The Large-Scale Operator's Influence on Design and Construction 280034
TO solve fleet-operation problems successfully, a professional consciousness is needed among the supervisors and the engineers engaged in the operating field, awakened by analyzing and making known generally the methods and practices used by the operators of individual fleets of motor-vehicles, according to the author.
In developing his subject he asks the following questions and comments upon them: Has the operator any influence on design? Is that influence good or not? Whatever the influence is, can it be improved and made more effective? If it can be made more effective, how can this be done? If it cannot be made more effective, what is the reason?
Regardless of variations in duties and of conditions in organization, each large-scale operator is vitally concerned with matters of design and construction. This applies not only to the complete vehicle but also to wearing parts, such as tires, brake-lining, spark-plugs, fuels and lubricants, all bulking large in their effect on operating costs. The author calls attention to the difference between having vital concern about a subject and having influence on that subject. The first is more or less static; the second should mean a share in the progress of the art and a definite contribution to the better adaptation of motor-vehicles to their various tasks.
First reviewing the situation insofar as it relates to the standard design as developed and produced in the factory, there are two widely divergent opinions. The opinion of the operator indicates that he conducts a testing laboratory for the manufacturer and that the supervisors in the larger installations are acting as consulting engineers for the factory and its service department. Some operators even claim that they are forced to take over functions of the production end of the factory and to complete the vehicle before it can be put to work. Carried further, this opinion indicates that the operator alone is responsible for all improvements and that the factory engineering department, with all its facilities for designing and experimentation, is greatly influenced by the suggestions of the operator. At the other extreme is the view held by the factory engineer who may deny absolutely the value of ideas or suggestions for improvement that are made by the operator unless they can be investigated at first-hand and the surrounding and perhaps controlling conditions taken into consideration.
The use of a system in collecting two kinds of data is necessary if an operator is to pass reliable judgment on design and construction; that is, data with regard to cost of operation and maintenance as well as data with regard to defects.