How big a truck is needed to change a lightbulb?

I was coming into campus via 3rd street and passed an electrician changing a lightbulb in one of the street lamps by the road.

He was changing a light just like this.

I’m glad that UC Davis still has some money to pay for these kinds of amenities in the budget crisis, but beside the electrician was a giant truck with a huge robotic ladder. The first question that came to my mind was “How big of a truck do you need to change a lightbulb?”. Apparently this big:

This truck was parked near the Death Star and the driver was replacing a lightbulb in a street lamp.

This electrician drove his huge vehicle across campus to change a lightbulb that only needed a step ladder, the bulb and probably a screwdriver. Why can’t these tools and supplies be stored close by and the guy just bikes over? Or why can’t he take a little electric golf cart over to do things like this? Or better yet, why don’t the electricians have a pedal powered ulitily cart like the one operated by Michael Griffith on the grounds crew?

Jason Moore and Michael Griffith posing with his human powered grounds crew cart on the UC Davis Campus.

Can’t we save tons of money by cutting these wasteful practices? Instead we continue to get fee hikes from the Regents rather than trying to save money in the things that we already do. When choosing vehicles to build up the fleet at UC Davis, we should attempt to purchase a wide range of vehicles so that we have different options for different travel needs and the employees need incentives to choose the appropriate vehicle for the task. Every tradesmen on campus doesn’t necessarily need a big truck with a full gamut of tools to cover every possible situation.

3 Responses to “How big a truck is needed to change a lightbulb?”


  • Institutionalized waste. Sad.
    Maybe they need tall bikes. The original tall bikes back in the day were built explicitly for this purpose.

  • I’m sure they already owned the *one* truck for the harder to reach areas of campus. It makes sense to use labor-saving devices you already own to save time and maximize what the electrician can do in a day.

    Plus a tall bike in this instance would be comical.

    • The point would be not to buy these trucks in the first place, instead only buy a few that are shared among workers and have other small electric or human powered vehicles for use for most trips around campus. Only bring out the big trucks if the problem is big enough to require it.

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