Wednesday 17 July 2013

Aylesbury and Salisbury Services

A busy few days for me last week. Monday I travelled up to Aylesbury Traincare Depot to do a service on one of our oil/water separators, it was sooooo hot and definitely the worst timing to do such a job.

I drove up in the van, which in itself was more like an oven than a mode of transport; however, my mistake was to stop at Taunton services for a breather, and a cold drink. Costa up there does some amazing coolers for when the heat is getting to me, but the queue was so long that it was apparent that I would lose half an hour plus just waiting, so decided to skip the drink. When I got back into the van, the sun had been hitting it so much that the seats burned and the steering wheel was almost too hot to touch, resulting in me putting on some riggers gloves to drive away until it had cooled down somewhat.

I don't remember ever going to Aylesbury before, but it was quite a nice place and the Premier Inn I stayed at was well above average. Martin join the party late that night after going to Wyfla Power Station before meeting me near where the service was to take place.

Trying to work on the Tuesday, even with the lightest of overalls and Personal Protective Equipment on was a nightmare, and I'm sure I was close to the record for most sweatiest workman ever! I did get laughed at when I emptied out the media baskets that were completely caked in oil, and I ended up with instead of white and orange (hi-vis), a more black, slimey and oil covered getup - all up my arms, face, head... everywhere!

Anyways, we had booked for the job to take two days but somehow managed to do it in one day, even after feeling as though I was going to pass out from the heat a couple of times while down in the oil sump sorting out their suction pipes.

Wednesday was used in the hotel just getting over heatstroke before I made my way down to Salisbury to spend the rest of the day in the new room with two fans on full while I laid on the bed recovering.

By the time we got to Salisbury Train Care Depot at 9am on Thursday, the people there had already taken the lids off the separator and sucked out most of the oil layer from the top of it, so the job for us was a lot easier and quicker than we expected. In fact by midday we had finished the cleanup and were refilling the separator with clean water from a fire hydrant. Martin and I went into town, which is quite a quant place, to get a drink and by the time we came back an hour later the separator was ready for testing. Just a couple of hours later and I was back on my way home.

Friday was spent cleaning up, go knows how much oil from the two depots we managed to bring back with us, and cleaning my new work boots involved being on my hands and knees while scrubbing them in a bucket... so much for their blue and grey colour, they will always be a permanent oily/black from now on. Hey-ho!

Well now back I won't be complaining about the weather any more... it's glorious! We have put off a couple of other services though because it's really far too hot to try and do them in this weather.

Fred Deakin
Design Engineer & Writer