na dann erzähl ihm mal von RoadStars, wenn er noch nicht hier ist ;) Vielleicht machen wir mal ein Interview mit ihm, wenn er uns schöne Bilder auf die Pinnwand postet.
Just as Andreas Huberty was about to say hello to the office cat, something came up again. And next door the phones are ringing on both desks. The office administrator answers them. At the same time, a blue button lights up on Andreas' tablet: "Job". The details about the new job are just coming in over the phone.
Andreas Huberty, known to everyone as "Hubbi" at Müller recovery services in Montabaur, nods to his colleague at the next desk. "I'm on it," he says. His finger hovers over the tablet display: "Accept job". From now, he has 30 minutes.
"We allow ourselves a maximum of half an hour to get to the
customer. No-one should have to wait longer than that for a breakdown
service," says 49-year-old Hubbi, who is just showing his
colleague on the map where the car has broken down. Then he throws on
his jacket, heads out of the office and runs to his Antos.
With its five facilities, Hubbi's company covers the whole Westerwald region, working among others for the Assistance Partner network. Hubbi and his workmates deal with customers from 120 car insurance companies in the case of breakdowns, accidents or technical defects. Plus there are jobs for the police and the public prosecution service.
"Sometimes I only have five calls in a day, on other days I go out twenty times," says Hubbi. Especially when winter first shows its face and there is snow and ice again on the roads, that's when the breakdown service chaps are in particularly high demand. "We never know what to expect on any one day."
He walks round his new Antos 1833 once more. Then he opens the
driver's door, gets in, fastens his seat belt and presses the start
button. The clock is running.
"There's getting to be more and more traffic on the roads, and so we're also getting more work."
– Andreas "Hubbi" Huberty, breakdown
helper for Müller rescue service.
The Müller facility in Montabaur is right next to the A3 motorway, roughly mid-way between Cologne and Frankfurt. From here it's already possible to see the traffic building up on the southbound carriageway of the motorway.
Andreas Huberty is the site manager and has been working for the
company for 31 years. "I was there right from the start," he
says, letting the Antos roll down the yard. "There's getting to
be more and more traffic on the roads, and so we're also getting more
work." The company can always do with well-qualified people with
a HGV licence.
Hubbi glances at the clock. It's five minutes since he took on the job. The customer's car has cut out and won't start again. That's all he knows at the moment.
A few villages later, there it is: the black estate car waiting at
the roadside. At that very moment some sleet starts to fall. Hubbi can
only laugh at that: "Typical of Westerwald. They didn't forecast
snow or rain for today. Now we've got both."
He shakes the customer's hand and says hello. The estate car's
driver is quite relaxed; he has only had to wait for 15 minutes.
"Let's see what we can do," says Hubbi and tries to start
the car. Only the starter motor turns. He opens the bonnet and works
expertly through his checklist. He and his workmates have to be
technically well-versed: before Hubbi started working for the
breakdown service, he trained as a vehicle mechanic.
Then Hubbi gets into the car. The engine is still not doing
anything. Even the testing device he now attaches doesn't help. It's
not the spark plugs or the battery. The drive belt is OK too.
"For 48 percent of breakdowns we get the cars up and running
again, but if there's something wrong with the electronics we have to
take the car with us – either to the workshop, or to the customer's
home, or to our yard."
Towing the car is only a matter of five minutes. Hubbi screws the hook to the estate car, goes to the Antos and uses the on-board controls to lower the platform. The winch pulls the car on to the truck. Then Hubbi checks that the driver, who steered the car up the ramp, has put the car in gear and applied the handbrake. "It's really important for the key to be outside the car." Some cars lock automatically, and without a key you have a problem.
Hubbi now needs four straps for the estate car. There are about
twenty different ones in the compartments on the side of the Antos.
While he's choosing them and fixing them in place, he keeps his eyes
on the road all the time. It can be quite dangerous working so close
to the road. Particularly at this time of year, when it's so dark,
drivers might not see him. "I never go out without fluorescent
clothing," he says. He carefully winds the straps round the
wheels and pulls them tight. Now they can set off.
First it's back to the Müller depot in Montabaur. "With normal cars, you don't notice them on the Antos," says Hubbi, who is now sitting calmly in the Antos cab and accelerating. The truck makes optimum use of its 240 kW (326 hp). An occasional glance in the rear-view mirror allows him to check that the straps are still tight. Everything's OK.
The truck drives back to the company yard. The estate will stay here initially, because its owner is in a hurry. Hubbi looks at the clock. It's just 45 minutes since he took on the order.
The winter in the Westerwald will present him and his workmates with a number of challenges. At least, that's what experience tells them. "Let's just see what happens," says Hubbi with a grin. He's been doing this job for a good few years now.
Photos: Alex Kraus