Down Time is Wasted Time

- Glenn Friesen

In one of our ad messages we used the phrase “Down time is the worst time.” Nothing gets done when equipment unexpectedly fails or breaks down.

In Aesop’s Fables – a collection of fictional stories with an ethical or educational message that is credited to Aesop, an ancient Greek slave and storyteller – there is a meaningful story that concerns an arrogant hare who ridicules a slow moving tortoise. Tired of the hare’s cocky attitude, the tortoise challenges a faster hare to a race. In the fable, the tortoise wins because the hare quickly gets tired and must stop to rest. The story still has meaning for us 2,500 years later.

In today’s competitive business economy, neither the tortoise nor the hare has all that it takes to win the race. Being slow and steady will not necessarily win the race, nor speed without dependability. A winning combination combines the tortoise’s steadiness and reliability with the hare’s speed and quickness.

Think about a machine’s speed and capacity. They are simple to measure and easy to compare. With a snippet of time and a stopwatch, capacity can be measured. There is always an intermediate leader. Midway through every auto race, someone sits atop the leaderboard, but the prize money will be awarded to the one who completes the entire race and finishes first. An unexpected pit stop in a late lap is wasted time – or down time when a breakdown occurs during the busy season. Down time can determine a race’s winner. It can also determine whether a customer is pleased or frustrated with your performance. Speed and capacity without reliability are less than a winning combination.

Most seed tenders can quickly fill planters and seeders to minimize filling and waiting time. Augers and conveyors have capacity to move product quickly and safely. However, the race is a multiyear marathon, not a one season sprint. Time will test a machine’s design and the integrity of its components, measured by down time.

Down time is wasted time. It is most costly when time is of the essence at the height of planting or harvest. Being slow and steady will not win the race. Neither will speed without dependability. Meridian equipment is designed to include the best of both the hare and the tortoise.

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