Staff profile: Andrew Lehan, RV Sales Centre Branch Mechanic
Author: Cathy Anderson
Every ex-rental vehicle in the RV Sales Centre yard has passed through the capable hands of Branch Mechanic Andrew Lehan.
Every ex-rental vehicle in the RV Sales Centre yard has passed through the capable hands of Branch Mechanic Andrew Lehan, who cut his teeth fixing tractors, boats and lawn mowers as an apprentice many years ago.
He chats to Cathy Anderson about his role, his 10-year history with the company and sheds light on the stringent mechanical care given to all vehicles in both the rental and sales fleets.
Tell us bit about your background?
I did my trade quite young so have been a mechanic for quite some time. When I first started I was in a small workshop in New Zealand and we worked on everything - lawn mowers, tractors, boats, trucks and passenger cars to light commercial. We did a bit of everything. If you get that grounding in a varied range of things, your knowledge and skill sets are broader. It’s not that you become a jack of all trades and master of none, but you become proficient in understanding how things work, not just one particular facet. I have also spent 10-15 years in other roles in sales and working for a telco in a technical sales position
How long have you been with Tourism Holdings Limited (owner of RV Sales Centre and rental brands Britz, Maui and Mighty?)
Nearly 10 years in different places and in different roles. I joined as the Assistant Branch Manager in Brisbane. Prior to that I was working as the manager of a workshop that did the maintenance for that branch. I had been in contact with THL and its fleet for two years prior to that so I understood the vehicles, the fleet and the maintenance requirements then. I have been in Melbourne for only two months so I am still getting used to the weather!
What is your role and what do you do on a daily basis?
They brought me on here as Branch Mechanic. What I actually do is a little more than that. I am responsible for our hire fleet coming through, the service and repairs as they are needed which is picked up when they come in and through the pre-hire maintenance. With the motorhomes for sale, once they come off fleet I am responsible for having them checked and serviced if necessary and fixing anything that need to be repaired to bring them up to roadworthy standard.
What’s your checklist?
It’s effectively a roadworthy checklist. It’s not a certificate - that comes from an external mechanic. I am checking it in terms of all roadworthy items. And all those vehicles will get a roadworthy certificate. It’s all about safety. If its service is due, then it gets a service before heading to the sales yard.
Are the age of vehicles for sale varied?
Yes, we can get one that will have 10,000km and we can get them coming off the rental fleet at 300,000km. And all the rentals fleet gets looked after in the same way and are maintained and serviced very well. By the time they come to the end of their life with us as a hire vehicle they are still in pretty good shape for someone to buy to take and use for quite some time. We service our vehicles on average every 30,000km, especially the larger vehicles. Some of the smaller HiAce diesel campers we service every 10,000km. We use very very good oils and parts so the life expectancy of the vehicles is increased.
Any advice to new owners as a mechanic?
A motorhome is just like any other vehicle really. Look after it and service it regularly - don’t ignore the service schedules.
Is mechanics your passion?
It is a passion. I ride motorcycles so I look after bikes, but I don’t have a garage big enough for what I want to restore!
Do you do a lot of travelling?
I have done some motorhoming in the past. When I was younger my wife and I did a big campervan experience around the UK for about two years. It was fantastic and we loved every minute of it. We covered a lot of ground, made new friends - it was a great way to travel. You are free to come and go, you can pull up stumps when you like.
Top destinations or travel tips?
There is so much to see in this country - whatever you want to see is here. If you want to see desert, or rainforest, tropics, beaches - we have it all here. Personally I like the mountains and bushwalking as well as tropical stuff. Down in Victoria it is not so tropical but places like the Otways, Great Ocean Road - they are great places to ride your bike or take your motorhome. The national parks are awesome. And Tasmania is built for motorhomes.