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North Down Motor Factors hosts Gates training and development programme


North Down Motor Factors hosts Gates training and development programme


Twenty-five mechanics from garages in the Newtownards area of Belfast were involved in a customer skills, training and development programme last week.

Hosted by North Down Motor Factors and organised in association with Gates, the mechanics took part in a Technical Workshop series that helped them to learn more about trends in drive system development at Original Equipment (OE) level, from one of the world’s largest manufacturers of belts and tensioners.

The focus was on Synchronous Belt Drive Systems (SBDS) and after a short introduction about belt construction, belt handling and the importance of using specialist tools, Technical Support and Training Specialist Andrew Vaux highlighted the most common causes of drive system failure:

Incorrect tension
Crimping of the belt (bending, folding and mishandling)
Foreign objects in the drive system (road debris, oil, etc.)
Bearing problems (e.g in water pumps)

Differences between the causes and the symptoms of driving belt problems were analysed and the discussion then moved on to specific drive system installation problems with specific vehicles.  The need to replace water pumps as part of a timing belt kit and the developing role of timing belt kits as part of practical preventive maintenance programmes, was debated, also.

North Down Motor Factors’ Director Jeremy Coulter says:  “Technical training is a vital tool in the fight to eliminate the most common installation problems. These cost the garages and the motor factors a lot of money and they also inconvenience the owners of the cars., significantly. The support we were able to give them, with the help of Gates, was very much appreciated.”