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‘A switch from wood to buses? I would have laughed at you!’

For years, Jos Smits worked as a mechanical carpenter. Until he was introduced to Ebusco’s electric buses during an open day and the itch returned. Meanwhile, he has been building zero emission buses for over a year.

For 32 years I had been working for the same employer. A construction company where my responsibilities as a mechanical carpenter included the creation of wooden window frames. Basically, I had my own ‘mini company’. I made a schedule and broadly determined my own working methods. Not thinking I would ever make such a big step again, I decided to do something completely different…

More than a resume

I remember it vividly. Hesitantly, I sat at the kitchen table wondering whether I would dare to take the step. I don’t share things like this easily, so I first tried to sort things out myself. Questions like ‘What am I leaving behind? And what ‘certainties’ am I losing?” shot through my mind.

Until I was suddenly invited to the ‘Ebusco Family day’. I was impressed by the factory and soon understood what the bus production process roughly looks like. After a nice conversation with a technical employee, I was convinced. I came home and immediately asked my daughter if she had some time to help me, as I hadn’t made a resume in over 30 years.

Step by step from component to bus

At Ebusco, I ended up in a warm nest. As a manufacturing employee casco, I immediately gained so much trust that I now act as a ‘jack-of-all-trades’ within the team. I contribute to various tasks in the process creating the back of the bus. For the technicians among us: I assemble brackets and corner pieces.

My knowledge of wood construction still helps me every day. Both in knowledge about kit and glue joints, and in understanding the overall process. You could compare it to cooking a pasta. In many cases, it is not helpful if you start the preparation by cooking the pasta itself. Understanding the sequences in bus production, is easy if you already have experience in a technical job.

Building the bus of tomorrow

What I like most about my job? The fact that, together with my colleagues, I am building something completely new that we learn from every day. We are working on a tangible product that will eventually transport millions of people. There is still a lot of room to help shape and optimise the production process. This also means that I still have ambitions at Ebusco, which is not very obvious given my age. My ultimate goal is to create a ‘healthy flow’ in our way of working.

Long story short, the days are flying by! I walk around here happily and am satisfied with my choice. A choice that was a bit exciting at first, but if you ever have second thoughts I can definitely tell they really look at your personal qualities here. All you need is a healthy dose of commitment!

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