Simon Curtis works as a service technician for Scania in Purfleet, England, putting Scania vehicles back on the roads in and around the Essex-Kent-London borders. “I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. Every day is different,” he says.
We’ve often said that service technicians are some of the unsung heroes of the Scania family, and Simon Curtis certainly falls into that category.
As the video above shows, Curtis, a 20-year veteran of Scania GB’s workshop in Purfleet, Essex, is one Scania Assistance’s army of breakdown technicians. His work involves driving out to attend to broken-down trucks, buses and even occasionally boats in a wide radius around east/south-east London, Essex and the northern fringes of Kent.
“It’s a great job”
Curtis decided to be a service technician after discovering the joys of helping fix engines with his uncle during his early teenage years. He moved from the workshop to the breakdown van 15 years ago, and he’s still enjoying the work all these years later.
“It’s a great job and quite social. You get to meet loads of different customers and get to travel around and see different areas and different types of vehicles.”
A typical working week sees Curtis dividing up his days with his fellow breakdown technician James Key. One week can see him working the 6am to 2pm shift, the next can see him do the 2 til 10, as well as alternate weekends. There are also some early morning call-outs, though both Simon and James help each other out and start early or finish late at times.
“Thank God you’re here”
No matter the time of day, the technician likes the fact that clients tend to be happy to see him, especially if they have broken down in the middle of nowhere, with a load to deliver and a tight deadline to meet.
“You’re going out to someone who’s broken down at the side of the road, and you can see the driver is saying ‘thank God you’re here’. When someone turns up to help them, it’s a bit of a relief because they know something is going to get sorted out. So that’s a good feeling.”
And the appreciation he gets from colleague is also a big factor in his work satisfaction.
“When the younger guys in the workshop come up and ask me questions about how to fix something, that makes me proud to be doing what I’m doing. You think to yourself ‘I must be good at what I’m doing’ because they’re asking me for advice,” he says.
“It’s a great career. There’s not really much more I’d want to do, I think. Other than be a Formula One driver or a Premier League footballer, like everyone else!”
Fixing things runs in the family
And one of his three children might follow in his footsteps. His six-year-old son already knows what every Scania truck does.
“He’s got every Scania truck model that we ma
ke, and he sticks them up in the air to try and work on them with his tools. He’s got a high visibility vest, overalls and boots to wear when he comes to visit me at work.
“He absolutely loves it, and if he ends up wanting to become a technician, I’d certainly encourage him to do so. Mind you, everything will have moved on a lot more in a few years’ time in terms of the new technology that’s coming in. He’s already better than me on the computer though, so he’d be fine.”