In our second edition of the getting to know our Area Sales Managers series, we speak to Tim Chivers, REDARC’s Area Sales Manager of Victoria. Tim is our longest serving Area Sales Manager and May 2017 marks his 5th year at REDARC.
There is no average day for our Area Sales Managers; they spend their days on the road seeing everyone from the brick and mortar auto electrician in small country towns to the big manufacturers in the big smoke.
We sat down with Tim recently and found out more about the great man.
What is your working background/ what were you doing before you joined REDARC?
I studied electronics before starting out testing and repairing automotive electronics. This was working with engine management, body control, ABS and other computers (known as ECUs) on vehicles. This has been the majority of my working career before joining REDARC.
I also had the opportunity to work for a couple of years based in the UK. Working with Ford, I supported their testing and calibration of vehicle ECUs in various factories including UK, Spain and Germany. It was interesting work and great to work internationally.
Talk us through what an average day at REDARC consists of?
I have contact with various customers throughout the day, face to face, email and on the telephone. I am on the road most days and can visit anyone from an owner-operator of a workshop to an international head office of a manufacturer. It can be cars, 4WDs, trucks, caravans and industrial customers, plus the branches of our distribution network. I meet someone new nearly every day, as well as keeping up with some great relationships with people I have known for years. I am often listening to what has been happening in their business as well as discussing new REDARC products and technical support.
What is the best thing about working at REDARC?
A couple of the great things are the variety of the work and also the product itself. When people believe it is a great product, they are keen to have a chat even when they have a busy day too.
What is your favourite REDARC product and why?
I have two – my Tow-Pro Elite electric brake controller and also our BCDC In-vehicle dc to dc chargers (I have used a few types). This is partly due to using these myself when my family are having a break in the camper. When we are having a couple of weeks or just a weekender, it is great to have the confidence that we are safe towing and using the fridge, lighting and other equipment.
What is your dream rig? And what gadgets would you put in it?
I must admit I am getting used to the REDARC Hilux I drive. With two separate dual battery systems (one at the front for charging devices and comms, the other out the back for fridge and Pure Sine Wave Inverter, the Tow-Pro Elite electric brake controller, the gauges and battery management system I have been spoilt. I dream my camper gets upgraded with plenty of lithium battery power, high power Pure Sine Wave Inverter to run the coffee machine, microwave, electric blanket and the popcorn machine for the kids. This is in addition to the water pumps for the hot shower, vast fridge space and plenty of light. Plenty of solar and DC charging keep it all charged.
When you’re out meeting people on the road and they ask what REDARC product do I need, what do you tell them?
I always explore what are they going to use it for – what is their application both now and in the future? I need to make sure what they are expecting is realistic and also that the product is appropriate for their requirements.
What is your favourite travel destination in Australia?
I have fond memories of a number of places, in particular in Western Australia with the beautiful beaches and also up in the Atherton Tablelands in Queensland. Locally in Victoria, I visit Cape Conran on the East coast and Mt Buffalo.
Tell us about your REDARC Hilux, what products do you have in them and why are they important?
I do use all of my gear for demonstrations but practically I use my dual battery system for the fridge frequently. I can keep my lunch and drinks cold and occasionally enjoy a beer after a hot day at a show. A few months ago we had some wild storms in Melbourne with power cut for several hours. I was able to hook up my household fridge and other equipment to my 2000W Pure Sine Wave Inverter and large battery bank. It kept everything running overnight during the hot weather, with The Manager30 keeping tabs on how the batteries were going.
Aside from the basics, what three items are must-bring things for you on your road trips?
- My sarong. After getting used to it travelling through Asia, it has been used as a tablecloth, change room, bed sheet, towel, baby wrap, and sling for injured arm… Note it gets washed after using as a towel and before a tablecloth (usually anyway).
- My Leatherman and Swiss Army knife. Again, its uses are endless from cutting cheese for your lunch to using the tweezers to remove a leech from someone’s eye in the bush. Who knows what’ll be next?
- Pen and paper. The family keep a travel journal so we can note what we liked, what we need to bring next time and which campsite is the best in the campground. We also use it to keep score for games, shopping list, poems etc. Note we try to have a break from electronic devices while away.
Favourite music to listen to when on the road?
We love an audio book while travelling. My wife got me on to them as she loves her books but can’t read in the car. We went through a number of titles on our first big road in the old Skyline with the tape deck (remember tapes?). I think she moved from a bookworm into a tapeworm.
What would you sing at Karaoke night?
My best performance would have been singing Bon Jovi’s Wanted Dead or Alive. I thought I did ok as a live performance but others seemed to prefer the “wanted dead” part of the song.