More Than Maintenance

Feature More Than Maintenance Delta Air Lines GSE Maintenance group is involved with a lot more than just equipment maintenance, writes Michelle Garetson By Michelle Garetson/p> By Michelle Garetson October 2002 Same old, same old is not...

When asked if Wright had any suggestions for GSE manufacturers with respect to design and maintainability, he responded, "We always want them to look to the future. Give me something with the alternative fuel requirements. Look to the warranty - I'm big on warranty - ties to performance, reliability, standardization - version 1 to version 4 - I got a whole new set of parts to be worrying about. Let's get some standardization throughout the system. I know the computer systems are coming in, but I know the transmissions systems stay relatively the same. Look at what can be standardized. Interchangeability between one piece of equipment that they manufacture with another piece of equipment — let's say a bag tractor versus a belt loader. Is there some interchangeability that you can get me there? How can you decrease my total cost of ownership? We're all being challenged to reduce our operating costs and to increase our reliability and increase our performance."

Delta GMT Phil Lyles

He continues, "Be creative with how they're doing their training. I want a week when I first get the equipment, then a week six months later, and then a week at the end of the year. Until you get working with the equipment, or software, you don't know what you're going to run up against and that's when you need to be able to ask your questions and get some answers. Training is critical to help adapt to change."

"I think the changes that were seeing are going to be good," says Wright. "The electric is going to help reduce my total cost of ownership as far as reliability. I think we're going in the right direction."

When asked about Atlanta's infrastructure for handling more electrics, he answers, "Well, we were on our way, but when September 11th hit, everybody's resources went in opposite directions. But, we're still under the mandates that we're going to have to go to alternative fuels in the future. Maintenance-wise, I think we're all right, but we need to get the charging systems in place."

He continues, "We've just gone to putting our paper manuals to web-based and CD-ROM formats and availability. Any changes can be made quickly and we're getting the most up-to-date information. We'd love to have everything online, but we're just not there yet.".

For Wright, the biggest impact of 9-11-01 on how he and his employees do their jobs is with airport access. "If we have a tech who never has been into an airport and has never been badged, they have to be escorted. Or, they have to take a day out of their time to get badged. - we'd love to see a universal badge.
Wright humbly offers that he's confident about the future and credits his employees for that confidence.

"I'm always impressed at the ability of our technicians that they continue to rise to whatever obstacle we throw in front of them and they continue to meet those objectives. They've made my job extremely easy."

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