Quarter 4 2012
In the pipeline
The fastest emergency hose replacement service there is
In the pipeline 3
The Olympic Spirit I am writing this latest column in the immediate aftermath of what can only be described as the greatest sporting summer in living memory. The Olympians of Team GB, rallied by an unprecedented surge in public support, soared to new heights of excellence gathering gold as they went and creating new icons and heroes on an almost daily basis. Perhaps even more remarkably, the subsequent Paralympics achieved something that no previous Games had achieved with disability all-but forgotten and sporting feats and heroism to the fore. What has all of this got to do with Pirtek, I hear you ask?
Well, aside from the fact that many of our Centres were involved in the pre-Games building explosion across London for almost seven years, I see Pirtek as the industrial equivalent to the Gamesmakers that made London 2012 so memorable. Like the Gamesmakers, we beaver away quietly in the background, supporting and assisting the feats of others. Like the Gamesmakers, our priority is making sure that everyone is happy and well looked after. And like the Gamesmakers, we wear some pretty smart uniforms too. Sure, we may never climb atop a podium. We’ll probably never
have our own victory dance. And most of us will never grace a poster on the bedroom wall of an aspiring child with dreams of gold. But, as athlete after athlete was keen to point out, their astonishing feats of strength, speed and endurance would have been for nothing without the support of the Gamesmakers. Best regards
Be There or Be Square Hot Air Boots or Butterflies Branching Out In Praise of Cesar Walk in the Park Out with a Bang All at Sea...Not! Transformers II
Kelvin Roberts Chairman, Pirtek Europe
NBest of Both Worlds Coldest Journey Hidden Cem
Be There, or Be Square
Setsquare Staging in Mitcham is used to building the unusual, be it giant phones or exhibition stands. They also seem to have a reputation for building the sets for spectacular car launches. However the latest launch of a new top secret 4x4 in Richmond Park planned for later this year required some extra help from Pirtek Mitcham. For the launch, the new vehicle will drive along a ramp into a water filled tank and then be raised on hydraulic rams above a replica of the Giant’s Causeway. Piece of cake you might think for a staging company with 25 years of experience. Although manufacturing the elements was child's play for the company, they still called in Pirtek to design, manufacture and install the
hydraulic lifting system. In fact Pirtek Mitcham redesigned part of the system to give a better and more reliable lift. They also brought in specialist hydraulic ram manufacturer HRRUK to custom build eight rams for the stage. Because they have to fit into a space of just 550 mm when the stage is closed, the rams are fed from the top of the cylinder through an external pipe as there simply isn't the space for a conventional feed. Despite this, each has a push power of 5.8 tonnes and a pull power of 3.2 tonnes. "I'm always pleased to work with Pirtek. We purchase a lot of fixtures and fittings from them and we supply ram expertise to Pirtek in return,” says managing director Richard Hudd. “It's a system that works really well and we have worked alongside them for years.” Once the rams were installed, Pirtek Mitcham fitted the power packs, four diverter valves and speed controls to each of the rams. The rams are also fitted with internal burst (control) valves to hold the pressure in the system to prevent the 5 tonne stage dropping during the performance. Pirtek also
New Deal Cherry-picking Staff Dredging the Depths Flexible Friend Pond Life Trunk Call
manufactured two manifold blocks that control the four inlet and eight outlet feeds. The entire system was designed and built in just one week instead of the scheduled two weeks and has required 48 metres of 3/8" hose, and four metres of 3/4" for the 16 internal hoses and eight external hoses. The entire assembly will eventually be lifted into the tank, and the external controls fitted for the performance. The MSSTs at Mitcham are looking forward to the launch knowing that they had a hand in what could be a major export for the UK.
Out to Grass Unsung Heroes Helping Hand BTCC
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Published by Pirtek (UK) Limited 35 Acton Park Estate, The Vale, Acton, London W3 7QE Tel 020 8749 8444 Fax 020 8749 8333 E-mail [email protected]
Hot Air Cavity wall insulation is not an area you normally associate with Pirtek. But as well as being hydraulic specialists, Pirtek is also a leader in pneumatic components, which has proved a valuable factor for one of the UK's insulation specialists, Domestic and General Insulation Ltd. Formed in 1986, Worcester-based Domestic and General installs cavity wall insulation in over 25,000 homes a year; that's around 40 homes per day around the country. The sheer logistics of this operation become apparent when you examine the product manufacturing, as Andrew Sterling, technical inspector for DGI pointed out. “As well as our own installation work, we supply to 10 established installers and act as monitors to a further 16. That covers approximately two thirds of the UK,” Sterling says. “We produce between 50 and 60 tonnes of insulation every week. That doesn't sound a lot but it’s nine artic trailers worth or 120 m3, and makes DGI one of the largest insulation product manufacturers in the country." The company use Neopar, a BASF graphic-based plastic in a twopart process to produce the insulation. The tiny granules are heated twice by hot air in two different operations to produce a silver oval pellet. The shape is important, as when it is blown into the cavity, the granules lock better than round granules, and will not settle after insertion. This gives one of the best performing insulations possible. The granules are also coated in a water based PVA adhesive during insulation to ensure they remain in place after insertion. The company also has unique telescopic installation lances to get at places that other companies cannot reach, making insulation very efficient. The company are so proud of the quality levels they operate to, that they even have their BBA accreditation on all the company uniforms. “Pirtek's input in our process has proved invaluable,” Sterling continues. “They have designed and manufactured the control board that operates the airflow on the installation vehicle, from the compressor to the granules and the PVA adhesive. We are coating the granules at 5-5.5 bar and installing at 7-7.5 bar. That gives DGI one of the fastest installation processes in the country. The control boards have been installed in 50 of our vehicles and we have a further 80 boards on order. We also convert other company's vehicles to our system, all using the Pirtek boards. Pirtek has been brilliant. They have put a lot of thought into the research and design of the boards, sourcing parts we couldn't, and making insulation as simple as possible. They do a lot of extra work on our behalf and purely for our benefit. They are competitive on price and extremely helpful, a really good bunch of guys.” Top down The control board designed and built by Pirtek Worcester. Neopar granules after their first stage heating. Domestic and General technical inspector Andrew Sterling with one of the company’s installation vehicles, showing the Pirtek control board top right.
Quarter 4 2012
In the pipeline 5
Boots or Butterflies? Ask someone what the word caterpillar means to them and you might get answers ranging from bulldozers to boots or butterfly larva. Very few, however, would conjure up an image of the product that is part of Rosyth-based Oceaneering's deep-water cable laying operations. The US company has provided global Oceaneering Umbilical Solutions (OUS) -subsea power cables and production control umbilical systems for over 30 years. Acknowledged as a global leader in designing and manufacturing subsea cable systems, OUS is the only major provider manufacturing the full range of subsea umbilical systems. One of the many services Oceaneering provide is a reel-lay system for pipelines that uses the caterpillar as an
Branching Out Forestry has always been important in Scotland and over the past 50 years great swathes of land have been converted to tree husbandry. Today around 15 percent of Scotland is now wooded and this trend is likely to continue with changes to government and local level environmental directives. One company that realised the potential of this market was Dalbeattie-based JP Wilson which diversified its contracting business into a national supplier of forestry equipment. Formed in 1963 by the late, eponymous James Pearson Wilson, the company has grown into the country's premier forestry equipment supplier with 3,000 m2 of workshop premises and a staggering further 20,000 m2 of yard space and test track facilities. The company trades under several guises: Wilson Machinery dealing with sales and repairs of existing machines; and E.F.M. Ltd (European Forest Machinery) producing specialist cranes, loaders, grabs and Euro forestry trailers marketed under the Botex banner. Wilson Machinery has a thriving business in used equipment, from tractors to winches. The company also imports specialist forestry equipment such as Rottne Swedish tree cutters, SP harvesters,
integral part of the 10,000 pound tension 600 tonne ship mounted carousel. So when a caterpillar appeared at Rosyth one afternoon with an urgent call for a hydraulic refit, Pirtek Kinross sprang into action and had MSST David Collins on site within the allotted 1 hour. What he was not expecting, however, was the size of the job. "I assumed it was a straightforward hose supply. Usually we go in, measure up and make the hoses for Oceaneering's engineers to fit. On this occasion it was a complete refit of the caterpillar that's 20 hoses to make, but for a change could I refit them as well, as Oceaneering's engineers were fully occupied with other projects,” Collins recalls. “Thankfully, I came out well equipped and had enough hose and fittings to manufacture all 20 new hoses. This was obviously too big a project to complete that afternoon, so I was back on site at the crack of dawn the following day to complete the job.” Oceaneering has been a valued customer for over 10 years and the Kinross Centre are well versed in their needs. Collins just took the job in his stride and was pleased that the caterpillar was back in action the next day. However, he must have been on good form because Scott Phillips, Maintenance Supervisor for Oceaneering Umbilical Solutions took the time to email Pirtek head office in Action with the following message: “We use the Kinross branch of Pirtek here at Oceaneering International's Rosyth manufacturing plant and just wanted to pass on a few comments from ourselves. David Collins attended site this week to carry out an extensive replacement of hydraulic hoses and fittings on a very expensive & important piece of kit. He worked both safely and swiftly to get the job done - leaving a very tidy work area despite having to change out 20 hoses and 40 seized couplings all full of oil. Also worth mentioning is the superb response we receive from the branch every time we call them - they turn up very quickly at all hours of the day or night, know exactly what we need and deliver on time, every time. The guys are a credit to the Pirtek brand and because of them we will continue to use Pirtek as a valued supplier for many years to come. I hope you can pass on our thanks & appreciation for their efforts.” And David Collins’ response? "It's always nice to be appreciated,” he said with a smile.”
In Praise of CESAR The Police Service of Northern Ireland, in partnership with Pirtek Belfast, is helping farmers prevent the theft of vital farm vehicles, tractors, plant and even quad bikes, by holding unique ‘CESAR It’ days throughout the province. The fitting of the CESAR vehicle marking system will be offered at a hugely reduced price at events throughout Northern Ireland. Very successful ‘CESAR It’ days have already taken place in Ballymoney, Ballymena and Limavady with further events planned - including Portadown and Draperstown. CESAR is a visual deterrent to thieves that shows the vehicle is protected by state of the art technology identification transponders and unique ID microdots, which make it easier to return a vehicle if stolen and recovered. CESAR not only gives peace of mind but has the added benefit of no annual fees and reduced insurance costs. The first 30 farmers who register for each 'CESAR It' day can have a CESAR kit fitted to one of their vehicles at a reduced price thanks to the subsidy from the PSNI together with the reduction in fitting costs from Pirtek Belfast. Cathy Doyle of Pirtek Belfast, suppliers of the CESAR system in Northern Ireland says: "As an additional incentive to farmers on ‘CESAR It’ day, Pirtek Belfast will refund one lucky farmer the cost of their CESAR Kit. This, coupled with the discounts on insurance available for having CESAR fitted, makes this offer too good to miss." The system is approved and recommended by the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the Association of Chief Police Officers. Inspector David Anderson (H District) said: “This scheme is just one of a range of events and projects such as our successful trailer marking days and information stands for farmers being held by H District to help prevent agricultural crime and raise awareness of crime prevention measures." Agricultural thefts are extremely common in Northern Ireland as stolen vehicles can easily be taken into Eire from where they can be easily exported to Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
There were 3705 visitors to the UFU/NFU Mutual stand at Balmoral Show, 370 entries for the prize draw. Winner J onathan Kerr, Daniel Gilmore, David Cairns from NFU Mutual, Cathy Doyle from Pirtek Belfast. Right Limavady Fitment Day: PIC 314, Con Davy Shiels, Con Brian Logue and Inspector Andy Archibald. Also in picture, Cathy Doyle, Pirtek Belfast & Honor Forgie of DA Forgie Ltd. Below Ballymoney: Inspector David Anderson, PSNI - Cathy Doyle, Pirtek Belfast - John McElderry, McElderry Ltd, Ballymoney.
Igland winches and Junkkari chippers. Sales manager Iain Wilson explains why they used Pirtek. “We had problems with a previous supplier and decided to try out other companies to see if they could provide a better or more competitive service. Once we had tried Pirtek, there was no looking back. We knew the quality of the products was excellent and their call out times were very good. And they suggested ways of saving money by our company holding certain hoses and were prepared to supply the components to allow us to do our own swaging,” he explains. “This is a very specalised market. We will break 50 used machines for spares during the year, as new parts are extremely expensive and hard to source. We know our customers and provide what they require, such as wheels, which we will sell for £600 instead of £2,000. We export a lot of the equipment, Ireland is a particularly important market with the Baltic States coming a close second, and we have even sent parts to Argentina. However, we will refurbish any component before it is dispatched, so the customer gets extremely good value to repair an unusual machine. Pirtek has proved invaluable in providing all sorts of components and hoses on our refurbishment work.”
Quarter 4 2012
In thepipeline 7
Out with a Bang Walk in the Park
When Steve Walker introduced walking floor trailers to the UK, little did he realise that this innovation would turn his sole trader business into the transport (S Walker Transport) and recycling (RS Recycling) group of today. The three hectare acre site on the outskirts of Redditch is home to a fleet of 45 specialised vehicles that gather recyclable materials from all over the UK. Plastic, paper, card, glass and wood are processed and recycled by a variety of vehicles including some unusual Claas Scorpion wheel loaders as well as the normal waste transfer vehicles such as forklifts. A picking station and giant 88 tonne baling facility help process the material on site. All of which give Redditch MSST Mark Sayers plenty of work to do, as workshop manager Andy Hewitt explains. “I've got four fitters servicing the entire fleet so it makes sense to employ Pirtek to do the specialised hydraulic work. It's cost effective and quicker, besides which we'd still go to Pirtek as a counter service for the parts if we don't use the call out service,” he says. “We originally tried them out in 2009 to see if they were as good as they claimed to be, and we were so impressed with their service that they have worked for us ever since. On average we get a half hour call out service, which is brilliant. All the equipment has been purchased to do precise jobs, they are not really interchangeable. I can't have key bits of key equipment out of action, as it soon brings the plant to a halt. I know with Pirtek providing the maintenance back up - I've removed the stress element from the maintenance work. It's a great help that they are local, but they are always quick to respond, and Mark Sayers is really helpful on top of that." Hewitt asserts that Pirtek’s involvement now goes way beyond the hydraulic hose replacement service for which the company is renowned. “The walking trailers that do away with the need of unloading equipment or tippers, have been a real boon to the company and really put us on the map. To keep us ahead of the pack, we need to be efficient and work well. Pirtek has come up with all sorts of innovations such as stockpiling common use hoses so we don't get call out charges, but Mark knows how the company works and sorts out everything from ram repairs to supplying the oil, often without the need for input from me,” Andy Hewitt concludes. “But where we tested Pirtek's skills was on a truck conversion. We took a refuse truck and turned it into a tipper. Pirtek designed and built all the block and pipework needed for the new hydraulics. It really was an impressive job. We trust Pirtek to get things right. And they do!”
The quiet backwaters of Crawshawbooth, near Rossendale in Lancashire seems an unlikely setting for BPM SFX and Production, one of Europe's leading special effects companies. At first glance the providers of world famous special effects, pyrotechnics and lasers would seem to have little in common with Pirtek. “BPM is certainly one of my more unusual customers,” admits Pirtek Manchester's Sales Manager Mark Tomlinson. “I'm never sure what I'm going to face on their site. Explosions, flame throwers; could be anything. But we have helped them build all sorts of interesting equipment.” BPM's owners Adam Murray and Jamie Holmes started the company just five years ago with four CO2 jets used for stage shows. Today the company has a client list that runs for pages and includes Radio 1, the Chemical Brothers, Lady Gaga, Dizzee Rascal, Rihanna, Bruce Springsteen & the Swedish House Mafia. Murray first made contact with Pirtek three years ago because he had used them with a previous company and was impressed with the service. Today the day to day running of the production side is the responsibility of SFX Technician Liam Haswell. “You can imagine how much health and safety inspection we have to go through on site, so everything has to be perfect. Pirtek ensures that we have all the right fixtures and hoses in place so that we can be 100 percent sure it's safe. However, it's the thought they put in on the build that is an eye-opener,” Liam says. “The set up time was always long at an event, so Pirtek standardised all the hoses and put quick release coupling in the system so that instead of spending hours with sets of spanners, and hoping that there were no leaks, we have an instant and safe joint to all the hoses that takes a fraction of the original time to set up. We've got lots of unique equipment on site but one of our main problems is buying in specialist equipment from abroad and then making sure it is fit for purpose when used in the UK and on our world tours.” “Pirtek are regular suppliers and I've got to admit their response times are excellent, even though a lot of what we do is last minute,” concludes Adam Murray. “We have never had a problem with Pirtek, everything they have done is good and they have never let us down. They always have a solution to our many and varied needs.”
All at sea...not! Strategically placed on the Suffolk coastline, Pirtek Ipswich deals with its fair share of marine hydraulic work. However a recent emergency call out to a £2million Fairline yacht saw a Pirtek engineer heading inland rather than out to sea. The 55 tonne, 78' yacht in question had been travelling across East Anglia, escorted by the Cambridgeshire and Suffolk Police, for two days on the back of a specialist low loader supplied by Norwich-based Abbey Transport Ltd. Because of the size of the load, it has become police policy to take abnormal loads via smaller roads to avoid slowing traffic on the major trunk roads, in this case the A14, and then over-nighting the vehicle to avoid rush hour traffic. This policy of using smaller roads, makes life awkward for the driver though, because every time a traffic island was approached, the bollards had to be removed by the police and the trailer hydraulically raised to clear the concrete island. Unfortunately the trailer burst a hydraulic suspension hose during one such operation, bringing it to a halt on the B1113, at the busy The Wild Man pub junction at Sproughton, just a few miles from the Ipswich town centre. The trailer neatly settled on the road causing it to be closed and, in turn, causing local traffic chaos. The burst hose also presented an environmental hazard as hydraulic oil was leaking onto the highway and MSST Ian Bevan from Pirtek Ipswich was immediately dispatched to deal with both problems. Although he was on site within half an hour of the call, to complete the repair was easier said than done, as the trailer has a 'V' shaped base to fit the hull of the boat. Needless to say the blown hose was under the hull. The police seriously considered bringing in a mobile crane to lift the yacht, allowing access to the blown hose. Ian however realised a temporary repair would get the vehicle mobile and down to Ipswich docks before the evening rush hour. This was vital as the vehicle would otherwise have been left parked up until repaired; an expensive option. After an hour and a half, and much to the delight of the driver, Ian managed to free one end of the damaged hose, which he then cut off and then temporarily re-ended. He then made a new hose to replace the damaged section, stressing this was not the correct repair but that it would enable the vehicle to be raised,
locked off and moved to where the boat could be unloaded and a correct repair undertaken. Ian Bevan's workmanship held up but he joined the convoy to ensure the trailer reached the port, which it did just before the rush hour began. The Fairline was lifted off and the repair was completed. "The driver shook my hand and took the time and effort to phone the Centre to say thanks for our quick response, he couldn't thank us enough,” Ian Bevan concludes. "I got a big thank you from the police as well as I'd solved their traffic problems. I must admit I went home that night thinking I had made a real difference by thinking on my feet and coming up with a solution. But that's all part of the Pirtek service! "
In the pipeline 9 Left Brodie Engineer’s Senior Fitter Joe Hackett and McCulloch Rail’s Megatron Below Megatron and Optimus Prime in action on field testing duty
Transformers II The engineers at Pirtek Kilmarnock wondered if they were having their legs pulled when they were asked to work on Megatron and Optimus Prime being built by Brodie Engineering at their Bonnyton Rail Depot. In fact they are the nicknames given to two Flass (Fine Lining & Sleeper Spacing) prototypes used to replace railway lines. They were the brainchild of McCulloch Rail who passed the concept on to Brodie Engineering to build. The Flass Machine has been designed to make the laying and fine lining of sleepers a faster, but more importantly, a safer method than current methods. The FLASS lays the sleepers in a fine lined and correctly spaced fashion without the need for any manhandling. This saves in manpower and greatly reduces the risk of injury from pulling and moving sleepers manually. Manufactured to assist the delivery, positioning, spacing and fine lining of sleepers on prepared ballast, the FLASS is capable of fine lining and correctly spacing loose laid sleepers at 15 - 20 lengths per hour. It can work under OLE without isolation, and with adjacent lines open, by working on a single line. “McCulloch Rail had an idea for a line lifting machine but we were given the interesting part of the work - designing and manufacturing the machines. In fact there are two parts to the machine, at first glance they look alike but one is fitted with a lifting grab and the
rear unit with rollers. The 6 tonne units work in tandem and are remotely controlled on site,” explains Brodie’s design engineer Brian Weatherspoon. “What is really clever is that the machines can be transported to site on a conventional low loader and then hydraulically telescoped to fit over the tracks. They have taken four months to get to this stage and have already been field tested. We were told that Network Rail were ‘ecstatic’ with the results, especially when it was demonstrated that the machines could lift and replace in the same operation. We have calculated that it will reduce rail replacement costs to a quarter of their current costs." Weatherspoon says that the new machines were a collaboration between Brodie’s Joe Hackett and Pirtek. “These are really the babies of Joe Hackett our senior fitter, he built everything except for the tracks. However he did call in Pirtek to help design and fit the complicated hydraulic systems. They supplied all the hoses, blocks and fixtures and gave Joe advice on the design within the machines, including how to hide the hoses in the bodywork to ensure they are protected when in operation,” he says. “We use Pirtek because they are helpful and will assist you out with any problem, be it design or supplying odd fittings. They have a very good call out response time and the quality of the parts is excellent. What we really like about them is they will spend a lot of time solving a problem for you and we certainly appreciate their input on the Flass machines. We are now looking to adapt them for installation on a Unimog carrier and will certainly ask for Pirtek's input and parts supply.”
Best of Both Worlds
The two giant 80 metre tall concrete silos in Kidderminster, the sole mortal remains of a giant British Sugar Corporation factory that closed in 2002, are being demolished by the Birmingham based DSM Demolition group. As a customer of Pirtek Birmingham, DSM is also enjoying the attention paid to them by Pirtek Kidderminster. The silos were recently in the news when Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles arrived on the site by steam train (borrowed from the adjoining Severn Valley Railway) to announce the demise of the silos. He took a symbolic 'swipe' at the silos for the press, but left the actual demolition to the experts who started work in earnest on the last day in June. The three week project is the culmination of years of demolition work on the 30 hectare site by DSM since 2002, when the works were closed down. After systematically clearing the site and demolishing the integrated power station, production buildings, storage facilities and molasses tanks and filling in the ponds, the silos had been left on site until the last of the far fetched plans to develop them had been discarded. These unlovely towers had been earmarked for development as prestige penthouses and even as water-filled diving tanks for a diving school. However the need for housing and a recent grant to build the new Hoobrook link road sealed their fate, and DSM returned to the site to finally complete the project. The five man team from DSM is using a Hitachi 1200 high reach excavator (one of only 3 in the country) equipped with a 55 metre boom and Vercthert muncher to reduce the silos to a more manageable height when a Hitachi 670 long arm fitted with a VTN muncher will finish the demolition. “This is the final stage of a demolition project that has gone on for
close on 6 years. By using the two high reach machines in tandem, the silos can be reduced to ground very quickly without the need for explosives,” says DSM site manager Christopher Bibb. “On projects like this, everything depends on just a few key machines. If they fail, then the project just stops. When we need a hydraulic repair then Pirtek are the people to call. We use Pirtek Birmingham for the majority of our work but the Kidderminster Centre is obviously more convenient for the British Sugar site, being less than a mile away. They always come equipped with the right stuff and it doesn't matter who we call out, we always get good service. DSM has used Pirtek for years - I think our account was opened in 1991 - and they have got to be good to retain an account for that long. We get exceptional service and attention to detail. I really can't fault either Centre."
Left Joe Hackett demonstrating the different configurations in height and width Above Megatron and Optimus Prime working in tamdem to lift and replace a section of rail Right Brodie’s design engineer Brian Weatherspoon with one of the 334 class rail units used between Glasgow and Edinburgh which the company is currently refurbishing
Quarter 4 2012
In the pipeline 11
The Coldest Journey
great polar expedition,” says Sir Ranulph. “It is a unique opportunity to carry out a number of scientific tasks in the extreme polar environment, which will make a significant contribution to our understanding of the true effects of global warming on the Antarctic continent.”
Catching the Landtrain making journey will pave the way for a new dawn in Antarctic, year-round exploration.
Veteran polar explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes is to take on one of the last remaining polar challenges by attempting to cross Antarctica in winter – the coldest journey on Earth – with five colleagues and with the support of the Commonwealth and a number of sponsors including Pirtek UK. On 6 December 2012, on board the expedition’s South African icestrengthened research ship, ‘SA Agulhas’, the expedition team – led by Sir Ranulph – will leave London , bound for Antarctica. Their aim is to complete ‘The Coldest Journey’ – the first-ever trans-Antarctic winter expedition. The Coldest Journey will also attempt to raise $10 million for Seeing is Believing, a global charitable initiative to fight avoidable blindness. During their sea voyage, the team will undertake a number of scientific tasks to provide unique data on marine life, oceanography and meteorology. Using the very latest technological innovations, this epoch-
On 21 March 2013, the equinox, the six expedition members will begin a six month journey to reach the Ross Sea. Their route from the Russian base of Novolazareskaya (‘Novo’) to Captain Scott’s base at McMurdo Sound – via the South Pole – will test the limits of human endurance. During this six month period the expedition team will travel nearly 4,000 kilometres, mostly in complete darkness in temperatures as low as -90°C. The expedition team will have to be entirely self-sufficient and there will be no search and rescue facility available, as aircraft cannot penetrate inland during winter, due to darkness and risk of fuel freezing. Previously, the furthest any expedition has ever ventured into Antarctica during the winter is 60 miles. On this forthcoming journey, Sir Ranulph and his team will aim to cover 2,000 miles in six months, crossing the polar plateau at an average height of 3,000 metres (10,000 feet) above sea level. With a winter crossing of the Arctic having recently been completed by a Norwegian expedition, this is the first ever attempt at an Antarctic winter crossing and one of the last remaining polar challenges. “This will be my greatest challenge to date. We will stretch the limits of human endurance. Britain and the Commonwealth has a strong heritage of exploration, from Captain Cook 300 years ago to the present day. As such, it is fitting that a Commonwealth team should be the first to fulfil this last
Throughout the crossing a two-man ski unit will lead the party, dragging a pulk with ground-penetrating radar. This will transmit real-time information about the terrain - and any crevasses - to a Mobile Vehicle Landtrain (MVL) following close behind. This is made up of two modified 21 tonne Caterpillar D6N vehicles (running on Jet A1 FSII containing an ice inhibitor enabling it to remain liquid to -75°C) each towing a 71 tonne load consisting of one of the specially developed 28'cabooses on sledges plus a 20'stores sledges and seven 8,000-litre bladders of fuel on skids. Each 1,060 kW Cat D6N will use 200 kg of fuel a day, and will travel at just 3 km/hour on average. Each seven tonne caboose, which are effectively modified shipping containers, will sit on five tonne, German-made sledges. For all the strategic planning and financial investment, the £6 million expedition would not be possible without the backing of a myriad of backers and sponsors, amongst them Pirtek UK, with Pirtek Wolverhampton providing the point of contact. The two cabooses are currently, if inelegantly, located in the car park of Caterpillar agent Finning UK, in Cannock, while they are modified and fitted out. Here Mark Fletcher from Pirtek Wolverhampton met up with Martin Bell the expedition's polar advisor and Ian Prichett, traverse technician and Brian Newham the traverse manager to discuss the unique practical problems that the equipment (and people) would face.
Belt and Braces The units have a massive amount of hydraulic and fuel hoses. Pirtek has, therefore, taken the approach that every element needs to be flexible and interchangeable through the use of common fixtures and fittings, so that in the event of damage, failure or loss through accident, the other components could be used. With temperatures as low as -90C,
conventional hoses could not be used. The obvious choice was a convoluted type 1" ID stainless steel PTFE hose with mild steel, metal facing cone seals. All the hoses will be fitted with shut off values to avoid spillage when transferring fuel. “The choice of Pirtek was easy. For anything hydraulic - think Pirtek,” Martin Bell asserts. “The caboose units will also need hydraulic fittings and fixtures, which are again to be manufactured by Pirtek. The MVT is hydraulically linked and the D6 will power the caboose during the day before we change to internal power at night. Everything is a one-off, so we are preparing the measurements for Pirtek prior to manufacture. Pirtek is a company I have used in the past in everything from quarrying applications to general repairs. And they have always risen to the challenge. As a belt and braces exercise, they are even going to cold weather test all the equipment prior to fitting, with hoses already on route to the testing lab.” Seeing is Believing While the ultimate objective is to complete The Coldest Journey, the exploration team intend to raise USD10 million for Seeing is Believing (SiB) – a global initiative led by Standard Chartered and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) to tackle avoidable blindness in developing countries. Since its launch in 2003, the programme has reached over 28 million people. Eighty per cent of the world’s blindness is avoidable – meaning it can be prevented or treated. For as little as USD30 a person’s sight can be restored, allowing them to get back to work or school. Yet 39 million people are currently blind and without effective intervention, which is expected to rise to 76 million by 2020. A further 246 million people are either moderately or severely visually impaired, simply for the lack of a basic pair of eyeglasses. Every dollar raised for SiB is matched by Standard Chartered, doubling the impact the organisation can make on the ground. Sir Ranulph’s charitable endeavours on past expeditions have raised a total of £15m to date. “I have been on some amazing expeditions and seen many of the beautiful and unique sights the world has to offer. When I discovered Seeing is Believing, what it stood for, and understood how easily avoidable blindness could be prevented, it inspired me and my colleagues to undertake this challenge,” Sir Ranulph says. “It is a fantastic cause and I would urge everyone who follows our progress to donate to it via www.thecoldestjourney.org.”
About Sir Ranulph Fiennes Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE is, according to the Guinness Book of Records, ‘the world’s greatest living explorer’. Sir Ranulph was the first to cross the Antarctic Continent unsupported (with Dr Mike Stroud); the first person to cross both polar ice caps and the oldest to climb Everest; and he remains the only living man to circumnavigate the world along the polar axis (accomplished with the late Charles Burton).
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In the pipeline 13 Pirtek's success is centred around customer service. With a promise of an ETA - 1 hour, a quick response is vital to businesses. But how can companies be sure they have the right man for the job when the engineer arrives on site? In the Pipeline looks at how engineers become Pirtek MSST (Mobile Sales and Service Technician) and the training process they go through before being allowed anywherenear a customer.
A Hidden Cem
Top - Cem in action, just waiting for the customer to sign off the repaired green cutter and replacing a quick release hose on a pecker Middle - Harry Newman at Mitcham and helping out on the Set Square job, see page 2 Bottom - Tom Matthewson brings Medway back up to strength, here on a barge refit, see page 12
“Field engineers are always in short supply,” says Pirtek Erith Centre Manager Gary Woodhouse. “Let’s face it, it's not a glamorous profession. It involves working outdoors in the cold and wet and often in extremely dirty and sometimes hostile environments. It takes someone with special qualities to work in these conditions, be able to think on his feet when confronted with a challenge and remain calm and in control when the customer often isn't. So finding a field engineer with the qualities to become an MSST is like looking for hen's teeth.” However, as he is quick to point out, he recently found a gem, or rather a Cem. “Despite numerous adverts and candidates from the Job Centre we couldn't find anyone suitable to fill our vacancy, which prevented Centre expansion last summer. So when Cem - pronounced Jem - Zekioglu walked through the door at Erith with a background in car maintenance, I began to see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. He had been told by his brother in law who works for United Forktrucks (a customer) that we had an MSST vacancy.” But like all Pirtek MSSTs, this was a Cem that still required some polishing. “Although Cem's background wasn’t directly related to hydraulics, it was still necessary to establish whether he would be suitable for the position,” Woodhouse asserts. The fact that Cem took a week’s holiday from his old firm to work with Pirtek Erith, so that both sides could get a proper evaluation of each other, impressed Woodhouse. And thankfully, both sides liked what they saw. “No matter how good we thought Cem was, he still had to go through the vigorous Pirtek training system. For the next five weeks he became our depot assistant, learning the parts and our methodology,” Woodhouse continues. “We liked his attitude and enthusiasm and discovered he understood and could identify the parts and their uses. Realising his potential, we packed him off to Pirtek's 'Training centre at Digbeth in Birmingham." This well-equipped Pirtek training facility was home for Cem for the next two weeks while he underwent intensive training in everything from health and safety and working environments on one hand, to parts identification and hydraulic hose manufacture and replacement on the other. At the end of the course Woodhouse was delighted that Cem had passed with flying colours and set about the next stage of his training. “Cem was then sent out on the service vans as an assistant MSST. He attended call outs with all our current MSSTs so that he could gauge what was expected of him and what problems he would face. Eventually when we thought he had done enough as an assistant we gave him his own Mobile Service Vehicle, but carefully picked his customer call outs to ease him into the job and to see how he reacted to working on his own. All I can say is he goes out to impress and we now have a MSST to be proud of.” The last word belongs to Cem. “After all the training I felt confident to tackle just about any hydraulic job,” he concludes. “Each job is different and I've enjoyed meeting the customers who are every bit as different as the products and problems.”
New Deal Pirtek is always keen to encourage 'new blood' into the organisation; not an easy task when engineering is perceived as a ‘dirty trade’. Finding someone who prefers working with machines rather than computers is an uphill struggle with most teenagers. However, Pirtek have embarked on a national apprentice scheme that has recently born fruit, with 17 year old Harry Newman based at Pirtek Mitcham, a shining example. “I'm not an academic, and school simply couldn't provide a means of furthering my education in the end,” says Newman honestly. "I enjoy doing practical work. I tried electrical fitting, and moulding. The latter was so mind numbing I couldn't imagine doing that for the rest of my life. I may not be academic but I wanted a career that at least tests the brain and gives me a challenge. When I looked at Pirtek and the opportunities they offered, it seemed perfect.”' In fact, Newman proved to be perfect for Pirtek Mitcham, where he was taken under the wing of Senior MSST Kenny Gwyther. “To overcome his initial shyness, we had him answering the phones and interacting with customers as part of his training. He proved remarkably good at this, which meant he not only stopped the interruptions to the on-site technicians, but he got a feel for the types of problems customers presented us with. Of course we didn't want to use him as a glorified telephonist and began his Pirtek training from day one. His first task was to become familiar with the fittings and hoses at the Centre. We have then integrated him with the other MSSTs when they are out on service calls. Here he is allowed to assist but mostly to observe safe Pirtek working practices,” Gwyther explains. “This is very much practical training on the job, especially as he will learn different approaches from each of the MSSTs here. He completed one week of training at the Pirtek National Training Centre at Digbeth, where he underwent intensive Health and Safety training. This has certainly been any eye opener for Harry. He then returned to the Centre for three months as assistant MSST before completing the second week of practical training.” In fact Harry has already obtained a City and Guilds certification through Pirtek and is appreciating the training he is receiving, “I am not expecting to become an MSST with my own van until I'm 21. There is a lot to learn before then, however what I've already experienced has made me appreciate the skills I need to accumulate before being allowed to tackle repairs on my own. The other MSSTs have been really great and I've already been involved with a lot of repairs. The simple ones such as jet wash hoses through to the complex jobs such as ram repairs on heavy plant. The next stage of my training will involve practical skills such as welding.,” he concludes. “The sheer variety of the work is brilliant, it helps my confidence by being able to tackle any situation, and I can see a good career with the company. It has taught me a lot more respect for the engineering profession but I can already tell I have made the best decision of my life in joining up with Pirtek. They are already looking at using me as a 'floating' service technician that could be used by Mitcham, Erith, Medway and Sittingbourne. That will give me the largest range of any of the South East MSSTs and certainly ensure I have a wide spectrum of customers and experience.”
Cherry-Picking Staff It is not unusual for Pirtek to hire MSSTs from other engineering companies. With the diverse range of customers spread a broad range of industry sectors, engineers among Pirtek customers appreciate the work they do, and often envy the variety of work undertaken. Pirtek Medway was on the lookout for a skilled engineer to bring their team up to strength when they were put in touch with plant fitter Tom Matthewson. Matthewson had previously been working as an assistant MSST at Pirtek Erith but readily transferred to Medway as he lived at nearby Maidstone, and Medway were short staffed. Matthewson had an interesting background having already studied Mechanical Engineering at the London South Bank University and Aeronautical Engineering in Wales, gaining his City and Guilds along the way. However he enjoyed the outdoor life and started to look at engineering companies with site needs. One of his jobs was as a cherry picker operator where he found his plant skills put to good use. It was at this company he came across Pirtek and realised he had better prospects if he changed allegiances. "I did an introductory spell at Erith to see if I was compatible and soon realised this was the job I'd been looking for. However it wasn't as easy as that and I was promptly packed off the Pirtek training centre at Digbeth to learn how to do things properly,” Matthewson says. “I've been through the Health and Safety side of things and the manufacturing element of the training. I'm currently assisting the existing Medway MSSTs on site calls to ensure I can cope with having my own service van. So far so good and once I have completed my in house training I shall be joining the ranks of the Pirtek MSSTs. A good decision as far as I'm concerned.” Pirtek Medway recently announced that Tom Matthewson has completed all of the in-house training at Digbeth and has shown outstanding competence when assisting the regular MSSTs. He is currently fitting out his own service van and will be introduced to customers over the next few months.
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In the pipeline 15
Dredging the Depths Darren Edenborough, Anita Evans, credit control Erith and Medway, and Tracey Newman
Established in 1868, Van Oord is a leading international contractor specialising in dredging, marine engineering and offshore projects, and is proud to say its methods are rooted in the centuries-old maritime traditions of the Dutch to provide innovative solutions for better port facilities and threatened coastal areas. The company has grown through acquisitions of leading dredgers and marine engineering firms such as Volker Stevin Dredging, Hollandsche Aanneming Maatschappij and Ballast Nedam Dredging, and now boasts one of the biggest dredging fleets in the world. However amongst the giants of the fleet there are a plethora of smaller specialist craft that play an equally important role clearing the ports around the UK's coast. And like all marine vessels, these are regularly maintained with a major planned overhaul occurring once a year. At Gillingham Marina in Kent the 27 tonne, 15 metre Roerdomp built in 1980, and her 23 metre dredging barge have been lifted from the water for a major overhaul and refit. The barge is fitted with a water injection dredger, which is an underwater 'T' bar unit to clear small basins in close proximity situations. The onboard Deutz pump feeds water at a rate of 900 litres/hour through a submerged pipe into the 'T' unit under the barge. This is sprayed at pressure into the accumulated silt, resuspending the silt in the water. The silt remains suspended for weeks and is simply floated off in the next tide to be deposited further out to sea. “It is a completely environmentally friendly solution to silting. We use the seawater to move the silt without dredging, which does not harm marine life. To show you how effective this system is, we cleared the Gillingham basin to a depth of 1.5 metres of silt in four days when a rival company took five weeks to clear half a metre of silt,” explains Skipper Sean Brown. “The Roerdomp is linked to the barge by umbilical cables and pushes the dredger into place. The Roerdomp is fitted with state of the art sounding equipment which accurately shows the sea floor during work
and remakes the charts after we have cleared the silt.” Brown explains that the intensity and regularity of the work means that major maintenance duties are often condensed into a single period of downtime. “As with all marine vessels, they work hard through the year and usually need a major overhaul at the end of the year, mostly to ensure they earn their keep during the next one without the need for running repairs. When the barge was brought ashore we replaced the feeder pipe supplying the 'T' bar spray, and I'm sure we will replace that as well, now it's been inspected. However, what really needed attention were all the hydraulic hoses. Many of these were corroded due to exposure or submersion in salt water, so we called in Pirtek to replace everything,” he says. Pirtek Medway was called in to do the work and realised that Sean Brown wasn't joking when he said replace 'everything'. The barge's intricate and complicated hose system for the pump and winch was meticulously replaced a hose at a time, this time using stainless steel fittings, instead of relying on paint to protect the system. In all, over 30 hoses were replaced during the two day refit. “Once work on the Roerdomp is complete, the unit will be put back to work. It is a familiar vessel in Kent waters, having already worked at Sheerness Docks, the Medway Tunnel project at Rochester and of coursehere at Gillingham,” Sean Brown concludes. “Judging by the standard of work completed by Pirtek, I think she will be seen offshore for many years to come.”
Rigorous in-house training and years of learning the Pirtek way results in the high standards expected of Pirtek MMSTs. It also ensures that customers know they will get a highly trained field engineer, no matter which Pirtek Centre they use. It also has the advantage that MSSTs are able to interchange and support their colleagues at other Pirtek Centres should the need arise. In fact it is not unusual to find that many of the MSSTs have worked at more than one Pirtek Centre. Tracey Newman, licencee at Medway recently used this to her advantage when the Centre found itself with a staff shortage. “I knew that unless something was done in a hurry, I would either put our existing MSSTs under a lot of pressure by asking them to provide extra cover or we would start to let customers down by not being able to keep to our 1hour ETA promise,” she recalls. Sounding out the adjoining Centres at Erith and Mitcham, Newman managed to 'borrow' several members of staff to keep Medway running at full speed. "In fact it was a blessing in disguise, as it provided an opportunity for Darren Edenborough - the senior MSST at Erith - to take over as Centre Manager at Medway. This is a role he had already proved he could do when providing management cover. Darren had accumulated seven years of field experience, but was finding promotion opportunities within Pirtek rare in the current economic climate,” she says. “Darren provided the perfect solution to running the Centre at Medway, a challenging and diverse job at the best of times. He has been reorganising the Centre but he will shortly be out visiting customers to make sure their hydraulic needs are being met. Already customers have commented on his enthusiasm. Not only have our neighbouring Pirtek Centres provided some much needed help, but they have provided the perfect candidate to promote. Pirtek always like to promote from within the company, simply because it rewards all the hard work the MSSTs have done over the years.” Despite her enthusiasm for this crossCentre staff sharing capability, Tracey Newman is equally pleased to have Pirtek Medway back at full strength. “It says a lot about Pirtek engineers in that they are willing and flexible enough to help out at another Centre to make sure we don't let our customers down. However I am pleased to say we currently have some new blood at Medway in the form of Tom Matthewson our new assistant MSST, who will soon be out on the road, bringing Medway back to full strength,” she concludes. “As part of Pirtek's training scheme, that will ultimately benefit all three Centres, Pirtek Erith senior MSST Tim Canning has already gained his Stage 1 accreditation on an Advanced Hydraulic Course held at National Fluid Power Centre in Nottingham. He will shortly be undertaking Stage 2 of the course. With 16 years of service and knowledge with Pirtek behind him, we are hoping his new engineering skills will benefit Erith, Mitcham and Medway."
Being asked to provide piping for a water feature at one the country's foremost aeronautical precision forgers is just one of the many services Pirtek Redditch provide for ERICKS Services at Mettis Aerospace. “It is all part of the job here. Today I've been called in to supply hoses for a water hydraulic press. These are part of the drawback safety cylinder system and will be constructed on site for speed,” says Pirtek Redditch MSST Mark Sayers. “Most of the repair and replacement done on site is very specialised and probably on unique equipment. These are people that think nothing of supplying the most precise cutting edge parts to Rolls Royce, Boeing and the MoD, whilst making blades for a Spitfire. They have dies for aircraft parts that go back years.” The company is a keen advocate of the just in time principle, according to Mettis maintenance manager Mark Mayo. “As in all supply chains, the concept of stockpiling is frowned upon by the accountants. That means that components are made on a 'just in time' basis. There is no problem with that, but it does mean that everything has to work, first time and every time. Needless to say no matter how much preventative maintenance you do, something will fail at some point and the management will soon let you know if an order is being delayed,” he says. “That’s why we use Pirtek to make sure everything performs to plan. I simply can't fault their performance. Mark Sayers bends over backwards to make sure everything keeps working. We get close on instant response, which is impressive.' And the water feature? Mark also dropped off a length of piping to ERICKS for them to install in a fountain in one of the old foundry ponds, now unused. With the aid of a grant these have been preserved and turned into a wildlife sanctuary.
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In the pipeline 17
Trunk Call Keeping the public satisfied after being voted 'Best visitor attraction in the Midlands' is a full time job for the staff at the West Midlands Safari Park, and a little assistance (in some unlikely situations) from Pirtek Kidderminster helps ensure that things run that much more smoothly. “There is one area in which Pirtek is really helpful and that's on the power washers in the elephant house,” says ranger Noel Carey. “When we introduced the washers to our two female elephants, the hoses had to be constantly replaced because they were chewed and stood on. However the elephants have been trained not to damage the equipment now and really look forward to being hosed down.” This is just one interesting aside from Pirtek's main role in the Park; that of hydraulic service and maintenance, as engineering manager Pete Hatch pointed out. “We have used Pirtek for years because they give the Park good service and supply a quality product. We get 24/7 service if we run into a problem which is precisely what we need when providing entertainment for the paying public. We have a great reputation to protect and having inoperable rides due to failed hydraulics is not an option.” Hatch reports that Pirtek’s responsibilities also extend beyond the use hose replacements.
Out to Grass
Unfortunately the brave efforts of Jason Woods (Pirtek Worcester/Kidderminster) and Rob Greasley (Oldbury) to complete the Scally Rally 2012, came to grief after the first day of racing. The Pirtek pair, in the wonderfully painted Daemooo, were raising funds for Help for Heroes. "We started off well but the car broke down on the first day and we were ignobly towed back to Kidderminster,” Woods says, mournfully. “The Daemooo is languishing behind the Centre here awaiting a new clutch.” Milking the sympathy vote for all its worth, if you would still like to support Jason and Rob, visit www.justgiving.com/scally2012. Better luck next year guys!
“We don't just call Pirtek out for repairs. We actively involve them in our design and installation process. At the moment we are converting and rebuilding what will become the 'Hurling Hippos' ride. We have taken a mobile Staffa ride, and turned it into a static one for the Park. We have new passenger cupolas being built for the ride at the moment while we completely rebuild the hydraulics system,” Pete Hatch concludes. “Our own engineering staff have installed the rigid piping and built the power pack equipment, but we will look to Pirtek to link the power house to the ride and then to pipe up all the hoses to the cars. That's six per arm, a total of 64 at the moment, plus the main rotation gear, rotary coupling, the pot valves, shuttle valves and the eccentric controls, and there are three hoses that are over three metres. We have spent six months designing and installing this ride and with Pirtek's help we will be up and running in the next two weeks.”
Darren Whitehead Pirtek has one huge advantage over the competition - a national training scheme. Based at Digbeth in Birmingham, it is the responsibility of Martyn Smart and Darren Whitehead to ensure that every Pirtek MSST goes through the most comprehensive hydraulic training available in the UK.hydraulic training available in the UK. "The training takes the form of two, week long training courses at Digbeth and practical training at the MSST's Pirtek Centre," Whitehead says. "Usually the MSSTs have been working within the Centres, either in parts or as an observer in the field with a trained MSST. However if the Centres think the prospective MSST is up to it, some Centres will induct the candidate directly onto the Digbeth courses." Those courses are as intense as they are targeted, the first week of induction concentrates on the theory side of the training "On day one we start them off with an introduction to the course, an agenda, and the learning objectives of the course. This naturally leads into a potted company history to start things off. We then go into their roles within Pirtek, their responsibilities, the Health and Safety legislation and obligations as employees, such as ensuring their own safety and that of others, using equipment in the appropriate manner, in addition we begin the process hazard identification and risk, conducting risk assessments and safe systems of work" Whitehead continues. "This is concluded with the terminology used in the industry. Only then do we go into the hoses, from construction to usage and components. We run through the Pirtek range of fittings , and begin the process of identification via measuring thread forms, cone variations and orientation, adaptors, compression fittings, quick release couplings and any other associated fittings. We then move on to hose assembly procedures, this is where they start putting what they have learned into practice. And just to make sure all the information has been absorbed, we submit the candidates to a daily exam." In addition, each
candidate is issued a specific set of revision guidance which forms part of their City & Guilds practical and theory exams which are conducted on the final day. "Competence is the key," Martyn Smart says. " In theory we train our individuals, but what we really want to do is realise and unlock the potential within our people” And these training courses and tests are just the start of a journey to unlock their potential as well as build the levels of competence.” ."In the second week is when they start on the more practical based modules Whitehead says. “The main focus is workshop operational procedures, using the lathe, how to do threading, tapping and prepare dies. We train on braising and silver soldering plus how to make weird and wonderful adaptors from raw steel hex bar. We introduce the Caterpillar press for reusing Caterpillar hose ends and demonstrate how to remove and replace hoses and the different machines and equipment that we have at the training centre such as access platform and fork lift truck, all of which have been graciously donated by Pirtek national accounts . All the time we are assessing their health and safety skills whilst the candidates are working on the machines.” As with the beginning of the course we conclude the training with yet more Health & Safety training and specific hydraulic safety procedures, working at height training (which is open to all MSSTs), manual handling and good working practices. The reward of all this is a City and Guild Certificate - Part 1 in Fluid Engineering, Hydraulic Hose Fitting 2340-53. This sets a nationally recognised level of competence. All candidates have three months in the field and are then assessed ‘on the job’ before their award is issued. But the training doesn’t end there. "We constantly retrain our MSSTs with refresher courses in health and safety, such as the British Fluid Power Association working safely with hydraulic hose and connectors of which we are accredited course providers . But it is not unusual to see an MSST come back in a few weeks to take a course for a quarry passport, or to seek advice on sales training,” Martyn Smart concludes. And, as a further encouragement, Pirtek awards 10 scholarships to take MSSTs nominated by their respective Centres to go through the stage 1 hydraulic course at the National Fluid Power Centre in Worksop. Just another example of Pirtek investing in people and investing in the future.
Quarter 4 2012
In the pipeline 19 Howard Bull who looks after Northern Ireland says: "I see my role as an expert advisor. Where a customer needs help I can give it, where he needs to call on my product experience and expertise I will be only too pleased to share my knowledge. I hope I can add value to the Pirtek brand whilst demonstrating the huge range of products and services Pirtek can offer. I find many customers get set in their ways, and when I get a chance to talk to them, I often find that I can present them with a better solution, a better product and a better price."
Helping Hand Shared Sales Resource (SSR) isn't a term that will be familiar to many Pirtek customers at the moment. But there is an evergrowing group of Pirtek UK sales managers that assist Pirtek Centres that do not currently have their own dedicated sales team, providing sales and technical support, expert product information and - most importantly - to discuss customer requirements. Last year there were just three Pirtek SSRs; today there are 13, with a further four coming on line in October 2012. To date they have had resounding success across the Pirtek network, aiding 37 Centres, providing national support for 41% of the Centres and helping them generate a 10% growth over the year. They readily share best practice between the Centres, so that the customers Jonathan Michael Pendry Mobile: 07435 783795 Email: [email protected]
Pirtek Kings Cross, Pirtek Docklands, Pirtek Medway, Pirtek Leyton Iain Brown Mobile: 07435 786456 Email: [email protected]
Pirtek Derby, Pirtek Leicester, Pirtek Peterborough Keith Twigg Mobile: 07436 806190 Email: [email protected]
Pirtek Southampton, Pirtek Poole Gary Cooling Mobile : 07436 806191 Email: [email protected]
Pirtek Bradford, Pirtek Leeds, Pirtek Oldham
benefit directly from any innovations. The SSRs can demonstrate new products and services directly to customers and deal with any negative preconceived ideas about Pirtek. The most common yet unfounded complaint is that Pirtek is too expensive. The SSRs are able to do direct price and product comparisons to show this is usually untrue. They are also in the position to negotiate pricing structures, which completely undermine this misconception. It also gives them the opportunity to publicise Pirtek's outstanding service, and the exceptionally good call out times. However, rather than seeing themselves as an additional sales team, the SSRs perceive their role more as customer support as the comments from some of the team demonstrate. . Rory Paskin Mobile: 07834 127001 Email: [email protected]
Pirtek Bristol, Pirtek Exeter, Pirtek Gloucester Simon Lawrence Mobile: 07725 307635 Email: [email protected]
Pirtek Cambridge, Pirtek Luton, Pirtek Milton Keynes Mike Murphy Mobile: 07595 122856 Email: [email protected]
Pirtek Birmingham, Pirtek Ellesmere Port, Pirtek Shropshire Howard Bull Mobile: 07917 886924 Email: [email protected]
Steve Newman Mark Wehrle Mobile: 07435 786457 Email: [email protected]
Mobile : 07436 542686 Email: mark.wehrle @pirtek.co.uk Pirtek Basildon, Pirtek Park Royal, Pirtek Thurrock, Pirtek Aberdeen, Pirtek Edinburgh, Pirtek Dundee, Pirtek Kinross PirtekWatford Nick Edwards Mobile : 07912 952311 Email: nick.edwards @pirtek.co.uk Pirtek Southampton
Arkin Unlu Mobile: 07436 542687 Email: [email protected]
Pirtek Erith, Pirtek Isleworth, Pirtek Greenwich, Pirtek Mitcham
Ray Sowden Mobile : 07595 123335 Email: ray.sowden @pirtek.co.uk Pirtek Oxford, Pirtek Reading, Pirtek Swindon
Iain Brown Mobile: 07435 786456 Email: [email protected]
Pirtek Derby, Pirtek Leicester, Pirtek Peterborough
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Covering the Swindon, Oxford and Reading Centres is Ray Sowden. "My job is to sell the Pirtek product and service, that's the easy part. However, what I do to great effect is give the customer a focal point, someone higher up the Pirtek ladder than their regular MSST or Centre Manager,” Sowden says. “We place a great deal of emphasis on customer service. And customers know that if they want to talk something through or if they ever have a problem I will deal with it personally."
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Competition "I've started to help with the Milton Keynes, Cambridge and Luton Centres," says Simon Lawrence. "All of the Centres had great client bases and potential but need help with client liaison. I'm the extra pair of hands at a national level that has the time to talk to potential customers. I have networked the three Centres so that they work more closely and in a more co-ordinated fashion with each other. This has helped a lot of the existing customers. I'm very keen to make sure the Centres sustain their customer relationships and focus on improving their customer service to even greater levels."
As the British Touring Car Championship comes to a conclusion, In the last Pipeline we offered one lucky reader a chance to attend the final race at Brands Hatch in October. Tracy Mullery from New Addington in Croydon will be joining the team to cheer on Andrew Jordan and Jeff Smith. For our last competiton of 2012 and a chance to win a Pirtek Racing Baseball cap and hoodie, just answer th following question: At which race circuit did Pirtek Racing driver Jeff Smith obtain his first podium? Please email your answer to [email protected] The winner will be drawn from the correct entries on 31st December 2012. Good luck.
Quarter 4 2012
In the pipeline 20
A Superb Campaign! Huge crowds, massive TV audiences and some of the most exciting racing anywhere in the world is the heady recipe for the 2012 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, and Andrew Jordan and Pirtek Racing have been in the thick of the action throughout the spring and summer. Equipped with two new Honda Civics prepared to the latest NGTC (Next Generation Touring Cars) regulations, Andrew and his team mate Jeff Smith have been battling hard over the five race weekends and 15 races since we last caught up with their season. In a superb campaign, Andrew has really confirmed his place as one of the top five drivers in the BTCC and has battled with longestablished aces like Jason Plato, Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden for race wins and podium finishes. Meanwhile, Jeff has raced hard and topped his season to date with a stunning second place finish at Knockhill. Sadly, the highs and lows experienced at this level of the sport were amply demonstrated when Jeff suffered a major accident next time out at Rockingham. After a five-week break following the Thruxton races, the BTCC show was back on the road at Oulton Park in June when two storming second places followed by an accident caused by another driver made it a day of highs and lows for Andrew. In the final race, Rob Collard forced Andrew wide and off the track into the tyre wall at considerable speed. “It was a bad end to what had been a really good day,” said Andrew. “It was frustrating, but we still led the Independents’ Trophy.” Right from the start of the season, winning the Independents’ Trophy has been Andrew’s prime target for the season. The good form continued at Croft two weeks later with three top four finishes, but better still was to come when the season resumed after a summer break for the fifth weekend at Snetterton in August. A win, a third and a fifth place made it the best weekend of the season to date for Andrew Jordan and Pirtek Racing at the Norfolk circuit. “It was a huge relief to win and that last lap felt like it went on for a long time,” said Andrew. “It was a great result for the Pirtek team.” The annual trip to Knockhill in Scotland at the end of August didn’t really bring the anticipated results, but three top 10 finishes, capped with fourth place, was a fair weekend’s work. A strong weekend for Collard allowed him to claw back some of Andrew’s lead in the Independents’ Trophy. However, Andrew and Pirtek Racing came back strongly in September with two top four finishes and an increased lead in the Independents’ Trophy at the Rockingham Motor Speedway. “Overall Rockingham was a very good weekend and we’re in a good position for the Independents Trophy with two events to run at Silverstone and Brands Hatch in October,” said Andrew. With six races to go, Andrew is fourth overall in the BTCC points but admits that the gap to leaders Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal is now too great. He will concentrate on maintaining fourth in the overall standings and protecting his lead in the Independents’ Trophy, where he currently heads Collard by 58 points. Meanwhile, Pirtek Racing heads the Independents’ Team Trophy by eight points. The season continues at Silverstone (6/7 October) and concludes at Brands Hatch (20/21 October).