Meet Richard Parfitt, Caravan Engineer
blog / servicing
Richard joined Winchester Caravans and Motorhomes in 2008 as a caravan valeter, before moving into his current role as a caravan engineer a few years later.
Outside of work, Richard enjoys renovating old motorbikes and is currently working on a 1982 Honda. He’s stripped it down and rebuilt it from scratch and is looking forward to riding it soon!
What does your role involve?
I carry out the PDIs - pre delivery inspections - on all the new and pre-owned caravans that are sold through the dealership. This involves checking the entire van over, running it, making sure everything is working as it should and that nothing is missing or faulty. If the customer has opted for any extras such as solar panels, alarms or sockets, we will fit and check these at this time too. The customer will also receive safety printouts which guarantee that the gas is working and safe as well.
What’s your career background?
In my teenage years and into my 20s, my trade was car valeting. I then got a job as a Quality Inspector for an electrical company and worked there for many years until I was made redundant. There weren’t any Quality Inspector roles available in the local area at that time, so when I saw the caravan valeter job advertised I thought I’d give it a go as it was familiar to me and a nod to my past. I really enjoyed being part of the workshop team and when the opportunity to move into the caravan engineer role came up, I was happy as it seemed like the natural next step.
Have you received any training during your time here?
When I moved roles I was given on-the-job training on how to carry out PDIs and there was also an external trainer who came into the workshop to deliver training on 12v, 240v and gas, for which I received certificates. It was great to learn new things and the qualifications are a great addition to my CV.
What are the most rewarding and challenging elements of your role?
The most challenging element is fitting some of the parts as it can be a bit fiddly depending on what you’re fitting as there’s not always a lot of space to get your hands into places to attach them!
The most rewarding part is when you’ve finished the job and the caravan is ready to be collected with everything as it should be. It’s a great feeling to know that my hard work has ensured that the caravan is in full working order and that the customer will receive a caravan that is ready to take them on their first trip. It’s lovely to get positive feedback from customers who are happy with the vans - it makes all the fiddly bits worthwhile!
What do you aim to achieve within your role?
My ultimate aim is to get the caravans through their PDIs successfully and to come out the other side with everything as it should be to ensure that the customer goes away happy. Every day in this job is different so you never know what tasks you’ll be doing from one day to the next which keeps it interesting!
What is your proudest work achievement?
I was really pleased to move into the caravan engineer role; it was great to have the opportunity to learn new skills and gain some valuable qualifications as well.
Why is Winchester Caravans and Motorhomes a great place to work?
The workshop team is great; they’re such a nice bunch of people. We’re like a big family and everyone is always keen to help each other, which is not always the norm and should be appreciated!
Rest assured that we are adhering to safety and social distancing measures throughout the site, including additional regular cleaning routines, hand sanitising stations, face masks, screened tills and contactless payments.
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