Time spent recently with North Americans reminded me of some of the idioms they are fond of. Being such mobile societies, you find plenty of examples of driving language in everyday speech.
When the rubber meets the road (sometimes seen as where the rubber hits the road) refers to the moment when you test an idea or plan in real conditions. It is like taking a car for a test drive. It may look nice but you don’t really know how it handles the road until you get in it and take it for a drive. The rubber refers to the tyres.
We won’t know if the upgraded system works until we go online with it. That’s when the rubber meets the road.
I don’t know how the new employee will shape up yet. Once the new season starts and we are operating at full capacity, that’s when the rubber meets the road and we’ll see if she has what it takes.