Two Minute Tips  

No, You Cannot Borrow My Truck

Bill Barto | Contributing Author, RELIABILITY CONNECT

In 1951, the US Army began publishing PS Magazine. The idea was to publish a magazine about Preventive Maintenance that soldiers would actually want to read. They found an artist named Will Eisner and his company began creating artwork for the magazine. Eisner believed that comics had teaching potential and convinced many talented artists to help him. Each month contained a single-frame comic and an accompanying limerick called “Joe’s Dope Sheet”. Every month followed the story of Joe, a soldier who ignores preventive maintenance and learns of its importance in the end.

Below is the first “Joe’s Dope Sheet” from the June 1951 issue.

The limerick above reads:

He yearned to pilot a jet
But a truck was all he could get.
So he drove on each mission
like nuclear fission
…They’re picking the pieces up yet!

It’s somewhat appropriate that the topic addressed in the very first issue of PS Magazine was something as basic as treating your equipment with care. The image says it all from the long trail of boxes that fell out of Joe’s truck when he hit every bump, to the utter destruction of his truck at the bottom of the mountain.

Basic care of the assets that are in our control is one of the easiest ways to assure that they are useful and productive for as long as possible.

Here are a couple of ways that I feel maintenance and reliability professionals can help create a culture of basic asset care and avoid instances of equipment being treated like Joe’s truck.

Create a feeling of ownership. Those that are responsible for the care of your company assets (craftworkers, engineers, managers, etc.) need to feel as if the equipment is their own.

One way of creating this culture is to get everyone involved in decisions about new initiatives or changes to the maintenance plan.

Ask for advice from the workers that operate and maintain the equipment on a daily basis. Let them know that they are the experts on the machines and that others value their opinions.

Consider assigning specific equipment tasks to the same individuals all of the time. The level of familiarity that comes with being around one or two assets could create a feeling of ownership.

Does anyone have any other ideas for creating a culture of basic asset care? Does anyone agree or disagree with the examples that I gave above? I’d love to hear some feedback. Thanks.


Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments