Mick-barnes

A day in the life of….our technical engineer

Our employees have played a huge part in the success we’ve achieved over the last 25+ years and will undoubtedly continue to do so.

They all have their own strengths and qualities, as well as industry-leading knowledge and capabilities, which all combine together to deliver our winning formula.

Each and every one of the jobs they do play an important role in delivering our company vision and reinforcing our status as the UK’s leading outdoor canopy designer, manufacturer and installer. Let’s take a look at some of their roles in more detail, starting with our technical engineer, Mick Barnes.

Q: What time do you start work?

A: My day starts relatively early, sometimes before 6am. The early starts enable me to load my van up with all of the materials for the current installation and get to the customer without getting caught up in any peak-time traffic.

I prefer to be with our customers and ready to start work by 8am, regardless of where they may be located in the country. If they’re a bit further afield, I tend to stay nearby the night before.

Q: What’s the first task you carry out each day?

A: It’s really important that I re-read the customer’s contract while I’m sat in my van. This enables me to clarify the specification of the installation we’re going to be delivering and obtain a clear understanding of exactly what’s required when I meet the customer.

This involves looking through all of the details of the materials and positions that have been specified, as well as any supporting site photographs.

Q: Do you spend much time in the office?

A: I’m usually at our head office on a Monday morning to load my first installation and, depending on weights, I may decide to load up for the whole week. I usually also head back to the office on a Friday to hand over our completed projects.

When I’m out and about, I’m regularly in contact with our team in the office, either sharing details with them or obtaining further information from them for the projects I’m currently working on or heading to.

canopy-installation-marking-out

Q: How technical is your job?

A: Very! The most important (and technical) element of my role as technical engineer is the marking out. This involves me reading measurements and calculations from the contract and supporting documentation and then transferring them to the ground and building.

There are times when issues may occur and it’s our job to know how to overcome them. This can range from uncovering pipes/cables that are hidden within the ground, to the fabric of a building not being suitable. Identifying and implementing the most suitable solutions to overcome challenges involves a significant degree of technical know-how.

We’re also usually able to uncover these types of issues early on, thanks to our site-specific calculations, which are unique to us. (For more information about our site-specific calculations, take a look at our free guide, ‘Engineering canopy solutions that are designed to last.’)

Q: What do you enjoy most about your work?

A: Driving home knowing that you’ve just completed an installation that the customer is delighted with it, especially if it was complex and particularly hard work. Knowing that the customer is happy with our work makes it all worthwhile.

As a technical engineer, I’m involved in delivering projects from cradle to grave. I’m completely involved in the development of our installations stage-by-stage and component-by-component until they’re complete. I feel a huge sense of pride from handing over a project and taking our last group of photos.

Italia Entrance Canopy at Aston Villa FC

Q: How has your role evolved over the years?

A: We’ve developed our product range from our standard GRP door canopies and GRP Connekt canopies, to some very modern and sleek aluminium systems.

Some of the latter bespoke aluminium systems contain mechanical parts, LED lighting and heating systems, which require us to call on the support of other trades too.

Q: What’s the last task you carry out at the end of each day?

A: This sounds really mundane, but it’s critical – a wash down of the installation and some general housekeeping of the work area.

This allows us to clearly see what’s been done during the day and enables us to prioritise our tasks for the next day. It also mitigates against any potential health and safety risks too.

Got any questions or want to discuss your outdoor canopy requirements with us? Contact us on [email protected] or 01254 777 002. In the meantime, for more details about our ethos, vision and journey so far, check out infographic, ‘The Canopies UK journey: Our journey so far…’

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