Tuesday, February 4, 2014


As a lad I was a muscle car kind of guy, and during college I switched to having a car that would get the most mpg instead of mph. 

After graduating from CSUN I moved to Mammoth Lakes to get out of the city to ski and hike.  After eight months in Mammoth I started to work for Mammoth Mountain Ski Area 

For well over twenty years I've had a deep interest in energy management and energy conservation.  I conducted, with the California Energy Commission, a wind energy study at Mammoth.  As the manager of a 45,000+ sq ft maintenance building in a very severe weather environment I consistently lowered the energy usage in the building.  I conducted some initial energy audits in some of the smaller buildings at Mammoth and followed up by implementing the recommendations, and was getting amazing energy reductions.  I also constantly lobbied the senior management to do the same Ski Area wide.  

During the California Energy Crisis in the early 2000’s the senior management at Mammoth realized that there was a critical need to control the facilities energy costs across the corporation and I was transferred to the newly created position. Oversight was minimal and the mandate was simple:  Do something to lower, or at least manage, the energy costs.  The new position was within the Facilities Dept and I was given additional responsibilities, such as preventative maintenance management, along with some responsibilities carried over from the previous position, such as UST-AST management.  I was given no budget or capital to speak of, lukewarm support, and had to come up with innovative ways to finance the energy management/conservation part of the job.  It’s not just about the money spent, it is about the results; which were spectacular.

When I first started with Mammoth Mountain I worked in vehicle maintenance.  I started a detailed PM program, designed extensive modifications to different vehicles to fit the extreme environment.  Because the terrain is so extreme I concentrated on making the the summer construction equipment braking systems work better, which sometimes meant replacing the type of braking system.  From wedge air brakes to cam type, from hydraulic brakes to cam air type, adding additional parking brake capacity, and adding Jake Brakes or electrotarders.  The idea was to make the equipment much more safer, increase productivity, and lower the cost of maintenance.  I designed and installed a brake cooling system for CAT 966D loader inboard brakes, which CAT engineers looked at as part of their effort to fix a big problem.  I designed and installed a trailer brake air system for CAT 966 loaders so when 40 ft trailers were towed on steep terrain they could stop.  Re-manufactured five GI 5 ton dump trucks to make them almost indestructible (Cat 3306TA engine w/jake brakes, Allison auto trans, air brakes, double frame rails, positive ft wheel drive, cold weather kits, modular hydraulic and snow plow controls).  Re-powered numerous pieces of equipment to make them work better and be more reliable.  I also re-designed a lot of hydraulic systems to make them more reliable.  Extensively studied diesel fuel in cold weather operation and came up with procedures and ways to reduce downtime due to gelling.
In addition I was responsible for maintenance on pickups, autos, buses, snowmobiles, snowcats (for a short period), snowblowers (large and small), generators, chairlift aux drives, and many pieces of misc equipment.  Next to Caltrans Mammoth runs one of the largest snow removal fleets in the State.

I had the opportunity to work with some people with extraordinary talents at Mammoth.  We pushed each other along and complimented our individual strengths


No comments: