July 4, 2022

Meet Martin Ristov, Maintenance Manager at Superior Dispatch Service


Maintenance, what does that mean?

Superior Dispatch Service works with clients that have over 100 trucks and trailers that require timely maintenance/service. That’s where we come in.

Go back to the moment when you were first presented with this idea. How did you imagine your work responsibilities back then and how would you most simply explain your work duties to someone who is keen on joining you now?

I must mention that until then, I was working as a Track & Trace coordinator in the Afterhours Operations team, so I was very familiar with the transport industry. With that being said, I was later called to a meeting, in which a new project was presented to me, where I would be a part of the Maintenance team. Naturally, I had 1000 questions like “What is that?”, “How is that?” and “Why?” and how we on this side of the “pond” will maintain the trucks on the other side. Luckily, I got adequate answers to all those questions during my training, and that’s how I embarked on this new and unknown project for me at that time. I would recommend someone who wants to join us to learn how to listen while someone describes the truck issue, so that they can find a faster and more efficient solution with the help of our more experienced colleagues.

In the last 2 years, we realized that many things can be done remotely. But how can someone from North Macedonia repair a truck in the USA?

True, many types of jobs, and ours no less, can be done remotely without negatively affecting the quality of work being done. We can’t realistically fix a truck from here, but what we can do is speed up that process by up to 10 times, which is vital, given that each load has a specific unloading time and a deadline that must be met and should be taken very seriously. Instead of the drivers going from one workshop to another by themselves, while simultaneously wasting time and fuel looking for someone who can fix the issue, our job is to find all the nearby mechanic workshops online that can help, get in touch with them and decide which one will be able to fix the truck the fastest, the cheapest, while at the same time offering their highest quality. But before that, we have to gather the smallest details about the problem of a truck or trailer, and then with that information we have to determine the diagnosis of the problem and find a balance between the cheapest and the fastest solution. With this procedure we save time, fuel, money, the reputation of the driver and the transport company.

What kind of situations do you face on a daily basis?

I face various situations, which often repeat, but every day brings some unusual ones. Most of the time, we solve problems with expendable parts that have “done their part”, as well as flat tires, electronics, changing oil and filters. I would single out some more complex situations like road accidents, engine problems, injectors, a breakdown in a remote area where there are no houses around, nor mechanic shops, etc. From time to time we also have some slip-ups, like “I thought I would get to the next gas station before I ran out of fuel. Sorry.”

What is the starting position in your department and what is the structure to follow?

A starting position in this sector is Maintenance Support – it is a kind of entry level position with several shifts outside the normal working hours in the USA. The next step is Maintenance Fleet Coordinator and then the position of the Maintenance Manager.

What makes a Maintenance Manager successful?

A successful Maintenance Manager constantly communicates with his team, sets targets and plans in details on a weekly and monthly basis in order to reduce repair costs. If the equipment is being serviced on time, the chances of an unplanned breakdown on the road are much lower, and bigger financial problems are reduced. A successful Maintenance Manager is always one step ahead of the problem.

What are the pros and cons of working in the Maintenance sector?

Pros – work is done remotely in the office, under AC, without any need for hands-on work i.e. maintaining the equipment with clean hands. Cons – if you can say that, it can be stressful from time to time, but the situation can always be resolved if you react promptly and responsibly.

What qualifications are needed for someone to join your team?

Above all, being a team player, ambitious, persistent and dedicated with a desire for rapid progress. Ready to solve situations with a cool head in places where it is “burning” and to get the most out of it in a positive sense. Having a great command of English and basic knowledge of mechanics is preferrable. On our end, we will provide all new hires with all the programs and tools to help them at this job, and it is up to them to use those resources.