Vehicle Electricians return (again)

Discussion in 'REME' started by ApissedoffVE, Jul 18, 2011.

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  1. Since it has been a number of years now ( 8 ?) since DGES(A)'s ill informed decision to kill off the Sparky trade, is it yet time for a U turn (as on previous occasions) or has the trade finally died a death.

    Apart from the tonk promotion prospects does anyone actually miss the trade group ?

    urgh, Budweiser 66 - 5 bottles and I'm getting all emotional - must be something to do with the fact I joined 18 years ago today :|
  2. Firstly happy anniversary SPROG, I for one believe it was a big mistake getting rid of Sparkys....we needed some one to brush the bays out, fetch you brews from the fitter wagon and keep the beds in the back safe from pillaging crew members of the vehicle we were working on. If Sparkys were still around we would be able to leave them to do all the Electric checks and get them to spend a week checking wiring on the plugs on the TVs and Xboxes back in the singlie accomodation instead of having to get a VM(ex sparky) to do the electical Register instead.

    Joking aside though most Sparkys I knew especially on exercise were great and knew there stuff and is a trade that should of been kept as a lot of young VMs hate the electrical side of their work and will in many cases (unless I was there boss checking demands) try and just be a fitter and demand spares instead of trying to repair or block change. I doubt you will ever see them again which is a bad thing especially the way modern technology is all going computerised and electrical testing.............but in this current climate anythings possible.....just my own views
  3. Ahh, Fitter Wagons - I built a couple of them bad boys - well actually the VM's built them, I just put the Sparks in :)

    I saw 25KJ78 not long ago - been allowed to get in shite state by the new breed - me and my muckers lived in that for 5 months on Op Agricola !
  4. I miss it. I liked VE ing. I don't know any VM's that can turn their hand to sparkying as well as a decent VE could.
    That said, when they converted me to a VM I got to play with all aspects of CRARRV and the like.
    One of the blokes has just been bamboozled with the new MAN automotive cse on the electrics side. He's a top VM but found it complicated. I reckon the Army missed a trick by binning us.
    I did alright out of it though.....
  5. Like most REME trades there's the good & the bad. At 8 Fd Wksp we had a fantastic bunch of VE's. The worst one I ever met was with the Micks at Munster, he decided that as he couldn't work out why the dip switch on a 432 wasn't working he'd cut all the wires to it and left it at that.
  6. BJD, how did they miss a trick, they still employ you and fill the other half of your day sharing someone else's workload
  7. Happy anniversary buddy. I for one totally regret the loss of VE's and more recently Metalsmiths, both had important functions at first line. I know that at Cr2 units we only had one VE who was employed in A2 Ech, this meant that VM's had to turn their hand to any electrical fault that came our way. On the odd occassion we were at a dead end the VE would always be there to help us out and I don't remember an occassion where he couldn't solve the problem. At WR regiments we had one in each section and because we never had techs in the section they were utilised to a greater degree.
    On a Cmdr ES visit the other day he mentioned that ASE's (tech elecs) were being looked at to fill in the job of the old VE, mainly due to the fact that we have too many and they were looking at ways to improve their employability. The word 'vehicle technician' was used but it did seem like a throw away comment to be fair, so it seems that your old trade may be incorporated into the tech world. It does seem like a reasonable plan, all the best
  8. I'm a desk bound ES mong now, I'm not allowed a toolbox ;-)

    BUT the last time I was asked to lend a hand It was because the Foden had developed disco light. The old relay switcheroo sorted it, the boys had been struggling and were chuffed.
  9. When VEs were phased out, didn´t they get retraded to VMs ?
    VM pay was then uprated to acknowledge the extra work ???

    If VEs are reintroduced, do the VMs then take a pay-cut due to less responsibilities ?

    Seriously though, I only ever met one VM that wouldn´t even touch an electrical fault and that was a Full-screw in an Armd Sqn Ftr Sect.
    We were crewing the same vehicle and got discussing it during a quiet phase on exercise. Turned out electrics baffled him completely and he had scraped through those phases on his course. After explaining electrics in hydraulic terms, it went click with him and in the next 18 months we were there, he never once called me in to sort out a fault with the hull electrics.

    He then tried explaining epicentric gearboxes to me but no sucess. They still baffle me. How the hell does pulling on one tiller turn you in one direction when going forward and the opposite direction when reversing? Your car doesn´t do that! Maybe I am just thick?
  10. A sad day when VEs were binned and it has caused us lots of problems as VMs are not up to the job in many cases. I used to hate doing electrics until i did my class 1 cse then i kind of got to grips with the subject. A posting the an Eng Regt where i had to get into electrics and just do it did me the world of good and gave me the confidence i needed to play with vehicle systems.
    Now though i don't know what the youngesters are being taught. I have spoken to a few guys and we all agree the SEME just seem interested in pushing out the right number of blokes and sod it if they don't have a clue what to do. I know we all had to start somewhere, but it seems things are worse now than they ever have been.
    Having seen some of the stuff coming out of puzzle palace i think we need to sort this VM thing out once and for all. When you take a car to a civi garage they don't give it back to you and tell you to do certain jobs, they just crack on and do the lot including welding and electrics. In these times of cuts, if we want to save our blokes should we not be taking on a role like our civi counterparts?
    Why don't VMs weld well?
    Why don't VMs do most drivers jobs?(we all know we do on Ops, so why not make it official).
    Why do the hierachy still think we only do level 2,3 & 4 repair when we also do level 1.
    Ask just about any class 3 and most class 2 VMs what the typical firing order of a 4 cylinder engine is and they don't know what you are talking about so don't even consider asking about a 6 clyinder engine.
    If we want VMs to survive as a trade then is it not about time we did VMing and not just bits of VMing?
    • Like Like x 2
  11. I was made redundant (SGT VE) in 1993 under the 'Options for Change'. I think they only kept VE's until they got rid of all the 27.5kva generators. After all who else could start them and supply electrons to everyone ;-)