Let’s Go Places – How About Back to November 1989

RMG1aRecently while cleaning out some files I cam across a collection of editorials I had written years ago. Surprisingly some really seemed to fit the world as it is today with minor modifications. The point is although everything changes nothing is different.

Read With Caution, May Cause Drowsiness appeared as an editorial in 1989.

Here it is, November, the 11th month. Daylight savings time is over. It’s dark when you leave the house in the morning. It’s dark when you get home in the evening. You can’t go out without a jacket and some mornings you even need your gloves. If you park outside chances are you have to scrape your windows.

By now you’ve had an opportunity to read several articles on “The Wonders of Winter Maintenance. Winter is like taxes – something you simply can’t escape.

In addition to maintenance worries, winter presents safety concerns. Not only do we have to deal with ice and snow on the roads, we have to deal with the limited visibility of frosted and fogged windshields, back windows and mirrors. Then there are the ice-covered steps and frozen grab-irons, slippery floors and snow-covered boots.

The opportunities to practice safety are innumerable during winter season. If it gets cold enough you have to be concerned about staying out too long, touching metal and wearing the right clothes. One safety concern in particular s often neglected.

With the snow comes colds and flu. Everyone tries to fight these bugs with off-the-shelf remedies. How often have you taken a cold capsule or other remedy and gone to work? Did you read the label? Did it happen to say, “Do not operate machinery or equipment after taking! May cause drowsiness.” Probably.

It’s something we all do, well maybe 1ot all of us. It’s something we shouldn’t lo. Some of these remedies may have little or no effect on us and our ability to operate cars, trucks, machines or do our job. We may not fall asleep. We might think that because we weigh 200 lbs one little pill can’t hurt us. The fact is that many of these medicines can slow our reflexes or impair our judgment.

There are alternatives that don’t cause drowsiness or produce other negative effects. If you have to work when you’re sick take them instead. Don’t take a chance. When you’re working as part of a group, what you do can and does, affect everyone. If you’re not sure, talk to your doctor and find out if it’s OK to work on or operate a piece of machinery while taking certain medicines or drugs.

This matter could be a topic for a safety meeting. It’s something that people – me included — never think about, but should. Getting behind the wheel of a car, truck or machine is serious business. When we do it we assume responsibility for any and every one who might come in contact with us. Please, don’t take this responsibility lightly.

Safety is not a seasonal activity. Being a safe worker, employer and employee is a year-around requirement. If we expect the company we work for to provide us with the safety gear necessary to do our job, it’s only fair that we show up in condition to do the job.

Remember that clothing should meet existing safety requirements. If safety shoes are required that’s what should be worn. No, gym shoes are not an acceptable substitute. It’s easy to slip on a pair of “sneakers” and not bother changing when you get to work.

(Winter clothing poses more safety hazards than less bulky and restricting summer clothing.)

It’s a lot easier to wear a baseball cap than the hard hat; or forget your safety glasses when you should be wearing them. Being safety conscious isn’t always easy. Sometimes it requires extra effort. But, it’s always worth it.

Safety is an individual commitment. A company is only as safe as the most careless of its employees. Unfortunately, an individual’s dedication to being safe is never as noticeable as one person’s care­ less conduct.

To be safe, you must think safe, dress safe, act safe and live safe. Being safe is one thing you’ll never live to regret — so is being careless!

That was 1989. Not much has changed, has it?

A Merry and Safe Christmas and Happy and Safe New Year to you and your families.

This editorial appeared in the December 2014 issues of the ACP magazines.

November 4, 2014 marks the 45th Anniversary of Philippi-Hagenbuch, Inc., Happy Anniversary

I received the following in an e-mail today and it brought a flood of memories. I learned more about haul trucks, haul roads and the importance of haul road maintenance from “Phil” and LeRoy than you can imagine. Most of this information ended up as articles in a now long-gone magazine Equipment Management (EM) of which I was editor. It’s hard to believe that PHIL was started 45 years ago…

Congratulations to an innovator and a survivor. I hope the next 45 years are as interesting and exciting as the were.

181Dear Greg Sitek:

November 4, 2014 marks the 45th Anniversary of Philippi-Hagenbuch, Inc. which was co-founded by L.B. “Phil” Philippi (Pat Hagenbuch’s Father) and LeRoy Hagenbuch, P.E. Since its founding, PHIL has grown into an international company focussing on innovations for haulage equipment that has a wide reach, yet retains its modest, family owned footprint here in Peoria, Illinois.

It all started with two shoe boxes that led to the first prototype of what would become our Autogate(R) Tailgate; a need was presented and a dream was born. Forty-five years, over a hundred patents, thousands of tailgates and hundreds of sideboards, truck bodies, water tanks, trailers and other specialty haulage equipment later and PHIL is going strong. From PHIL’s humble beginnings in the basement of the Philippi house on Millbrook Road to our current 50-acre campus, PHIL has grown from servicing Quarries to a diversified group of stable industries made up by the Aggregates, Mining, Steel Mill, Landfill, Power Plant, Oil Refinery, Heavy Duty Agriculture and Forestry markets.

Today, PHIL is led by the third generation of the Philippi and Hagenbuch families, ushering in new technologies, business practices, and products in an effort to further establish PHIL in the industries we serve through the dedication of our highly motivated tight-knit group of associates.

None of this would be possible without the support of our amazing clients, vendors, industry partners, licensees and the support of off-highway truck OEM’s. Thank you for helping us build such a legacy!

To commemorate this anniversary, the Associates of PHIL are putting together a milestone memory book. If you would like to share a story, picture of your PHIL product or a note of congratulations that will be included in the book, please click here.
Regards,
Josh Swank
Josh Swank
Vice President of Sales & Marketing
Philippi-Hagenbuch, Inc.

Mediocrities

Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff

It’s easy to be forgotten when there are so many that are better than you. So why exert the extra effort when you can get along by simply doing as little as possible.

Virtually everyone has heard of Confucius, Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, Aquinas, and Locke, to name only a few of the most notable. Many aspects of our personal and professional lives are influenced by the thinking, teachings and writings of one or more of these great minds. Yet there is one forgotten philosopher who is followed by more people than any other.

Mediocrities is the forgotten, and uncelebrated, but most followed philosopher’s who taught, “Do only enough to get by.” Why excel when it’s so much easier to easier to fail? Why make something perfect if good enough will do?

Strangely enough, many people even unknowingly adhere to his philosophy in raising their children. Do you remember being told that things should be done in moderation?

Think of all the people you know who go through life satisfied with doing just enough to get by when with a little more effort, they could do more. Usually when you say this people will tell you something like, “It’s not just a little more, it’s a whole lot more. If all it took was just a little more, everyone would do it.”

Not true. A little goes a long way.

In USA Gymnastics history, Peter Vidmar is the highest-scoring gymnast. At the 1984 Games, he collected a gold on the pommel horse, after earning a perfect 10, and a second place finish in the individual all-around, becoming the first American to secure an all-around medal at the Games.

After winning the Gold Medal, Vidmar was the keynote speaker at a National Utility Contractors Association annual meeting many years ago. During the banquet, the press was given the opportunity to sit at the table with him. I got super lucky and was seated next to him. While we talked during the meal, I asked him what he had done that gave him the edge to earn a perfect score 10. He commented that during his competition, he noticed that the one common denominator was that everyone who won, won by just a little bit more than the person to beat. It was a tiny point spread between the winner and number two. It was tenths of a point, tenths of a second, or millimeters.

He said that he figured he didn’t have to be a lot better, he just had to try to be a little bit better. To accomplish this, he said that he pushed himself and worked out 10 minutes longer than anyone else and that the added 10 minutes gave him the winning edge.

Mediocrities says, “Don’t do today what you can put off until tomorrow. Maybe someone else will do it and you won’t have to.” If you follow this advice you will not only never win the Gold, you’ll never get a shot at it.

We have (or will have in a few days) newly elected representatives in Congress as well as all other political offices on the federal, state, county and municipal level. We need these people to put in an extra 10 minutes a day so that we can move forward on all levels. There are so many pieces of legislation that need to be handled; so many things that need to be done that are pending, such as the highway bill. We too need to put in an extra 10 minutes a day communicating with the people who have recently been elected to represent us making certain that they remember what got them elected and why they have assumed the responsibility of representation.

Don’t worry about Mediocrities. He may be forgotten but his philosophy will prevail, just as it has for centuries.

Excellence is a better teacher than mediocrity. The lessons of the ordinary are everywhere. Truly profound and original insights are to be found only in studying the exemplary.

Warren Bennis

The difference between greatness and mediocrity is often how an individual views a mistake.

Nelson Boswell

Mediocrities will appear in the November 2014 issues of the 13 ACP magazines.

The 2014 Elections are Coming!

Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff

It’s been a long time since I’ve looked forward to an election. I’m old and have been around for three quarters of a century. I proudly served four years in the Air Force and have worked for more than six decades. I’ve voted in 14 presidential elections, a couple dozen congressional elections and who knows how many local elections.

During this time, I have seen numerous politicians come and go. Most were concerned about the country and its future. Today’s politicians seem to be more concerned about their retirement packages, pay, benefits and getting re-elected than they are about the good of the country.

I remember World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, the Persian Gulf War and the Iraq War and can say in all honesty that since Vietnam, I’ve lacked the confidence in our leadership that I had during WWII and Korea. Today’s America is not the America I wore a uniform to protect and serve.

For all practical purposes, we have spent the last 14 or 15 years politically bickering and pointing fingers of blame at everyone. But immediately following 9/11, we were a united, unified America. We were reminiscent of the America that won WWII, that saw us through Korea, that our founding fathers dreamed of, for whom so many died.

However, we have since returned to disagreement, discord and
discontent.

We’ve come through a recession that crippled our economy and inflicted economic pain on thousands, many of whom were retired seniors who will never recover. We are still struggling to recover.

We can join those who point fingers of blame or we can accept the responsibility for the part we played in what has led us to these current conditions. You have to start by answering the questions: Did you vote? Did you vote responsibly?

If we aren’t satisfied with the performance of our elected representatives, we need to communicate with them and let them know. If we’re still dissatisfied, then it’s our responsibility to replace them with a better choice.

Elections should not be about party politics but about selecting the best people to represent us in
Washington.

There is so much that needs to be done and yet so little gets accomplished. How long do we have to wait for a new highway bill? Immigration? Clean water? Fair wage bill? The list is virtually endless. There are thousands of bills waiting and more being introduced daily.Bills qr20140915141335-300

Our representatives in Congress are the people who will promulgate some of these bills into law. The quality of the people in Congress depends on us and how well we have chosen. Do some homework and know something about the people for whom you vote. It’s a good idea to know if you can trust them to voice and express your opinions and concerns when making decisions for you. You are putting your future, the future of your children and the future of your country in their hands.

How important is voting?

“Which constitutional right is the most important? You might answer ‘freedom of speech’ or ‘free exercise’ of religion. Some think it’s ‘the right to keep and bear arms.’ Criminal lawyers think of the guarantee against ‘unreasonable searches and seizures,’ trial lawyers think of jury trial in civil cases. But which right appears most often in the Constitution’s text? It’s ‘the right to vote.’ The Constitution mentions ‘the right to vote’ five times.”(The Atlantic, September 18, 2012)Vote qr20140915143149-300

This year’s elections are only days away. Remember, it is important to vote responsibly and intelligently, not politically. Exercise your right and vote.

This editorial appeared in the October 2014 issues of the ACP magazines.

A Walk on the Great Wall, Watch Fires Part 2

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