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For most of the game during Super Bowl 51 on Sunday, victory for the Atlanta Falcons seemed assured. Despite having won four previous Super Bowl titles and being three-point favorites, the New England Patriots were behind at halftime 21-3. By the third quarter, with the Falcons leading 28-9, Patriots fans, including stalwart fan Mark Wahlberg, were streaming out of the stadium.

Photo: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

But that’s when Patriots quarterback Tom Brady began to work his magic and engineered the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history, winning the game in overtime. It was an outcome that was unpredictable until the final buzzer.

Unpredictable outcomes are exciting for sports, fans and TV ratings. These kinds of contests keep your heart pounding and your butt on the edge of your seat. Yet for projects that involve heavy lifts, heavy hauls and project cargo logistics –  basically any type of project Barnhart handles – unpredictable outcomes are something to be avoided.

Barnhart takes steps to manage the unpredictability of projects through extensive planning and engineering. After all, unpredictability affects safety, scheduling and the operation of a customer’s facility during a project. While factors beyond our control happen – bad weather, manufacturing or shipping delays – it’s only a speed bump to the eventual planned outcome.

In a project in New Mexico, Barnhart was hired to offload, haul, transload and set four transformers from a rail spur to a substation. The project was originally scheduled for July, but manufacturing delays pushed the project into December. Ice and snow had turned the dirt road at the substation to mush and revealed some serious grade issues. Barnhart had to wait until the weather improved for the power company to address these issues.

Once the weather improved and the road was regraded, Barnhart was able to continue the haul, using a slide system to successfully set the transformers and complete the project.