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Ferry operator CalMac has recruited a new mobile maintenance team as part of its ongoing strategy to provide high levels of customer service.
CalMac continues to work with Transport Scotland to find new flexible and effective approaches to address the ongoing challenges of operating an ageing fleet with an increasing number of sailings.
The seven-strong team comprises electrical and mechanical engineers, along with hydraulic specialists.
The team will be tasked with carrying out planned maintenance to vessels in-service, as well as being a flexible resource that can be deployed immediately to support on-board engineers with any technical issues.
Last year CalMac’s 33-strong fleet carried more than 5.3 million passengers and 1.4 million vehicles across 26 islands and remote mainland locations, including Campbeltown, in some of western Europe’s most inhospitable waters. This represents more than 130,000 sailings last year.
‘We are operating with an ageing fleet which is increasingly being stretched,’ said CalMac managing director Robbie Drummond. ‘We need to continue to find new ways to maximise our vessels’ operational resilience and have invested in a new team that will help mitigate potential problems before they escalate into something that impacts on service delivery.’
The team will carry out specialised inspections, monitoring and proactive maintenance, working closely with the on-board engineering and vessel management teams to proactively identify and resolve technical issues.
The aim is to minimise service disruptions due to avoidable technical issues and reduce the routine maintenance that would normally take place during annual overhaul.
‘With our vessels setting sail around 360 times every day, this team has the mobility required to complete planned maintenance when and where it is needed on the network, minimising disruption to services due to technical issues,’ added Robbie.
Councillor John Armour, chairman of the Campbeltown ferry committee, told the Courier: ‘Anything that stops problems arising or speeds up repairs on the ferries is very welcome.’