Paul Basterfield, Senior Engineer, has worked at CFP since 2011 whilst Darren Keeling, also a Senior Engineer has worked alongside Paul for the last four years.
We asked Paul and Darren a few questions to find out more about them and why they love working for CFP.
What did you do before starting work at CFP?
Paul: I actually did the same job for an air conditioning company meaning I have been in the industry for a grand total of 10 years. I would visit stores in various different locations, check their filters and remove old ones along with bags, belts and any parts that are subject to wear and tear. I’d also repair the frames when needed and replace filters and repair units, so very similar to my role at CFP.
Darren: Before my current job I was a foreman in a scrapyard and used to drive the heavy machinery.
What enticed you to work in the filter industry?
Paul: My job allows me to be independent. I can be my own boss and I have to use my own initiative. This job is also far from repetitive, and definitely not boring! Different problems arise regularly and each has a separate, unique hurdle for me to enjoy jumping. This is great for me as I like to be on the move doing different things. I am also happy to do weekend work if it is necessary, to keep the customers happy.
Darren: I knew Paul socially and he used to ask me every so often to help him on a freelance basis, he showed me the ropes, things just developed from there on and I haven’t looked back since!
What’s the most fulfilling thing about your job?
Paul: Happy customers equal a happy CFP team and once I have done three months of hard work and achieved every job on the schedule, this is what I end up with. I love the achievement at the end of it all. I also enjoy being one step ahead and able to evaluate the upcoming week, if the current week has been successful.
Darren: From Scotland, to Inverness, to Devon, my job allows me to visit lots of places across the UK, which often has beautiful scenery. Being outside also means that I am not sitting and doing the same thing, staring at the same four walls. Variety is the spice of life as they say and I certainly get that working as an Engineer for CFP!
What are the pros and cons about being on the road for five days a week?
Paul: The best thing for me is most certainly the sights I get to see. I live in the Midlands, but my job allows me to cover the entire UK. I have a particular love for the coastal roads around Scotland, the views there are just stunning. I would have to say the weather conditions and the bad drivers I encounter on my travels are the downside. I just have to let them get on with it!
Darren: The scenery is also the best thing about being on the road for me. Like Paul, I would also say that the worst aspects of travelling are the poor drivers on the road, the weather and general traffic. When in London, I can be sat in a traffic jam for an hour without moving more than 35 yards. However flexible hours allow me to get up at 3:30am to miss the worst of the traffic.
What’s the most common problem you see when fitting filters?
Paul: Most commonly I come across poorly fitted filters. This is due to poor training. Some people are not aware that there is a right and a wrong way to fit a filter. Fitting filters can actually be quite dangerous and we have to be very vigilant around running belts etc. It is good to educate the people fitting the filters incorrectly, so that their filters can work efficiently in future.
Darren: With new customers, I often encounter filters that have not been changed on a regular basis. This means that they are really blocked up and not working efficiently, it can also affect the machinery and cause them to break down.
What’s a typical day for you?
Paul: My typical day varies very much on where I am going. Some days include many, many miles, whilst others may only require a 50 mile drive up the road. The days are usually very physical and involve tasks such as carrying items across roofs, making sure equipment is shutting down and rebooting okay. I normally visit three or four different stores a day, however having said that, no two days are the same. The middle of December the office will give me work for January, February and March, in advance for me to plan in. I’m currently fully booked until the end of June!
Darren: My week usually begins on a Monday at around 4am when I will set off to my first job, which is usually in Poole. This is a two to three hour run on a good day. The job in Poole could be a filter change or a site survey and can take as little as 10 minutes to complete. Alternatively I might be working in Scotland, which often means staying away for the week.
What changes have you seen during your time at CFP and in the industry?
Paul: CFP is a lot busier now and has increased the number of services available to help meet customer need. CFP is always striving to improve where improvement is needed. The industry is a lot more health and safety conscious. In the past, you would have been surprised about what was dumped in the plant rooms, but now everything is clean, with safety rails, proper locks and proper meters. This has made my job much safer.
Darren: I would also say that CFP has become a lot busier over the past few years and health and safety really has become a priority within the industry, we undertake a number of courses including how to deal with asbestos and how to safely use all of the equipment.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Paul: I have a passion for riding my motorbike; it is my relaxation method. I enjoy cruising on my 600 Ninja Kawasaki.
Darren: I really enjoy swapping four wheels for two and getting out on my motorbikes. I own a ZX9R Kawasaki and a CBR 900 Blade.