Trucks, our drivers love them, our travellers love them and we love them. It’s not uncommon for our travellers to see their driver ‘tinkering’ on the truck at the end of the day. Whether it’s checking tyre pressures, greasing various parts of the truck or running routine checks, they keep busy.
We are very proud that we still build, run and maintain our own trucks. This gives us ultimate control over how the trucks are kept and in the long run we feel helps to keep our travellers safe. Whilst our fleet manager Mark makes several visits out to see the trucks every year, other members of the office team also visit them at various points and run over a few simple checks.
To make sure the whole team are prepared to do this, we recently held a training weekend at our second workshop in Lincolnshire. The girls in the office donned oversized overalls and set about making the journey north. When we got there, one of our Trans Africa trucks awaited. She wasn’t used to having girls work on her, but she quickly got used to it and I think in the end kind of liked it!
After watching a video on basic checks, it was time to get our hands dirty. Our drivers regularly do ‘MOT’ style checks on the vehicles and so our training followed the same format. We worked our way through the list, crawling under the truck to listen for air leaks on the brakes (which I am pleased to report we did not find), checked the wheel nuts and tyre pressures, jacked the front of the cab amongst many other things.
Once our basic knowledge was up to scratch we moved onto more technical things. So we looked at how the brakes operated as well as looking at a clutch. Anything you want to know about slack adjusters and ‘S’ Cams, then we are the ones to ask! Finally we descended into the ‘pit’ underneath the truck and Mark pointed out what various things do, from the parabolic springs to the water pump. Move over boys – the girls now have the skills!
All in all it was a very useful long weekend. Don’t be surprised if someone from the office is on your trip and looking around the truck. We believe there is no such thing as checking the vehicle too many times, and many eyes help to keep our trucks in tip top condition. Our drivers do a great job at caring for their trucks, and we are proud that we now have an office team who can go through some simple checks with them on the road.