 12:25am

Here's another from the same gentleman...not related to our trucks, but still a good one.

By 1967 I had a sales correspondent job in the Jeep Export Dept. responsible for processing and following orders from Asian dealers. My boss, stationed in Korea sent a special order, placed by a high ranking and influential Korean politician, for a CJ complete with a dual wheels and H.D. spring/axal configuration and a rear trencher unit. Now, only a few of these were ever ordered for domestic sale, and this was only the second such order the Export Dept. had received in years. In addition to my boss wanting "special expediting and followup" because he was kissing up to this customer, and the customer was also coming to the states and wanted to check his purchase out prior to shipment.

Their first mistake was giving the order to me, as I was just beginning to learn the factory equipment codes for stock vehicles. No, they didn't have a single code or package code like today. For Export even the passenger seat was extra optional item. Add to the situation the fact that no one in the Dept. could find prior ordering data; a rookie setting up the order; and you had the makings of a disaster.

The trencher was sold as a factory installed item, however, in reality, the actual trencher was installed by a small company located about a mile from the main plant.

Because of all the strange, and too many, new, unknown build codes listed on the vehicle ID sheet, the plant had problems from the onset, and I had every superintendent and line foreman in the place calling me (most of the words not repeatable). Long story shory made short, it took six weeks to get the vehicle out of the plant and in the hands of the trenched guy. This CJ broke a record for the amount of time it spent in the "service garage", which was a nice name for a repair /rework shop within the plant. Rather than change the standard springs for H.D springs, they finally ended up changing out the entire under carriage ( everything but the frame and engine!).

The trencher guy took two weeks to do his own modifications and instillation. By this time we are way behind schedule and the customer has changed his travel itinerary several times, and of course my boss is sitting in Seoul doing a fast burn and sending me daily poison pen telexes.

Finally; the customer arrives, and we have the vehicle back in the plant area ready to do an inspection. Now, this customer is obviously not a blue collar worker, but a bureaucrat who has been riding a desk job, however, he has a big ego and and intends to let everyone know that can handle anything. He drives the CJ around the paved yards and alleys, and everything is going well, until he insists on testing the trencher. He makes this decision while driving at the other end of the plant, and the test driver accompanying him says "OK". They proceed to leave to go to a small test track close to the plant, where there's earth, and not pavement to work with.

Meanwhile, the trencher rep. I and several others are cooling our heels wondering where and what the heck has happened to our important customer and the Jeep (no handheld radios). Naturally, the test driver had no clue of the trenchers operation, and the only one who did was back in the plant with me, except for the customer/driver, who by now was an expert in everything!

As best as I was able to piece it together afterwords, things went very wrong when the Korean properly engaged the rear PTO (he had the gear instruction on the dash plates), but proceed to pull the dast hand throttle all the way out, and begin lowering the trencher. Did I forget to point out that neither of them thought about asking anyone if that was a good place to do trenching?

You know the answer already. While I'm now making calls to all the plant gates, another test vehicle driver returns from this track area, and is informing his buddies (and anyone else who will listen), about the idiot who just dug up the main company water line for the test track and the new lake that was forming up there.

I wish I could recall the actual invoice price he paidfor that vehicle, becaus it was a steal. The company had to eat the damage, the trencher company was paid additional, for a couple new trencher teeth and cleaning /painting.

The customer humbly left after quickly signing off on acceptance, and thank God I never saw another trencher order, though I did do one backhoe order, but by now I was designated "the expert" in the department. In spite of all the hell and ribbing I received, I personally believe many were hopping for a return engagement with the backhoe order, just for the potential entertainment value.

Rogan Murdock
Re: Kaiser employee.
Post by oilcan on Oct 4, 2006, 2:15am

Hi-freakin'-larious! ;D
Re: Kaiser employee.
Post by compexp on Oct 4, 2006, 9:23am

hehehe - wish he had pics, that must have been hilarious!
Re: Kaiser employee.
Post by gimpyrobb on Oct 4, 2006, 11:00am

Customers always right!
Re: Kaiser employee.
Post by fsjguy on Oct 4, 2006, 3:38pm

LOL! That was great!! This guy should write a book! I'd buy it for stories like that!

Re: Kaiser employee.
Post by Elliott on Oct 28, 2006, 10:41am

Any chance of this employee having any factory pictures that he might share of the dually rigs? either CJ or JTruck or M715?

Here's a CJ dually for sale on ebay currently:
Ebay item # 160043512898


Here's a pic of one with the trencher:

Re: Kaiser employee.
Post by gimpyrobb on Oct 28, 2006, 1:17pm

That ebay jeep could be nice or a nightmare, it a 4cyl and it has very cobbled spring perches.
Re: Kaiser employee.
Post by jeepistdougiowa on Oct 28, 2006, 1:30pm

Elliott, I'll ask him about pics.

Thats last one is a backhoe...very cool!

Here's a crappy picture of my trencher.

Re: Kaiser employee.
Post by jeepistdougiowa on Oct 28, 2006, 1:35pm

Oct 28, 2006, 1:17pm, gimpyrobb wrote:
That ebay jeep could be nice or a nightmare, it a 4cyl and it has very cobbled spring perches.

Hard to find a Jeep of that era that isn't a cobbled nightmare...LOL Too many owners over the last 40 years. The F-head 4 cyl is a big bonus IMO, Originally what it came with. Duallys are pretty darned rare anymore. Even though it looks like a polished turd, I'm surprised it isn't closer to the $5,000 mark,
Re: Kaiser employee.
Post by Elliott on Oct 29, 2006, 10:13pm

Well he didn't get the reserve and as I understand it the owner is happy about that after finding that it is likely a factory set up dually. I'll be adding it to the Jeep Dually Registry when we get the site repaired so if you can get anymore info for me to add please let me know.
Thanks for the effort!