Scania apprentice Liam O’Donnell says he’s been in and around transport all his life. The 21-year-old joined the Scania Australia team at the company’s Richlands branch in Queensland, almost 12 months ago.
“My dad was originally a diesel mechanic, then he went on to become a refrigeration mechanic. I guess I always knew I wanted to do something along the lines of transport. I started my apprenticeship doing light vehicle mechanics, but I knew I wanted to get into heavy vehicle mechanics, so I did that as a stepping-stone.”
When asked what he loves most about the industry, O’Donnell’s passion clearly shines through. “I guess for me it’s the work – I love what I do, I love working on trucks. The whole workshop atmosphere has been a real highlight for me. Everyone that works here is really great, and I enjoy the work I do. There’s never a boring day here. I especially love the hands-on work, like diagnosis and repair. This is definitely my passion. It’s exactly what I want to be doing, it’s what I want to do with my life. I get a huge amount of satisfaction in putting something together and knowing that it works,” says the Scania apprentice.
O’Donnell’s day in the office – or should we say workshop – varies day by day. From performing service and maintenance on trucks and buses, working with gearboxes, assisting with engine rebuilds, to preparing new vehicles for delivery; with guidance provided every step of the way. “The training system at Scania has been great. There’s never a blue area with anything and there’s always someone to talk to if you don’t understand something. It’s been great.
“My role is definitely technically challenging but that’s what I enjoy. There’s a huge sense of achievement that comes with completing a job correctly and being able to use my brain to solve a problem,” O’Donnell adds.
“Scania’s vehicles have a lot of electronics, sensors and controls – which makes it more interesting. It’s great to have all these different components and aspects, and then being able to use your knowledge and work on it all. For me, it’s far more satisfying to work on something a bit more intelligent than something that’s purely mechanical.
“Joining the team at Scania has been great. It’s been a lot more than I could have ever anticipated – and I mean that in a good way – with the level of experience I’ve been getting from working here.”