Monday, December 02, 2013

A lesson in longevity

The other day I got this note from Dan Willis, manager of our service company:

"In 2011, Jasper Dividal came in to have his equipment switched to a new van. I was looking at his old van when I realized that it was the one I started on in 1984. He bought it in 1985 and I just couldn't believe it was my old truck and equipment. He came in the other day for a weld repair on his old 1984 fresh water tank. That old equipment is still out there every day making money in his new truck."

When he bought our used van in 1985 it had approximately 25,000 miles on the odometer and the equipment about 2,000 hours. In those days we sold our rolling stock every year so we always had new trucks on the streets. The last few years the cost of vans has jumped so radically that we have to keep them longer now.

When Jasper switched vans in 2011, Dan's old van had 510,000 miles on the odometer and there is no telling how many hours on the old cleaning equipment because the clock was broken. The 1984 base unit had a motor replaced in 2005. The vacuum pump, winch, gear motors and all other major components are original and operational.

Many years ago we made the decision to build equipment that would have no built-in obsolescence and last a long time, but this is ridiculous.