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Embracing the future

Mastering the fine art of truck maintenance is like chasing a constantly moving target. One year it's a new set of emissions controls and all the related electronics. The next it's a matter of getting...


Mastering the fine art of truck maintenance is like chasing a constantly moving target. One year it’s a new set of emissions controls and all the related electronics. The next it’s a matter of getting up to speed on repairing and maintaining the latest fuel-saving equipment.

You’d be hard-pressed to find another line of work in which the need for continuous learning is so essential. Continuously upgrading your skills is not an option for the heavy truck technician, but a requirement.

This year’s Report on Maintenance focuses on several changes coming down the pike for maintenance managers and truck operators.

An example of an emerging issue for technicians is the cleaning requirement for diesel particulate filters (DPFs). These filters have been a fairly low-maintenance item since they burst onto the scene in 2007. Now, they’re coming due for their first cleanings and the results may not be pretty.

Early findings from one of the first fleets in Canada to invest in the cleaning equipment and begin pulling filters are showing some causes for concern. Cracks have been discovered on the cores of many of the filters. Just another problem needing a solution in the shop.

Maintenance managers and technicians are a special breed. You better enjoy a good challenge -otherwise, you’re in the wrong line of work.

I wouldn’t last one day in a shop environment without putting a wrench through something expensive.

Another change in the shop I’ve noticed over the past 10 years is the typical technician is no longer, well, typical. As a shortage of technicians continues to plague the trucking industry, talented people from all walks of life are stepping up to fill the void.

We came across the bright young lady on the cover of this section during a recent visit to Bison Transport’s Mississauga shop.

We were there to shoot some video and take some stock photos when we met Josephine Park, a licensed heavy truck and coach technician who graduated from Volvo’s prestigious Modified Apprenticeship Program (MAP). Park has a Bachelor of Arts and Science degree as well, and then decided on a career as a heavy truck technician. She and others like her represent the future of the business.

At times, it’s hard to believe just how fast things are moving. But it isn’t boring, is it? Welcome change and embrace the future and your work will always be gratifying, never boring. The same can be said of any work environment but nowhere does it hold more true than in the shop.


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