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We live in the forests of the San Bernardino Mountains, and in 2003 we had a disaster on our hands in the form of dead trees -- 60,000 of them. This is a very serious problem. Drought and insects have taken their toll, and very few homeowners have escaped untouched.
Unfortunately, we are no exception but I consider myself lucky because we’ve only lost 2 of the 200 or so trees on our property. Still, at roughly $1,000 each to cut them down, I’m not too happy about it.
I have used one particular tree service for many years, as various trees have fallen on hard times, been damaged, or for some other reason had to be removed or trimmed. The service has always been exceptional and their crews very pleasant and professional. I was talking to the owner recently about removal of one dying tree near the house when I casually asked how often they have to sharpen their chain saws.
“We have an electric sharpener and we sharpen all of our saws every morning before we leave for a job. That way, we always know that we are starting off with our tools in tip-top shape.”
That got me thinking. This is an excellent philosophy. Take care of your tools before they NEED taking care of.
I was reminded of the dark ages of computing, when a computer was a monstrosity that required an entire room that was not only air-conditioned but which had a raised floor. The early computers had regularly scheduled down time for “preventive maintenance” when the technicians took it over and ran various tests, changed certain moving parts, etc.
Airlines do the same thing with their aircraft, in fact it is mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration. Mechanics swarm all over a jet and check everything imaginable, replacing worn parts and parts that are merely thinking about becoming worn. Better to change a part on an aircraft and be wrong than to not change that part and be wrong. There isn’t a lot of wiggle room when it comes to a failed part on an aircraft, and the consequences can be catastrophic.