The tools of cooperation
by Sgt Yannick Baylet
First published in SFOR Informer #49,
Sarajevo - Recently, the International Management Group (IMG), asked SFOR engineers of the Civil-military Functional Team (CFT), to implement seminars between SFOR mechanics and RAD mechanics on proper maintenance techniques. The RAD is a road, bridge and buildings work company operating in all Bosnia-Hercegovina (BiH). As these issues are primary steps towards peace reconstruction in the country, it is partly funded by the IMG.
But the company faces lots of maintenance and management problems on their vehicles, that reduce IMG's investments efficiency. About one year ago, an evaluation report was submitted by a Caterpillar representative, describing problems that exist and the cost of fixing those deficiencies, but it does not state the reasons of the maintenance failures.
"Two seminars were organised on October 9, at the Precision Factory in Gornji Vakuf, in Multi-National Division South-West," said Maj. Herwehe, of the CFT.
Sergeant Major Bob Dicker, of the 36 Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) and his platoon, the RAD, represented by Saran Hidajet, Director, Mulaomerovic Abid, Landfill Maintenance Supervisor, Jurcevic Lubomir, Maintenance Manager, and Kosaric Mehmed, Manager of Technical Services, the IMG, represented by Samir Besirevic, attended the meetings. Interest and willingness to work together became obvious as the Bitish mechanics and the RAD staff knew each other's issues.
"For example, while in Gorni Vakuf, the RAD maintenance supervisors found that the REME had a salt spreader that was non-functional. The REME lacked experience and literature on this piece of equipment. The RAD provided instruction and a maintenance manual on it," explained Sgt Bucci, of the CFT.
Although this manual is in Russian language, it will be soon submitted to IMG for translation. On the other hand, the REME provided RAD with complete formats and checklists for all maintenance levels.
"Their vehicle knowledge is more than ample," said Artificier Sergeant Major Bob Dicker, leading the REME platoon in Gornji Vakuf. "The vehicles are not given proper maintenance because there arent enough to do the job, so they are always running. And some of them are more than 20 years old! Therefore, it is not possible anymore to find supporting manuals to plan maintenance programs. They don't lack skills, but maybe management methods," he added.
"Specialized tools are not available for each vehicle. Since many of these pieces of equipment came from several different countries, brands and models, its impossible to stock a sufficient amount of preventative maintenance parts for each vehicle. Operating maintenance tools and lubrication are kept in the garage on site, even if it would be better to keep the tools with the vehicle, but there arent enough tools to support all of the different vehicles," explained Saran Hidajet, Director of RAD.
In an effort to comply with IMG's recommendations, the RAD has moved the tools to the job location, added two men to remove debris from transmission assemblies, and added two more mechanics to perform maintenance. In the near future, the RAD would like to send several of its mechanics to GV to learn that level of maintenance. A long-term maintenance and organisation program should be set at the time, especially on very specific mechanical training.