While, clearly, the engineering work that goes on ‘under the bonnet’ is critical to the performance of all key functions, the stage of the refurbishment process that has the most visible impact on a used truck is the application of a smart new paint finish, transforming the used truck in to a machine that looks brand new.
Rob Hewson has been a Paint Spray Technician at our Fleet Management Centre for just over two years after joining the company at around the time that the first Covid lockdown was announced.
Rob brings plenty of experience to the role having previously worked as a surface treatment specialist for a number of companies in the Midlands – including a leading window and door manufacturer and a firm that specialises in reworking drink and snack vending machines.
While the time it takes for a truck to undergo the respray process depends on the condition of each vehicle (some arrive in a far worse state than others) on average, a counterbalance truck can typically be given a new coating in around eight hours from start to finish.
But perhaps surprisingly the actual procedure of applying the paint only represents about 20 per cent of the job. Most of Rob’s time is taken up by pre-spray preparation jobs such as removing existing paint, filling any holes or dents in the truck’s chassis and masking-up any areas that are to remain paint-free.
“It’s a bit like decorating at home,” says Rob. “The most time-consuming aspect of the whole thing is the prep work.”
Each member of the dedicated paint spraying team at our Fleet Management Centre is responsible for prepping and painting their own individual trucks.
“There’s a great deal of satisfaction in seeing a truck arrive looking clearly used and filthy and then seeing it come out looking new and shiny as it goes through the various finishing stages,” says Rob.
While having three children under the age of eight means Rob finds little room in his schedule for personal hobbies outside work these days, he does manage to squeeze in the occasional round of golf with friends and his father-in-law. But most of his time is dedicated to entertaining his young family – with weekend camping trips a particular favourite with kids and dad alike.