You may be knee-deep in a snowstorm or dealing with winter blues, but in Saudi Arabia, the field techs are already thinking about the summer heat that will hit them very soon.
What makes summer in Saudi Arabia different from elsewhere? For starters, it’s typical for the temperature to reach 109 degrees Fahrenheit, and often the coldest it gets is 80 degrees. That means air conditioning is of utmost importance for people to get their jobs done and for businesses to function from April to September.
Professionals at Zamil CoolCare, a leader in manufacturing and servicing HVAC equipment in the Middle East, know the in-the-field and behind-the-scenes happenings on field service in Saudi Arabia. Zaki Sabbagh, CIO, and Magdi Fattah, national service manager, share how their crews keep the AC high and the heat low.
Zamil CoolCare services every size and make of air-conditioning equipment. From its own Zamil air conditioners to units manufactured by Cooline and Geoclima, the crew makes visits to residential and commercial customers. Zamil emphasizes the importance of preventative maintenance programs where techs provide regular check-ups, and the company also services equipment when it fails.
The company employs over 1,400 technicians across 18 branches in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Its fleet includes 500 service vehicles which are equipped with the necessary tools, equipment and emergency spare parts for any HVAC unit.
Almost every technician is equipped with an iPad that allows him to receive assignments when he’s on the road. “Once the ticket is received, automatically the system assigns it to the first available technician, and they can know what assignments they have for the following day,” says Sabbagh.
When field techs make a site visit, it’s for one of two reasons: preventative maintenance or troubleshooting. “For preventative maintenance, techs clean and wash the AC unit and check the unit performance,” says Fattah. When it’s a troubleshooting visit, the tech diagnoses the issue and replaces the troublesome part. The most common problems that techs have to fix include air conditioners that sound as if they’re running but don’t cool the air, units that make loud noises and units that drip water.
While the majority of the service process is the same in winter and summer, the hours that field techs work changes in the heat. “Our technicians don’t work from noon to afternoon, when the sun is the hottest, they can’t work,” says Sabbagh. “They work in the morning and early evening.”
Every service vehicle is equipped with spare parts for the different units — capacitors, contactors, relays, PCBs, sensors and switches — as well as tools to make the fix possible, including manifold gauge, multimeter, ratcheting wrench, flaring tools, drill machine and nut drivers.