I have to agree with Tom Kretsinger that being asked to share my life on Big Truck TV as a blogger has made the future for me not what it used to be. I just got back from the Mid-America Truck Show where I was asked if I was THE Bob Rutherford on Big Truck. I was also asked by an exhibitor what it would take for me to blog about their company and products. Off the top of my head I said I guess you have got to become part of my life. To backup what Tom said, “I often have people I don’t know come up to me at industry events to talk about something I posted. Talk about networking! This is networking on steroids!” I agree. Also, I wanted to share this true story that Tom and some of his readers need to know about if he is going to be in the fuel economy contest business. I call the story "The Jokers".
A long time ago I was doing a mechanic training program on fan clutches. It was an afterhours meeting and we provided pizza and soft drinks. The shop manager said that as part of the program he would like to use a real truck that had reported a fan clutch problem. When the truck rolled in, the mechanics greeted the driver and offered him some pizza. Meanwhile, we popped the hood to get a look at the fan drive.
We proceeded to rebuild the clutch, which had been damaged by a leaking air hose. Before I told him the truth I pulled the driver’s leg for a few moments by telling him the root cause of the fan clutch failure was “driver abuse”.
As we were cleaning and packing up one of the mechanics said, “You seem to like to pull jokes on drivers, so you gotta check this out.” We went outside and saw a couple of his cohorts using hand pumps to skim five gallons of fuel from each of four trucks. They then put the twenty gallons into the poor driver’s truck that had the fan clutch problem.
I am thinking to myself, “What the hell are these guys up to?”
The ring leader explained to me that the driver who gets the best fuel economy for the month gets a bonus, but the kicker is he has to explain at the drivers’ meeting what he did to do the best.
“The drivers are funny as hell trying to make something up,” the mechanic told me. “Management and the drivers are going crazy trying to figure out how every month one driver gets a half to a full mile per gallon better than the rest of the fleet.”