Engineering plays an essential part in helping us provide a safe and reliable bus service for our customers.
At Lothian, we have a world class engineering team, and recently two of our team won honours at the IRTE Skills Challenge Awards. David Leslie, took the top award as ‘Skills Challenge Master,’ and was kind enough to give us an insight into the day to day role as an Engineer at Lothian.
Q. Tell me more about your role at Lothian without mentioning your job title?
I do the day to day repairing of buses, and diagnose any electrical faults in any of our fleet. That’s mainly what I do, just to keep the buses running, dealing with non-starts. I seem to deal with the more technical stuff.
Q. How long have you worked at Lothian? (How much has your job changed from your first day)
I’ve been here six years now. The job has changed quite a bit yeah, so at the start I was doing more basic stuff, and now I’m doing more complex stuff like I mentioned previously. The stuff that people normally shy away from, ha! My first day was good, I started with Robert and shadowed him for the day. It was good seeing what a normal day at Lothian would involve.
Q. How much work goes in to putting hundreds of buses out on the road for service?
Loads! Absolutely loads! Anything and everything on the buses need to be checked and repaired if faulty. From front to back, every inch of the buses are checked and repaired before they’re allowed out for service. People don’t realise just what goes into putting on a full service of buses.
Q. You recently won the IRTE Skills Challenge award as the ‘Skills Challenge Master’, tell me more about the challenges you went through to win the award?
The first time I went actually was last year, and I won an award for challenges surrounding electrical faults on the rigs and test buses and things. I won that last year and this year I was back in for the Skills Challenge Master, which means you do all the mechanical tests and electrical tests. There’s also a vehicle inspection element too, and I was lucky enough to win that. It’s a massive award to win really, there was teams from as far as Singapore at the event, so it’s quite a worldwide thing, which makes it even better to win!
Q. How did you feel about winning the award?
Yeah, I was delighted, it was a great honour to get. To win awards two years in a row was great for me. It’s all down to the work that the team puts in too, it’s good to have the awards to show off for the hard work we all put in. Unfortunately, ‘Skills Challenge Master’ is as high as I can go, ha! I can’t win anything more prestigious!
Q. In Engineering how do you feel about working with new technology all the time?
It’s good yeah, it helps me push myself to learn new techniques and work with new technology I didn’t think I’d get the chance to work with. New technology makes the job even harder, ha!
Q. What’s the atmosphere like on the garage floor?
Everyone gets on well, there’s a good spirit right now on the garage floor. The atmosphere is very good. There’s a great camaraderie amongst the engineers as well, because we’re all working towards the same thing effectively. Although It’s a serious job we do get a good laugh during the day as well.
Q. What’s your favourite part about being an engineer at Lothian?
The job satisfaction is a very good thing I’d say. For instance, if you get a non-start, and it won’t go, eventually getting it to start is very satisfying. You feel like you’re constantly fixing problems and making the service that wee bit better every day.
Q. Have you ever had a chance to work on any of the vintage fleet?
I have once or twice yeah. Some of the real older ones had some indicator problems a while back, the old Leyland ones. I’ve fixed a couple of them that were tricky for everyone else. It was great working on the older models, it gives you a taste of what the job was like 40,50 years ago!
Tea or Coffee? Neither
Movie Marathon or Box set? Films
Concert or rave? Probably a rave man!
Rugby or Football? More Rugby
Dining out or Delivery? I’m a good cook! I cook a good a spaghetti Bolognese. But my speciality would be a Thai green curry, that’s probably my favourite!