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What does a Vehicle Mechanic do on board?

If anyone's curious about what the Vehicle Mechanic position looks like, here's some really useful info from a British mechanic who's been on the Africa Mercy for a while:

"The job is 8 till 5 Monday to Friday with generous breaks along the way. There may be the occasional minor weekend incident to take care of such as a car broken down but this is not that common. 

There are regular services every 5000km. Due to the bad roads, poor fuel and dust; it’s a short service interval. 

Common faults would be flat tyres, starting/weak battery problems, brakes, clutches, choked fuel filters, AC gas leaks.

You would work alongside 2 local day crew – one who will be the car washer, and the other working with you as a mechanic. I try to teach them as much as I can even if the jobs take longer.

It is a different way of working here. Due to the limited tools and resources it often takes a lot longer than you expect to do jobs. It took me a while to get used to but if you embrace it, it is quite freeing. You can take your time to figure out problems and research things without having to worry about charging your hourly rate to the customer. (Before coming here, for example, I had never done any air con work)

There is a lot of freedom which is nice. I plan my own schedule and tell my boss what vehicles I want to be put out of service the following week."


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