Last February, during the height of Covid-19 pandemic in China, Volvo Penta technician Hu Dai undertook a long, demanding journey through multiple checkpoints and security clearances, and then spent a week sleeping in a shed, to ensure a customer received the support they needed.
Despite the havoc caused by Covid-19, many Volvo Penta customers need to remain operational, and continue to rely on aftermarket support. This is proving to be increasingly difficult during the pandemic, however recently Hu, a technician with Chengdu Kate, one of Volvo Penta’s dealers in China, went to extraordinary lengths to deliver technical support.
The request came from Yibin City, more than 400 kilometers away from the dealership in Chengdu, from a site that included eight vehicles – each equipped with four Volvo Penta engines – manufactured by OEM SANY. The vehicles were experiencing some technical issues, and since SANY was not able to send any of their technicians due to the epidemic, Chengdu Kate was the only support available.
“If the problem was not solved, it would definitely affect their normal production or even stop production completely,” explains Hu. “The loss would have been immeasurable, affecting not only customer satisfaction, but also SANY’s reputation. No matter whose responsibility it was, we needed to find the fault and solve the problem as quickly as possible.”
At the time, the Sichuan province was under a first level alert and everyone was required to stay at home. “I was a little nervous before I set off,” recalls Hu. “Over the next 400 kilometers I went through 6-7 checkpoints where my body temperature was measured. Since I did not have a certificate, I thought I would be sent back. Normally a trip like this would take about four hours by car, but in the end it took me ten hours.”
The next day Hu identified the fault: a broken booster hose which resulted in low intake pressure and insufficient power. He then spent the next five days on site, repairing the vehicles. Since all the local hotels were closed due to the pandemic, Hu had to spend the evenings sleeping in a bunk bed in a shed, which was also being used for storage. “I didn’t sleep well, it reminded me of my student life.”
When the assignment was complete, all eight vehicles were fully operationally, with both the owners of the site and SANY extremely satisfied with the service provided – especially given the circumstances.
“We’re grateful for Volvo Penta’s prompt service, which helps us to proactively solve problems, especially during the pandemic period,” wrote SANY in a ‘thank you’ letter sent to Chengdu Kate.
“If I was asked to go again, I would still go,” says Hu. “Since I’m representing Volvo Penta, I should do my job as utmost to support the customer, even in these difficult times. By overcoming these difficulties and continuing to solve problems, we can show our true value!”