Careers & Training

TAFE NSW mechanic students broaden skills with waste truck donations

REMONDIS Australia and TAFE NSW have taken circular economy recycling to a new level by arranging the supply of a used waste collection truck and engine parts for heavy vehicle mechanic students.

The partnership has seen REMONDIS deliver a 2008 Volvo FM380 ‘Hooklift’ truck to TAFE NSW Kurri Kurri, along with engines and parts from other used trucks including transmissions and hydraulic gear.

The truck has been a waste collection workhorse in Hunter industrial settings, clocking 34,000 operational hours and more than one million kilometres.

The idea of supplying the truck and engine parts to TAFE NSW came from REMONDIS’ Hunter-based maintenance manager Peter Murray.

“I recently enrolled two REMONDIS apprentices at TAFE NSW and took an opportunity to visit the Kurri Kurri campus,” Peter said.

“There was a light bulb moment that the waste truck we were about to send for scrapping could be given a second life at TAFE NSW, along with engines and parts from other trucks at their use-by date.

“The truck and parts incorporate modern European technology, enabling mechanical students to broaden their skills and knowledge as relevant to the workforce.

“We’re big on what’s called the ‘circular economy’ in the waste management industry, that is, looking to find different lives for anything that might end up as landfill. A waste collection truck and parts being recycled for education and training purposes is a shining example.”

TAFE NSW heavy vehicle head teacher Gavin Shields said many mechanic students will benefit from the REMONDIS partnership.

“The idea from REMONDIS sounded good from the outset and cooperation and collaboration with the company saw the opportunity progress,” Gavin said.

“We envisage we’ll get many years use out of the truck and parts, providing students with the opportunity to work on a modern machine that is being used in the industry.

“This is a terrific example of TAFE NSW partnering with industry to ensure that students finish with the best hands-on experience, which in turn boosts employment prospects.”

REMONDIS fourth year heavy vehicle mechanic apprentice Dylan Evans said he and many fellow TAFE NSW students are looking forward to working on the new truck and parts.

“A 16-year-old truck might sound old, but a lot of the components are modern and relevant,” Dylan said.

“Having hands-on experience with such machinery extends our skills and employability.

“It’s a no-brainer that the truck and parts can be put to such practical use.”

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