Is Bigger Better? By Kevin Moore Rock Ridge Windmills (The whole story)
Steve and I stopped by Rocky’s on the
way home. As the three of us examined
Steve’s 16-foot gearbox, Rocky stated that
he knew a guy who had a 16-foot Aermotor
that he was trying to sell. Rocky said
the guy was having a hard time getting
rid of the mill because it was,
“just too big.”
All the way home I worked on my plan to
justify the “bigger is better” sales pitch
I was planning to give my wife. Let’s see,
let’s go for the statistical and scientific
approach. YES, that will work, I said to
myself. I’ll use the Jack Webb approach.
Just the facts and she will be asking me why
I didn’t bring the mill home with me.
I made the following notes: Aermotor Sixteen Foot - I wrote across the
top of the page. Model 702. Newer Model,
I wrote in bold. Cost New $9,780.00. Stroke 14 7/8" & 11 3/8". Lifting capacity of over 900 feet! Stub tower included! Stub towers cost
over $800.00 new. I added an underline to
this important item. A free stub tower,
what a deal, I said to myself!
470 Gallons an hour with a three inch
cylinder! I pushed so hard on my pencil
to emphasize that point, that I broke
the pencil. My goodness, a 16 footer
could run a three-inch cylinder in a
light breeze, I thought as I searched
for a new pencil.
Good night, she’ll pump 1,850 Gallons
an hour with a six-inch cylinder on
an 85-foot lift. “That’s a man’s mill,”
I said out loud. As I let out a whistle,
I noticed that a highway patrolman
was sitting next to me. I wondered
how long he’s been watching me dig
through the stack of papers on my
dash and talking to myself.
Always end with a strong point,
I’ve been told. One more number is all
I needed to present this amazingly powerful
group of numbers to my wife.
What is my closing line? I checked
all my numbers, as I quickly
cleaned up the mess on the dash.
“Oh yes, here is a powerful number.
Windmill weighs 2,380 pounds.”
What! 2,380 pounds, that can’t be right. Quickly I dug out a second
Aermotor tech paper and found a page entitled Aermotor Specifications.
Here we go, 2,380 must be a misprint from the newer catalog..
Model F 16 Foot crated motor 1,180 pounds. That’s more like it I thought.
No wait! I read on and there it was--16 Foot Model F Complete Mill
let’s verify that
ugly number, I thought.
O.K. stop, think
stupid, we are
using math here.
So let’s fall back
to the known constant.
An eight-foot Aermotor is
about 350 pounds. A sixteen
footer is twice as big, so why
does it weigh so much more?
No, wait! We are talking about a circle.
A flash of the face of my eighth grade
math teacher zipped through my mind.
“Double a circle and you will get four
times the area. Remember pi R squared.”
Yes, it’s a math trick. An eight-foot
circle is about 50 square feet, but a
16-foot circle is a little over 200
square feet. My gosh, it’s true that
monster tips the scales at 2,380 pounds.
A 16-foot windmill is four times larger
than an eight-footer.
My wife will never go for this deal.
I’m dead. I’ll never talk her into this one.
I’ve never been known to give up easily
and for the rest of the five-hour drive I
worked over my battle plan.
As soon as I jumped out of the truck I
laid the facts down to Cookie.
I fired off with a quick warning shot to
let her know I was in the mood to buy a
big mill. “This is one great deal and if I
don’t grab it quick, someone else will.” I looked Cookie right in the eyes and
laid down the long list of facts,
I hardly stopped to take a breath.
She looked hypnotized.
I was on a roll. She just tipped her
head and listened intently.I closed with
the classic husband line, “Well, what
do you think?” Cookie just picked up
her ball and ran back into the
doghouse. What do border collies
know about windmills anyway?
I headed for the house.
My wife stopped me before I could
finish the second sentence.
“Wow, isn’t that four times bigger
than your 8 footer?”
“I bet it weighs a ton,” she added.
I smiled and thought again of
some good advice my old math
teacher gave me. “Marry a smart
woman Mr. Moore. You’re going to need the help.”