Whether it’s training for our dealers, a question about the operation of an air-cooled Yanmar pump, or breakdown troubleshooting of a tug boat engine at a multi-billion-dollar port facility or on a tightly-scheduled Sydney ferry route, the Engineering and Technical Support team are just a few of the experts that help continue building Power Equipment’s reputation.
If you like to have your day sorted out and planned far ahead in advance, and without change, Power Equipment’s Engineering & Technical Support team probably isn’t the place for you!
The daily challenges are only outnumbered by the sheer variety of customer applications that Power Equipment products can be installed in. None are more aware of just how diverse those applications can be than Power Equipment’s National Operations & Engineering Manager Nick Lee.
Like most engineers, Nick likes to stick to the facts and look for sound technical solutions, but he is also acutely aware of just how important contact and communication with the customer is.
“Allan Foster, and now Luke Foster, have always insisted that we are contactable by our dealers and clients – and that’s one of the big advantage for our customers. explains Nick.
Nick oversees the Engineering and Technical Support team, a group with real-world engine knowledge, a can-do attitude, and well over a century of combined industry experience. “You really cannot know what the next challenge will be – or when it will appear,” says Nick, “Our jobs really are pretty full-on, but the rewards in terms of customer satisfaction with the support we offer can make that worthwhile.”
Whether it’s helping with a simple operating procedure for a recreational engine or an issue with a ‘time is money’ commercial application, Nick’s team never back down from a problem, big or small!
It’s not all troubleshooting of course for the Engineering and Technical Support team, with much of their work revolving around helping deliver the myriad of solutions that Power Equipment’s products can power.
Says Senior Service Engineer & Training Manager Jim Kibblewhite: “I get questions about anything from a 4 horsepower engine through to 1,800 horsepower engines!”
“But a big part of my role is also assisting customers and OEM’s with integrating things like industrial control applications to their machines and helping apply our products to the endless applications across agricultural and industrial uses – it really is so varied.”
One important role of the Engineering & Technical Support team is training. Both Nick and Jim are pleased that relaxations in Covid restrictions have allowed dealer and OEM training sessions to recommence this year.
“The more knowledge our dealers have of course, the better direct support the customer can get which is always our preference,” Nick explained. Power Equipment is a growing company, with an increasingly impressive range of products. “The company started with a only a few recreational and commercial engines on offer,” says Jim Kibblewhite, “but that has changed – particularly since the GFC – when commercial engines sales increased significantly and probably became our bread and butter.”
“Moving forward to today and we now have expanded our range to include John Deere marine and industrial engines, Oxe and Cox diesel outboard engines, and even the Torqeedo range of electric marine engines – we’ve grown immensely and there has been a lot to learn that’s for sure.”
Power Equipment’s service regions extend across the Asia Pacific region and any one of the team can find themselves deployed from one end of Australia to the other, or New Zealand, or the Philippines, or Indonesia, or even Papua New Guinea.
“You’ve got to love what you do in this job and if you don’t have a passion for it, you’ve probably just got to get out,” Jim explains with honest reflection.
“The worst part of the job might be trying to find an intermittent problem and the problem just won’t reveal itself. “But the best part of the job is the look on the customer’s face when it’s fixed – that’s just great!”
The team’s’s expertise in remote locations sees them traverse Australia and the globe to assist and train clients on a range of engines, and in particular the new diesel outboard range. One day they’re in the office, the next their shipping out to a remote island in Far North Queensland, or even further abroad.
Nick recalls that “working overseas and in remote areas forced me to think outside my comfort zone. It also makes you aware of just how reliant our customers are on us when it comes to tech support, especially having been in their situation myself.”
Craig Tucker has been a diesel mechanic for over 30 years and has seen every problem there is when it comes to diesel engines. Our newest team member, Aaron Kouyoumtzoglou, joins us with a background in the RAAF as an aviation technician and as a heavy diesel mechanic.
“I like to solve problems and fix things. There’s nothing better than making something work how it should.” Craig says. We couldn’t agree more!