We called him Jack and we loved him. Ever ready and tough as nails - though showing his age toward the end; a more loyal servant you would never find.
“Jack” was my 11-year-old Subaru Outback station wagon, which I said goodbye to a few months ago when I took ownership of a new car - the latest version of the same model.
Turns out a lot has changed in automobile technology. The old Outback was simple, with no bells and whistles. The new one not only looks much more sleek and elegant, it also came with a host of what I consider high-tech features, such as a rear-view backup camera, automatic climate control and lighting, and a power lift gate. It even “sees” traffic and obstacles around it, alerts me to their presence and could even apply its own brakes in the event of an impending collision, if need be.
I’m both reassured by the additional safety features and comforted by the various amenities... except for the power lift gate. I don’t understand the need for this feature. It’s not that difficult to manually open the hatch of a station wagon. With the power option, it actually takes longer to open and close the hatch, plus I’ve found it’s temperamental and susceptible to glitches. In their attempt to constantly improve and innovate, automobile designers sometimes overdo it. And why not? All of these features add to the cost of the car.
This brings me to the focus of our article, “Strong Rental Market Drives Equipment Design” on page 28. Here, we take a look at the recent trend toward designing and manufacturing equipment that’s geared toward rental customers, who neither want or need all the bells, whistles and creature comforts on their equipment. Fortunately, today’s equipment suppliers realize return on investment is the highest priority in rental, so why not offer machines with that in mind? Sometimes “good enough to get the job done” is really all that’s needed.
Technology is amazing and more often than not offers us tremendous benefits. Sometimes, however, simple is just fine, good enough, and even preferred. Kudos to today’s equipment manufacturers who are attuned to the needs of their customers.