I was approached a few months ago by a co-worker who wanted my input on some recurring repairs related to a specific aspect in the fleet of tanker trucks we use. After working with him, fully understanding the cause of the problem: transferring power to the vacuum pumps, then finding a couple of possible solutions, I was faced with another challenge. The problem was actually in two parts: one part mechanical and one part human.
I like when a challenge presents itself, although I’m used to the sort where it’s more about the task and less about workplace politics. Yes, it’s very discouraging after a lot of research and running the numbers which indicate a potential great solution to the problem, only to be surrounded by a different set of co-workers who are fossilized in their methods—scratch that, just can’t get around their egos and are not at all interested in seeing things change.
Though, as always, you can’t please everyone. Not every solution nowadays is a high- or higher-tech answer and it never hurts to ask questions. After much navigation of personalities and some initial successful tests, we got buy-in from the owner of the company…which is all that really matters in this case. We now have instructions to convert the whole fleet of trucks to this adaptation which will save an average cost of ~$76K per year.