Hybrid defined – A thing made by combining two or more distinct elements.
So let’s amend the old adage to necessity is the mother of hybrid. Why? Who has time to invent stuff with Mother Necessity nipping at their heels? Isn’t it more efficient to combine two things to form a new thing?
For example, look at what happened at schools and businesses during the pandemic. By necessity, hybrid solutions were birthed. Now many businesses offer employees a fusion of home and office. Same with schools. Up here in Minnesota—where kids count on a few snow days to goof off—schools now pivot to virtual learning when the forecast is bad. So, thanks to COVID and Mother Necessity, snow days are a thing of the past up here in the North (bummer for the kids).
Recently, one of our new customers called the Van Ladder a Hybrid Bucket Truck. Mother Necessity had required this company to merge their service and installation departments, combining two things to form a new thing. So they needed a couple of their trucks set up for both service and installs—a hybrid Bucket Truck.
Why are companies rethinking their structure and re-evaluating their equipment needs? Here’s one reason: Times have changed. Having separate service and installation departments made greater sense when signs were heavier and lightbulbs didn’t last as long. On the installation side, heavy signs required big trucks. While on the service side, old lighting technology required frequent bulb changes, best accomplished with small trucks. So, for equipment reasons, it made sense to run the two departments separately.
But now signs don’t weigh as much. Countless companies tell us that 70% of the signs they hang weigh less than 200 lbs. So having a smaller bucket truck with material handling capabilities is a big plus for many installs, especially in cramped spaces like strip malls. Why not use the big trucks for big signs? This saves money on equipment, set-ups, and personnel (You can check out the Van Ladder’s material handling capabilities at https://www.vanladder.com/chariot-bucket/)
How about the service side?
Here’s a riddle: How many technicians does it take to change lightbulbs?
Answer: Fewer than it used to.
It’s no joke. The vast wave of LED retrofits in recent years is steadily reducing the number of trips required to change lightbulbs. Could this trend free up time for service personnel to help with installs? It could—with the right equipment.
With its separate storage compartments, the Van Ladder’s Workport box (https://www.vanladder.com/chassis-and-box/) sets up beautifully for service work, facilitating organized storage for inventory and tools. But there’s also a large open area between the wheel wells (50” x 146”) to transport installation projects when needed. Now you can flex your personnel in the direction of the need.
Install/Service—it’s a hybrid model for organizational efficiency.