AIR-CON: Thermo King specialist

By: Amie Hickland

Travelling around s is all in a day’s work for Thermo King specialist Shane Thomas

AIR-CON: Thermo King specialist
Thermo King trainer Shane Thomas, spreading technical expertise throughout Australia and NZ

Regional diversity Down Under is being recognised throughout the world, as a global air-conditioning company has appointed a dedicated training officer to deal with Australasia’s unique conditions.

Queensland’s Shane Thomas has been working for air-conditioning specialist Thermo King for almost two decades, spending his time travelling and training throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Thomas holds two positions within the company — Thermo King National Training Officer and Queensland Thermo King Work Health and Safety Co-ordinator.

Based in Brisbane, Thomas routinely travels around the two countries and to Thermo King’s global headquarters in Minneapolis, United States.

"Basically, I provide technical training for all the technicians Australia-wide and NZ," Thomas says.

Thomas recently prepared for his latest trip to the US which is part of an annual conference.

The conference is for staff worldwide to receive up-to-date knowledge, new product reviews and undertake customer training, among other things.

This knowledge is then passed on when Thomas visits technicians around Australia and NZ — he keeps them up-to-date with the latest technology and developments.

Thomas explains this set-up is different to the many other countries the company services.

He says Australia’s large area and relatively small population means it is possible for him to travel to major dealerships in capital cities to maintain training.

"That differs to how it’s done in other areas," he says.

He says the other main difference — compared to other companies generally — is the fact he will provide a total of four weeks training per year to each dealership.

"We’re probably one of very few companies that are very training focused," Thomas says.

"I will work with the leadership to familiarise the technicians with up-to-date diagnostic process and fast efficient repairs."

He says the ongoing training allows products to be fully utilised and the effective maintenance of units mean they can be "back on the road" and making money faster.

"I think as an industry leader out there, behind the scenes we need to keep our technicians trained in the event of issues so we can get the matter resolved quickly," he says.

Thomas has been working with Thermo King for 18 years. He started his apprenticeship with the company and was later approached to take up the training position.

"The gentleman that was doing it before was coming up to retirement," he explains.

He says the thing he enjoys most about his role is the opportunity to work with different people as well as the travel.

As he is essentially presenting the same training at different locations, hearing different people’s experiences keeps the job interesting.

So is that what makes it all worthwhile?

"It’s definitely the people that make the training interesting," Thomas says.

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