We all have seen them, sitting by the side of the road, patches of rust scattered here and there, day after day after day…all alone at some apparently stalled construction project.
When I see one of these I cannot help but to think of the following scenario.
Setting: A small conference room table at a small, but growing, civil contractor’s office.
Ned – Owner: “Well guys, I have some good news! I just got back from our accountant’s office and it looks like we are going to be able to buy that new bulldozer.”
Sam – Foreman: “This is great, now we can price more, and larger, projects.”
Fast forward to the local bulldozer dealer and we see Ned and Sam looking over the latest models, eagerly asking questions, soaking in all the information and learning about all the latest features.
Hours go by and, buzzing with excitement, they finally pull the trigger on a new bulldozer!
Fast forward to the first day on the job for the shiny new ‘dozer: Ned, who rarely ‘gets dirty’ any more puts in a full 9+ hours running the new machine. He is thrilled!
The day ends and Sam and the crew help Ned get the new bulldozer situated back on the trailer to return to the shop where it will be hosed down and put under cover much like a prized thoroughbred.
Fast forward to today, where we see what was once a shiny new bulldozer, sitting on the side of the road so far removed from the ‘fresh off the assembly line’ look of days gone by. Sitting alone with just the elements as company.
I like to think about how many jobs that bulldozer did, how many weeks passed before Ned found his ROI, how many stories are now told because of this magnificent piece of equipment.
Then…what I like to think about is this: There was one day, one single, solitary moment, when Sam, after a finite number of projects and long days and much effort of guiding the new machine back on the trailer to return the shop finally said, “Ahhhh…fergit it, let’s just leave it out here, no one’s gonna do anything.”
And then…they left the bulldozer on the jobsite for the first time.
The day that happened, I wonder what Ned had for breakfast that morning.