The Snickers Challenge of Theoretical Tonnage

Monday, Joe told me that they use an equation to calculate the theoretical tonnage of a loaded truck used to pave a certain amount of the road. He then challenged me to find the coefficient constant in that equation by taking the measurements of all the other unknowns and solving for it. He also upped the challenge by saying if I got within five numbers of the actual answer, I would win two whole snickers bars. Now, if you thought I wasn’t taking the challenge seriously  before, this was what I needed. TOTALLY GAME TO BRING IT, I was prepared to measure everything at least four times for the most accurate of averages (just kidding haha too lazy).

But then it rained. And poured. And we got soaked through. And the paving had to be cancelled.

UNTIL TODAY.

With the same challenge and the mindset to win all the chocolate, I was dropped off at the paver by Joe with my (ahem his) trusty tiny wheel, map, and field book in hand. Let the calculations begin.

This is the part where I talk about maths (in brackets). Just a heads up.

(The equation is
Theoretical Tonnage = [((Length*width)/9)*(MAGICAL CONSTANT*depth)]/2000
where Length is the length the paver paves with the theoretical tonnage of the truck
width is the width of the road being paved
Magical constant speaks for itself hello
depth is the depth of the road that is being paved
9 and 2000 are used to convert because square yards and pounds.

Now, I assumed 14 feet as the width because it was half the road at a time and my total road width for one street was 28.4 feet. The depth was assumed to be 2 inches (that’s how much they were supposed to grind off). The theoretical tonnage, which is obviously what we actually try to solve for, was supplied to me by the ever to helpful truck tickets with the exact loads and other details on it.

SO now I have
20*2000 = ((Length*14)/9)*(MAGICAL CONSTANT*2) where you just need the length.

To find the length, I used Joe’s wheel and followed along two truck loads completely to get some values around 120.4 and 113.8 ft but then something totally weird happened with the third reading because they were ending the road, and I just got confused what to tape and not, so I scraped that reading and took a fourth one to replace it with, which turned out to be somewhere around 118.blah. I averaged these lengths to actually get 117.5 ft. Now I have a length to work with~)

Plug and chug, and bombdiggity bam bam, you end up with 109.4 as your MAGICAL CONSTANT value. Yes, the caps is very important.

Now, I really doubted myself all of sudden coming out with such a strange constant because most constants are either some degree of 2 (2^2, 2^8, etc.), include a pi or just seem to not make any sense like damn gravitational constant G or electric constant…

Anyhoo, I showed Joe my work and eeeyyyy I was close! The actual constant’s value was 112 (for this kind of surface and leveling binder)! SO I WON MY TWO SNICKERS BARS YUUUUS!!

Joe then taught me how to calculate yield percentages with this information and even though I mixed up the actual and predicted values in my calculation, I understood it and left knowing more about paving.

I came to the office feeling very victorious and found Dobson at his desk. When he found out what I’d been doing this morning, he began to pop quiz me and I think I did pretty well. He then told me about poly binder* and its differences from HMA (hot mix asphalt pavement) and I learned even MORE about pavement xD

*(It’s much finer and identical to sand. Because it’s so much smaller, it’s packed more densely than HMA aggregate is so hence a smaller constant.)

With my sudden abundance of pavement knowledge and utter boredom after managing to finish a suuuper simple warm up code I started yesterday to get force myself to remember syntax, I decided to start a new code. And what better program to code than to code one that uses this equation and at least the mathematically applicable concepts of this knowhow?

However, simple calculations were too easy a code for my taste so I made it a little more interesting using functions and trying to figure out where the heck I’d stored the syntax required for a function to call a function in the depths of Brian.

When I finally figured the code out, I was apparently too expressive with my triumph and Dobson asked what reason I had to be punching the air… Can’t a girl just be pumped at her desk? xD

Sooo I kind of told him about my being a CS minor and coding for fun and since I’d just told him all that, I decided to gush about this new code I’d just figured out. I was pretty proud cuz it wasn’t just some useless gibberish to entertain others and myself, but actually useful should we need it.

And it’s not like my coding is a secret, but I did want to keep it under wraps because of how I fail at all other things computer related and I can’t give tech support to save my life. My tech curse is a true struggle, okay. So I didn’t want to give the impression that I’m actually a computer person because HAH, isn’t that a laugh?

But yeah, that was that for today :3 Let’s see what happens tomorrow~ Will I win more chocolate? ONLY TIME WILL TELL ❤

-Frostie
the magical as hell snowman

 

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