Eqstra Flexi Fleet, a division of Eqstra Fleet Management and Logistics, has introduced a new training course specifically designed to equip qualified auto-electricians and diesel mechanics with skills that will enable them to work on refrigeration units fitted to cold chain vehicles.

Commercial vehicle refrigeration units present their own challenges, as they are mobile, and therefore exposed to vibration and movement. In addition, they need to be versatile, running on mains-supplied three-phase electricity when warehoused and on diesel power when on the road.

Technicians working on these units therefore require a number of skills – in effect they need to be diesel mechanics as well as auto electricians and have the necessary knowledge to enable them to work on closed loop gas systems and be competent with regard to fault finding, brazing and the mechanics of pressurised systems. All relevant aspects are covered in the Eqstra course.

On successful completion, refrigeration technicians will obtain a gas compliance certificate OHS Section 1; 8; 13; 14 NQF Level 2 and a transport refrigeration certificate NQF Level 4. Thereafter, graduates can apply to the South African Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Contractors Association to become authorised gas practitioners.

“Due to the harsh climate in which we operate, cold chain requirements are significant,” says Eqstra Fleet Management and Logistics CEO, Jacqui Carr.

“Our company owns a formidable fleet of commercial vehicles requiring cooling solutions, which in turn require servicing and occasional repairs. Due to the lack of formalised training in this area we have introduced the course for our own technicians with the intention of opening it to the broader industry over time.”