Freeway Fleet Systems presented awards at the annual IRTE Skills Challenge at Jaguar Experience Castle Bromwich on 7 September. Go-Ahead London was the most successful operator at this year’s event, winning 5 awards, followed by Arriva with 4 awards.
Freeway, a sponsor of the IRTE Skills Challenge, also presented winners with rugged tablets; devices that are increasingly being used as part of the digitisation of workshops, replacing paper job cards and inspection reports.
The IRTE Skills Challenge is an annual competition, organised by the Society of Operations Engineers (SOE) and their partners S&B Automotive which took place in June 2023. 60 qualified and apprentice PSV engineers competed in a series of electrical, mechanical and bodywork challenges to find the best in bus and coach.
The IRTE Skills Challenge is a valuable opportunity for both apprentices and technicians to showcase their skills and knowledge and helps to raise the standards of the industry and ensure that the bus and coach sector has a skilled workforce for the future.
“The IRTE Skills Challenge provides us with an excellent opportunity to showcase the skills and talents of our engineers, technicians and apprentices from all around the UK.” Says Oliver Tesell of the IRTE. “Not only does the skills challenge provide technical support and career support it also gives us an insight into the industry’s best talents.”
Freeway has been providing asset management software to the UK bus industry for more than 25 years. The system manages the entire workshop activity, from driver first use checks, to defects, compliance, stores and purchasing. With mobile devices synchronised with a central management system, the system provides complete visibility of the status of the fleet and other assets.
The Freeway digital platform and inspection is accredited by the DVSA under the Earned Recognition scheme that promotes the transition to digital compliance.
“A key component of the competition is the skill of carrying out an engineering inspection and this must be done in accordance with the DVSA standard,” says Patrick Tandy, MD of Freeway. “Inspections have traditionally been completed on paper, but operators are now switching to paperless working and during the challenge back in June we equipped competitors with a Freeway tablet to experience digital working.”