Technology Must Be Coordinated With The Skill Level Of Labor


Technology Kills

By Vance Ehmke

While I’m a firm believer in technology and rapid adoption of it, after this wheat harvest I became aware of technology’s dark side. Instead of increasing productivity and efficiency, it can kill it.

At one point during harvest, I was sitting in one of four new high capacity, high tech John Deere combines with 40-foot draper heads as the operator finished a field. In the olden days all we had to do was drive the machines across the road and start on the next field. That should have taken just one minute.

However, because we were changing fields, a new field ID had to be entered in the combine’s computer system. But since only one of the four operators knew how to key in the new codes, all four combines sat there probably a half hour while the one skilled operator went from combine to combine making the adjustment.

This is the equivalent of one very expensive combine sitting idle for 2 solid hours during the peak of harvest. What a drag on productivity!

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