When did you
join SMT GB/Volvo and in what role?
I joined Volvo CE in February 2013 as Newcastle Depot’s Mobile Welder and Line Borer. After leaving school, I studied to be an Architectural Technician in a firm of Architects, before joining my father’s engineering business. I’ve been in engineering for 25 years since, and in that time I have worked for some of the biggest attachment manufacturers in the UK, as well as some of the North-East region’s longest established engineering firms for the oil, gas and Subsea Industry.
How has your
career developed since joining the company?
As far as my day job goes, I would say the area where I have developed most in is in the level of training that SMT GB puts us through. It is refreshing to work for a company that takes training and personal development so seriously. I think the rest of the people in the depot would say my charity ‘Tuck Shop’ that I run, as being the most important thing that I do. I sell crisps, chocolate, cans of pop, as well as other things from our honesty fridge. All our profits go to MacMillan Cancer Support, and to date we have raised around £700 in a year. I’m also on the Employee Council as the Newcastle Depot’s representative .
What does a
typical day involve?
My typical day can be incredibly varied. My role is predominantly a welder/line borer. So the bulk of my work is either welding, line boring worn areas or repairing or overhauling buckets or attachments, inspections, pricing of work, ordering of parts and materials and planning of my work. I also get called out every now and again when the engineers have problems removing seized pins. Nothing stops a thermic lance!!
What skills are
needed to carry out your role?
Where do I start? All of the welder/line borers in all the depots are incredibly skilled individuals. An example of the skills required to do our jobs is: Welding MIG/MAG/TIG, fabricating, line boring, gas burning/gouging, gas profiling, thermic lancing, pin pulling, auto lube system training … the list goes on. In fact, on my last training course, the trainer commented that “he’d never trained a more qualified group of people” and that he’d actually learnt things during the course. I think this is testament to SMT and the level of training they offer.
What is the
biggest challenge in your role?
The variety of work I suppose is the biggest challenge. Having the ability to problem-solve and think on your feet is essential. We have the advantage of not being tied to working on just Volvo’s, but with that comes its own unfamiliarity challenges with machines from different manufacturers, but ultimately keeping a customer happy – that’s what it’s all about at the end of the day!
What do you
enjoy most about your job?
The variety of my job is the thing also what I like most about it. Not knowing what your next job could be adds that ‘spice of life’. Then of course being able to play on big ‘toys’ for a living, I think everyone in this industry would agree is a perk.
What do you
like about working for SMT GB?
Although we are a relatively large Volvo dealership now, SMT GB still feels like it has a family feel. It’s also good to work for a company where your opinion counts, and where you feel like you can actually make a difference.