“Training is the life blood of any organization that wants to be professional in reefer container machinery repair activity.”
Wise words from Tamer Abdel Hamid, manager of ATEB Reefer Services in Alexandria, Egypt, who understands the importance of keeping his technicians knowledgeable about the latest advances in container refrigeration by sending them to Carrier’s Container Refrigeration Training programs.
“We believe that only through well-trained engineers, can a reefer container repair organization achieve its goals, increase its profits, decrease its expenses and attract more customers and satisfy their needs,” Hamid explained.
Like ATEB, other service centers, shipping lines and leasing companies around the world send their service technicians to Carrier’s training programs, which are now in their third decade. In fact, it’s been said that Carrier’s training outreach has taught the entire industry about container refrigeration.
“There is no program in the world like it, and no one can duplicate it in terms of the number of courses we offer and the places we go,” said Johan van der Kruk, manager of Global Container Service, who explained that training is one of the pillars supporting Carrier’s aftermarket service offerings. The others are the service center network – the world’s largest, with nearly 420 locations – and a cadre of 23 skilled field service engineers ready to serve customers wherever and whenever needed.
“The whole process of training, combined with the service center network and the field service engineers is very important to support our customers,” said van der Kruk. It’s also a necessity, considering that approximately two thirds of the container refrigeration units in the global fleet are Carrier units that require periodic professional service.
Training the Industry
To fulfill its commitment to training, Carrier’s curriculum includes a comprehensive One-Week Container Refrigeration Program and a Three-Day Advanced Workshop, which was revamped to provide higher level instruction and more hands-on work with computers and diagnostic tools. Classes are generally hosted by a service center with a meeting room large enough to accommodate 24 students. This maximum assures a good instructor-to-student ratio, particularly for the hands-on portion of the program in which participants learn about, then troubleshoot on both scroll and reciprocating units.
Coursework is intense, with classes running from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mornings are used for lecture and discussion, including video and computer presentations. Afternoons are spent in hands-on sessions with students working on container units in small groups and individually. Participants in the one-week course must install manifold gauges, develop proficiency in the proper use of diagnostic tools and understand all functional modes of the equipment. By mid-week in the five-day program, students must identify and repair faults that instructors put into the equipment.
A competency-based program, the course requires that participants be tested in electrical and refrigeration theory as well as troubleshooting skills before awarding certificates of completion.
Contributing to the container training initiative are three full-time Carrier Transicold instructors. John Ferguson, a former training instructor who now manages Carrier’s training programs said that the regional field service engineers where the schools are taught also play a key role. Not only do they assist with instruction, but they help identify ports where training is needed, coordinate scheduling and set-up of the classes and work in advance with instructors to customize content based on proficiency of attendees.
Location is Key
To accommodate growth in the industry, each year the school visits new locations. For example, this year Carrier schools are planned for the Ivory Coast and Cyprus for the first time.
“We continue to add new locations as conditions warrant,” Ferguson said. “We often go where our competitors don’t.”
Courses are offered in English or Spanish, including printed materials. Depending on the locale, translation services are provided.
Growth of the container shipping industry continues to drive the need for skilled technicians, both at service centers and within the shipping lines. Plus, newer machines are more sophisticated, requiring that the existing technician base upgrade their skills to keep current.
“The container business has expanded rapidly in just the past 10 years,” Ferguson explained. “There are service requirements today in ports where there never were before.”
Students are encouraged to take their knowledge and share it with fellow technicians.
“We hope that the technicians who attend our training use the tools they learned to help train others,” Ferguson said. “If each teaches something to another five technicians, we might ultimately impact the skills of 6,000 technicians a year.”
Those enhanced skills go a long way toward proper maintenance and service of refrigeration units, keeping top quality equipment performing properly and protecting the customer’s investment for a long time.
Get on Board with Training
Carrier offers two levels of training, so technicians at any level can enhance their skill sets.
One-Week Container Refrigeration Course – This course is tailored for refrigeration equipment technicians with one or more years of experience. It gives an overview of Carrier Transicold container refrigeration equipment and covers unit operation, service and maintenance procedures, with special emphasis on electronic controls and system capabilities. Content includes microprocessors, interrogation and data retrieval, humidity systems, the EverFresh® controlled-atmosphere system, enhancements to compression technology and the electrical system.
Three-Day Advanced Container Refrigeration Update – This course focuses on new products, advanced diagnostic tools and field service issues relevant to the particular class. A strong emphasis is placed on use of computer tools for loading software, formatting PCMCIA cards and performing and interpreting data downloads. To be eligible, participants must have completed the One-Week Container Refrigeration Program within the last three years or have more than five years of hands-on experience on the equipment.
A modest tuition fee, which also covers the cost of comprehensive technical service training materials, is required upon registration. With training programs offered in many locations around the world, check the complete schedule by clicking on the "Training" link found at www.container.carrier.com
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