There’s a Toyota Plant not too far from us. For years I’ve been wanting to go on the free tour they offer, but my children have always been too young. Children have to be at least 1st grade with a parent chaperone for safety reasons. Anyway, this year, we left baby toddler Eli with Grandma and Grandpa and joined our homeschool group for a very fun tour.
You aren’t allowed cameras (or bags for that matter) in the buildings, so the only pictures I have are right out front of the visitor’s center and the only shot my camera would allow just inside the visitor’s center.
After viewing a short film about the plant history and manufacturing that takes place there, they load you up into little trams, complete with your own safety goggles and headphones to hear the tour guide. The trams go over acres and acres of building space as you see almost every area of production. As half-finished cars travel overhead, engines are being placed to your left and wheels to your right. The size of the buildings and amount of work going on around you is truly amazing! And all this in a very neat and orderly fashion. The engineers who designed this space must be beyond brilliant.
Some of our highlights included the huge rolls of steel that we saw being cut and then stamped into trunks, the robots that were stamping and welding, the little robot cars that traveled from space to space delivering materials, watching the cars “come to life” from the beginning shell to the complete car driving off the assembly line, and all people it took just to make this place go. As soon as we got off the tram, my son declared that he need to know how old you have to be to work at Toyota. Of course, he already has plans to own a Chik-Fil-A and work at a McDonalds, so I’m not really sure how Toyota is going to fit into the picture. Time will tell. 🙂
If you live anywhere near a car manufacturing plant, call about a tour. It was a great field trip!