You can tell by the date of this column that Christmas was the day before yesterday. Last Friday, after I posted the Friday Night News, we held our big Banks Christmas party. And the emphasis—and this week’s news—is on BIG! My job was to take pictures with our digital camera of each department of Banks employees as they were called up on stage. I’ll post them here so you can see just how big we are. I’m talking number of individuals, not individual size of employees.
Banks Insider News
Chad Horning is a videographer who accompanied us to Bonneville for the recent running of the Sidewinder pickup to capture all the record-smashing action, including shots from an airplane as the truck sped down the course. If you live in the Los Angeles area and watch the 5 o’clock news, you saw some of his footage in the last couple of weeks as several TV channels reported on The World’s Fastest Pickup. And, as I reported here on 11/15/02, you can sample several clips of his video work on our Sidewinder web site.
A lot of our products tend to sound like TV stations.
It’s called an acronym. In this case it stands for Computerized Brake Controller. And it’s a patent-pending Banks exclusive that is now an integral part of our Banks Brakes. Other diesel exhaust brakes are controlled by a micro-switch, which is a simple on-off device just like a light switch at home.
At least one magazine calls them Pro Tourers: a new kind of hot rod with big wheels, very low-profile tires, big brakes, super-tuned chassis, a 5 or 6 speed manual trans, and plenty of horsepower. In other words, a hot rod that drives in something other than a straight line and for distances longer than a quarter mile—much longer.
At close to 500 cubic inches, the GM 8.1L Vortec in the Workhorse chassis is already the most powerful gasoline motorhome going. So how did the Banks engineers figure out how to get 22% more power out of it? That’s 66 more horsepower and 77 more lb.-ft. of torque. They did it the way we always do—by building prototypes and testing them exhaustively to see what really works best in the real world.
Seems like hardly a week goes by that we don’t have something new to tell you about Project Sidewinder. This one will be short.
The news is that we had a video crew at Bonneville to capture all the action and sounds surrounding our record attempts, and you can now sample it on our Sidewinder web site.
Bob Robe is a glutton for punishment. He’s worked at Gale Banks Engineering longer than any other current employee—this January will mark 25 years.
Seriously, Bob just told me that he couldn’t envision working anywhere else that would afford him the wide range of jobs that he enjoys here. To say that Bob is multitalented is a serious understatement.