Abramo was eager to participate in this program he says, to work in a garage, get dirty and to actually understand what is the best design for maintenance facilities as far as layout goes.
“One of the things we looked at was every time we would change brakes or rotate tires, you’re constantly thinking, how can I make this process better? Or, what is inefficient about this process, how can we incorporate it into our design?” says Abramo.
“As a mechanical engineer, I was looking even at fluid replacements.” He explains, “They’re always doing fluid changes, so locating more fluid reels and compressed air outlets, where do those have to go?”
An significant point he learned when working under the bus was regarding the importance of light. “When we were under the bus on creepers, changing the oil or doing brake inspections or ensuring all the fittings were greased up, you couldn’t see anything.” Abramo continues, “You’re constantly working with this trouble light with cords that got in the way of the creeper, they don’t work very well.
“You try to place the light, you have one hand holding the light and one hand turning the wrench and a couple of times had the wrench drop on my head,” he says with a laugh. “I started talking with our electrical engineers looking into lighting options, whether you put a light on a lift or you put lights in the floors or maybe even flooring materials are more reflective.
“Those kind of design ideas got us thinking about how we’re designing these bays.”
Gray says, “We’re trying to use it to design better facilities because the mechanics’ comfort and efficiency; if you can make them more comfortable and give them better working conditions, they can do better work and actually do more work.”