Special physical training model to improve professional qualities of mobile repair service crews

Associate Professor, PhD V.A. Gromov1
R.G. Shaykhetdinov1
I.B. Meshcheryakova1
N.I. Ostretsov1
1South Ural State University (National Research University), Chelyabinsk

 

Keywords: mobile repair crew, motor transport, mechanic, low temperatures, university, physical education.

 Background. Specialist adaptability and fitness for quality service in harsh climatic conditions of the Far North may be trained with a special priority given to the individual resource mobilizing aspects [6], and with the physical education models and tools geared to secure focused progress in the overall and service-specific qualities and skills [2, 3, 5].

Modern practical physical education and sport models offer a wide variety of practical tools for every (physical, tactical, mental etc.) fitness training aspect [7]. It should be mentioned, however, that the existing physical education curricula are still deficient in at least the following aspects:

– They make little if any provisions for the vocational service requirements and mastery in the system design and progress tests;

– They largely fail to address the social (teamwork related) and mental fitness aspects of the service; and

– They are poorly customizable for specific vocational service requirements and environments including the Northern ones [1].

Objective of the study was to develop and test benefits of a special physical training model to improve the mobile repair service crews’ professional fitness for physically and mentally challenging service conditions.

Methods and structure of the study. Work stations of the mobile repair service crews may be deployed anywhere in field or stationary locations exposed to a variety of stressors including noise, wind and low air temperatures that may largely restrict functionality and require high physical fitness to be successfully coped with. Sampled for a questioning survey under the study were the Chelyabinsk-based mobile repair service crew members (n=67) contracted on a regular basis for the Northern motor service missions on service stations and in field operations. The survey data were used to develop 6 professional service standards for the mobile repair service crews using the Technical Service Vehicles (TSV-80) equipped with the maintenance/ battery service, welding and other special units and tools. The highest service time savings were attained under the study by due trainings to comply with the following standards: N1 Crane beam fixing for operation standard; N26 Maintenance/ battery service unit deployment standard; N33 Acetylene-oxygen welding/ cutting workstation deployment standard; N37 Welding workshop deployment standard; N39 Three-rope pulley block deployment standard; and N41 Tow-bar assembling and fixing standard [4].

The relevant physical practices to meet the above professional service standards were selected with a special priority to time costs, importance, accessibility for trainings, and practical application benefits. Sampled for the training model testing experiment were the 3-year students (n=34) of motor service specialties from South Ural State University (SUSU) in the periods of summer/ winter practices in the Chelyabinsk-based motor service companies. In semesters 5-6 the sample was trained under the standard academic physical education curriculum complemented by the traditional body conditioning and special physical practices to secure progress in the service-specific qualities and skills. The sample progress was tested, among other things, by a Mechanic’s Special Physical Fitness Test Routine (MSPFTR) that offers a set of traditional physical tests plus the service-specific operation-mimicking practices that may be executed on standard sport grounds.

Study findings and discussion. The test data analysis found correlations of the physical fitness and service-specific functionality test indices: see Table 1 hereunder.

 

Table 1. Correlations of the physical fitness and service-specific functionality test indices in the motor service crews

Physical fitness tests

Professional service standards (r)

N1

N26

N33

N37

N39

N41

 

Overall physical fitness

Dumbbell lifts

-0,72

-0,66

-0,78

-0,41

-0,07

-0,75

Narrow support test

0,65

0,19

0,33

0,08

0,82

0,62

10x10m shuttle sprint

0,69

0,48

0,65

0,43

0,69

0,37

5km ski race

0,31

0,14

0,49

0,73

0,71

0,34

Service-specific functionality

MSPFTR

0,56

0,77

0,53

0,76

0,63

0,59

Note: MSPFTR means the Mechanic’s Special Physical Fitness Test Routine

 

The test data analysis found the strongest (r≥0.7) correlations between the N1/ N33/ N41 test indices and dumbbell lift test indices; and between the N37/ N-39 test rates and the 5km ski race test indices; and fairly expressed correlations of a few physical fitness test (particularly the 10x10m shuttle sprint) indices and the MSPFTR test indices. On the whole, it was found that the higher are the individual test indices, the higher is the university graduate’s training quality. It was also found, however, that the service efficiency indices in the practical operations complicated by some negative environmental factors (low temperatures, noise, vibration, smoke, wind, special outwear, congested space, poor visibility etc.) could fall by 19.5% to 38.2%: see Figure 1 hereunder.

Figure 1. Service efficiency drops in harsh environment with air temperature under -20°С, %

Tested with the highest sensitivity to the low air temperatures were the N1, N26 and N41 service standard compliance operations and the least sensitive was the N39 service standard compliance operations. It is not unlikely that the special outwear for the Northern conditions heavily contributed to the crew service efficiency restricting effect.

Based on the study data and analyses, we would recommend the following. At the service training design stage, due priority shall be given to the focused biological resource management, physical operation control and movement freedom securing aspects. In the service-specific skills mastering process due provisions shall be put in place for the service efficiency – to cut down the unnecessary time- and resource-costs. In the service standards compliance tests, high priority shall be given to the teamwork/ social climate related aspects of the service crews (up to 4 people), with the professional physical trainings geared to cultivate a good teamwork, cooperative spirit, friendship and a high responsibility for the individual/ team performance.

Conclusion. High overall/ special physical fitness is obligatory for the mobile repair service crew members and may be viewed as an indispensable part of their service quality. The new special physical training model to improve the professional qualities of mobile repair service crews in physically and mentally challenging Northern environments was tested beneficial as verified by the test crew progress in the professional knowledge and skills.

 

References

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Corresponding author: camp048@mail.ru

 

Abstract

Modern motor transport companies traditionally and heavily rely in their operations on special mobile repair service crews to maintain the vehicles on the run, with the transport service quality being largely dependent on the professional skills of the service crews. The crew work is very challenging due to many factors including the harsh climatic conditions and, hence, mechanics need to have excellent universal knowledge, skills and physical fitness for the service, and take persistent efforts to maintain and improve the fitness by advanced training courses. It should be mentioned, however, that the valid educational programs make little if any provisions for the service in harsh climatic conditions. Objective of the study was to offer special physical training model to improve the mobile repair service crews’ professional fitness for physically and mentally challenging service conditions.

As was found by the studies of the crew operations in harsh climatic conditions with heavy winds and temperatures varying within the range of +20°С to -20°С, the service efficiency rate normally sags in such conditions by 27.6% on average.

The special physical training model to improve the professional qualities of mobile repair service crews in physically and mentally challenging situations was tested beneficial as verified by the crew progress in the professional knowledge and skills.