Starting his career as an apprentice at Penske Australia 10 years ago, Bryce Bell has worked his way through the ranks. Last year, he was named a Master Technician at the brand’s annual awards.
Bell is a Field Service Technician, based at Penske Australia in Perth. His role takes him to places near and far. “The best part of my job is getting out of the office and meeting new customers every day. When a truck is broken down on the side of the road, it’s very satisfying to be able to get them going again,” he says.
For Bell, every day is different. Some days he’ll be working in Perth, other times he’ll travel as far as Meekatharra, which is around 700km north of the city. His work has even taken him as far afield as Darwin, Brisbane, Singapore and the Cocos Islands off WA’s coast.
“Sometimes it’s a seven or eight hour drive, so I’ll put some music on and get cruising. There are times drivers will be stuck in the middle of nowhere with no reception, so the company will send a GPS location of roughly where the truck is. In a single day, I can be working on a boat in Fremantle and then on a truck two hours away. It’s not always the same product which is what I really enjoy too. I’ve gone from working mainly on trucks to pretty much everything,” he adds.
“The transport industry holds up Australia – everything gets transported by trucks. Being part of that and able to help keep trucks moving is really rewarding.”
Working for Penske, Bell services all products within the brand’s portfolio – Western Star, MAN, Dennis Eagle, Allison, Detroit and MTU. Though he started out in trucks, his services now extend to other sectors too, including mining, marine and farming equipment.
Bell’s interest in trucks was sparked from a very young age. “My father was an owner truck driver for about 25 years. Ever since I was a little kid, I was intrigued by trucks and I knew I wanted to be a diesel mechanic,” he says.
Though Bell revels in the fact that his days constantly bring new challenges, being named Penske Guild’s 2019 Master Technician has been his biggest highlight yet.
Open to all Penske Guild members, the Master Technician competition brings together top technicians from around Australia and New Zealand. In the 2019 final, six finalists were required to showcase their skills through a series of general procedural tasks and advanced diagnostics scenarios – and Bell came out on top.
“The Master Technician Award was the biggest highlight of my career. From that I was given a trip to the United States to visit the Detroit and Daimler Trucks North America manufacturing facilities and also had the opportunity to tour the Team Penske motorsport facility in North Carolina,” Bell explains.