Archive for August, 2011

Customer Service Drama’s

August 10, 2011

Had a bit of trouble with the truck this run. A “Check Engine” light appeared briefly on my way back into Perth last trip and we put the little computer on her and checked out the error codes logged on the onboard computer and came up with a couple of turbo overspeed errors. There wasn’t a lot we could do at that stage so the descision was made to head out on the next run and monitor the engine and see what happened.
The run went alright, for the most part. The error came up again and the engine was derating but only enough to be a small inconvenience – fortunately for me. The problem really became apparent on hard climbs where the truck was really grunting. Arrangements where made, on the Monday, with Cummins in Perth for the truck to be looked at on Tuesday after I had got back. All the symptons were explained over the phone to Cummins in the hope they would have a bit of an idea what they would be dealing with and (maybe) be prepared with mechanics and parts to fix the problem.
Well, I got back a bit later than I had planned. I had been feeling pretty secondhand all day, not quite sick but definately not 100%, and I rocked in there late in the afternoon too find that no-one knew I was coming. Eventually I found someone who “remembered” someone else talking about it. For Christ’s sake – don’t people in the same organisation talk to to each other about their work, ie:services they are supplying to customers who are their bread and butter and without whom they wouldn’t have a job?! I didn’t take the truck into their workshop because I wanted THEM to work on it – I took it there because it had to have work done on it and it ended up being a warranty job anyway. They OWE me!

Wastegate similar to one I need


Ok, we get over that little hurdle, they promise to try and look at it that night. I tell them I will need it back by 4pm the next day at the latest, hoping that it will be ready and I can leave that night and do a run with it – you know, so I can feed myself and pay the bills.
This morning we discover that, yes, they know what the problem is and, no, they don’t have the parts and they will have to be flown in from Melbourne overnight and fitted tomorrow. Now it’s not as though I have some obscure type of turbo (actually, it’s the wastegate that is the problem) and I am asking the people that build and sell the motors to actually fix it so why haven’t they got sufficient spare parts warehoused in Perth? Why do they have get spares from the other side of the country for a motor that is as commonplace as duckshit around a pond?
While I am not going to knock back the opportunity for another night at home I am going to take a hit in the hip pocket because of lost wages, my boss is going to take a hit because the truck isn’t on the road and the company we subby to is going to have to find someone else to do the job I would normally do.
I ask you, would you be happy being screwed around like this because a major engine manufacturerer can’t (or wont) keep enough spares locally to be able to deliver a reliable and timely service to their customers? It’s not like I can just drive over to another Cummins branch and get the work done – this is Western Australia and the branch I’m at is the main one for the state.
So, I’m sitting at home looking out the window at a heap of leaves that I should put in the bin, cursing the cold weather and wishing I was up north somewhere where it was warmer. Oh well, I got another blog entry up.

At the doctors

Cheers, Mike.

PS : Just got off the phone 5mins after I posted this entry – Cummins have managed to “find” the parts somewhere and the truck will be ready shortly. Unfortunately it’s too late for me to organise a run tonight (it is 4:45pm) so the end result is the same. Cummins Fail!

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Holidays-The Aftermath.

August 1, 2011

You know that sound that signals the return of reality? That really loud, discordant,crashing,unearthly sound of the alarm clock telling you to get up and get behind the wheel right now or you’re going to be late and you probably won’t be able to make up time for the rest of the week? Well, that happened to me last Monday and pretty much all I’ve done for the last week is eat/sleep/drive.

Welcome home. Welcome back from holidays. Welcome to work. Welcome to my reality. Now go away and let me mope around and complain about the unfairness of it all.

Ok, I’m not that heartbroken about it. It was a good break and if it had lasted longer I would have had to plan more stuff to do so I didn’t start climbing the walls or ring all my friends to find out what I was missing out on (although I did call twice to check up on my truck).

I will admit my first week back at work was a little rougher than ideal. A few issues with trailer light wiring, a faulty speed sensor (causing the cruise control to not work), a flat trailer tyre and the loss of power to the bunks interior lights. The trailer tyre is no big drama – considering that I have 62 tyres , not counting the 6 spares, and I haven’t had to change any on the side of the road for the last 6 months. I think I’m ahead of the game there. The bunk lights have proven to be more then just a blown fuse though, and I haven’t had the time to start tracking the problem down with the circuit tester. I’m not due home for 3 more days so I have to either make time to fix it or do without – it’s not a critical fault so my deliveries come first. The show must go on!

Cheers, Mike.