The Real Science of ‘Rick and Morty’. Leveling Methods & Standards
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“Rick and Morty” is one of the smartest and funniest shows on TV, and it has a huge cult following. Many episodes are based on real scientific theories like faster-than-light space travel and alternate realities. In Season 3, Episode 8, viewers learn about “True Level,” a surface-leveling process so precise that Morty says that the rest of the world seems crooked by comparison.

Construction in real life isn’t that accurate, but you can make floors, foundations, and other essential parts of buildings seem like they were made with the “Rick and Morty” True Level method by using the right tools and equipment. Here’s some more information about the most common leveling methods and standards.

Direct Leveling Methods

Direct leveling, sometimes called spirit leveling, fly leveling, or differential leveling, measures vertical distances or differences in elevation, and it’s the most accurate method available. If you know the height in one location, you can use the differences between it and other nearby spots to determine the elevations of all of them and make any changes needed to ensure the surface is level. Direct leveling is often used with a shorter distance and a smaller number of points in a second survey to make sure that the first survey was correct.

Level compensators compensate for height differences on a work surface and make it level. They can also work as shock absorbers to prevent damage. Laser levels, also called automatic or engineering levels, don’t look like the big, green laser grid on “Rick and Morty,” but they work using the same principles. They look like cameras on tripods. There are several types of level rods available. Philadelphia rods usually have two pieces that are 13 feet long, and Frisco rods have three parts between 12 and 15 feet long. A Lenker rod can be from 8 to 45 feet long.

Indirect Leveling Methods

Indirect leveling methods measure vertical distances indirectly, so they don’t depend on visibility or lines or sight like direct leveling. The most common instruments for indirect leveling methods are the transit level and the theodolite level. A transit level is an optical instrument that looks like a telescope mounted on a tripod. It has a built-in spirit level, and it can provide precise readings of angles. It’s also used to determine the relative positions of different objects. Theodolite levels are similar, and many types are transit levels with greater ranges of motion than standard models.

Compaction Equipment

Compaction equipment provides the right soil density for foundations and pavements and helps make surfaces more level. If the ground around a job site isn’t compacted or level enough, it can lead to cracked walls and pipes and foundation erosion. Several types of compactors are available.

The smallest compactors are called rammers, and they’re light and hand- or machine-operated. They have gas or diesel engines, and they work well in areas that are difficult to access.

Wheeled rollers, also called drum rollers, are larger, and they can work on sand, crushed rock, gravel, and asphalt. Single drum rollers have one roller in the front and a set of regular wheels in the back, while double drum rollers have two rollers. Vibratory compactors use vibrations to rearrange the soil and increase its density — which you can see Rick using in his first steps of leveling out his workshop floor to show Morty what “true level” is like.


Rototillers can help level your lawn or garden if the ground is uneven. They also give new plants a good place to grow by breaking up hard soil. If you want to use a rototiller, wait until spring when the ground isn’t too wet or dry. That way, the rototiller’s tines will spread the soil evenly.

If you’re tilling to replace ugly grass or sod that’s already part of your lawn, you may need to use a sod cutter to break it up, remove old roots and weeds, and make the rototilling easier. You should also pick up sticks, big rocks, and other debris before you start. If the ground is particularly hard, you may need to till over some areas more than once and add more than one layer of fertilizer or compost.


People often use forklifts to lift heavy objects in warehouses and at construction sites. Most forklifts only lift objects or bring them down, but some models can tilt as well.
Even if you’re not using a forklift that can tilt, it’s a good idea to use a level with this equipment to make sure that you place items like wood or steel support beams at the correct angle.

Otherwise, the building you’re constructing could end up with structural problems or the floors or ceilings might look crooked, and you’ll feel just like Morty did after he left his grandfather’s patch of “true level” flooring. To avoid this, several types of forklifts are available, including rough terrain forklifts, telehandlers, industrial and warehouse forklifts, side loaders, pallet jacks, walkie stackers, and material lifts.


Before you start using any equipment to level your job site, check the equipment thoroughly to make sure it’s working properly. You should look at fuel levels, battery levels, tires, spark plugs, oil levels, and other parts of the equipment you’re using. Some machines like rototillers have a kill switch to shut them off and prevent injuries if there’s an accident. Be careful not to drive or till over electrical cables, tree roots, sewer lines, or other obstacles. You should also make sure that your workers are trained to operate the equipment you use skillfully and safely.

The Benefits of Renting

A forklift or another piece of equipment can cost more than $100,000. You’ll also have to pay for storage while you’re not using it, maintenance, repairs, and insurance. Renting the equipment you need is less expensive and much more convenient. BigRentz will even transport forklifts, rototillers, or compactors to your job site for you. If you need different machinery because you’re starting a new task, you can just rent another model. You can rent a variety of tools for as little as a few hours or more than a month.

For the best results, the leveling instrument you use should be 95 percent accurate. Many digital levels are even more accurate, and they can measure elevations to the nearest millimeter. Maybe someday soon, they’ll be even more accurate, just like on “Rick and Morty.” The show also uses many other scientific theories that may one day become realities.

BigRentz is not associated with the television show “Rick and Morty”