Eqstra introduces accredited course in refrigeration units
A lack of formalised training relating to refrigeration units has prompted Eqstra Flexi Fleet, a division of Eqstra Fleet Management and Logistics, to introduce a new training course; which is specifically designed to equip qualified auto-electricians and diesel mechanics to work on refrigeration units fitted on cold chain vehicles.
This is the only course of its kind in South Africa accredited by merSETA. It will be offered at the Equestra Training Academy situated at Denel, in Johannesburg.
Commercial vehicle refrigeration units present their own challenges. They are mobile and therefore exposed to vibration and movement. In addition, they require an alternative power source – when the vehicle is located at a warehouse the unit is powered by three-phase electricity, however when the vehicle is on the road, the unit utilises the diesel engine to power either the generator or compressor to keep the cooling unit active.
Technicians working on these units therefore need to be qualified diesel mechanics, or auto-electricians. They also need to be knowledgeable about closed-loop gas systems and be competent with regard to fault finding, brazing and pressurised systems. All these elements are covered in the training course.
“Due to the harsh climate in which we operate, cold chain requirements are significant,” says Jacqui Carr, Eqstra Fleet Management and Logistics CEO. “Our company owns a large fleet of commercial vehicles requiring cooling solutions, which, in turn, require servicing and occasional repairs. We have introduced the course for our own technicians with the intention to open it to the broader industry over time.”
On successful completion of the course, the refrigeration technicians will obtain a gas compliance certificate, Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) section 1; 8; 13; 14 NQF level 2 and a transport refrigeration certificate at NQF level 4. Thereafter, the technician may apply to the South African Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Contractors Association to become an authorised gas practitioner.
Other courses offered by the Eqstra Training Academy include yellow plant diesel technicians, commercial truck technicians and boiler makers.