UK pump attendants get reboot

It's big news in the UK, but something South Africans are not too familiar with - fuel jockeys are making a return to Shell forecourts on the island.

Fuel retailer Shell has announced the recruitment of staff for 300 forecourts (out of almost 1000) in the United Kingdom and, the Daily Mail reports, they'll even be checking tyres.

The "free, friendly service", it is reported, has been reintroduced to save drivers' time in their busy days after they were phased out to drive profits.


Considered a "throw-back to a golden age of motoring", the Daily Mail reports the staff will be Automobile Association-trained in basic car maintenance and the service is expected to prove popular for female motorists there "with little knowledge of routine maintenance such as checking tyre pressures and topping up oil levels". 

Melanie Lane, Shell’s retail general manager in the country said: "Today's motorists are increasingly time-poor. Our way means they can go inside while their tank is filled, buy a few bits and pieces and their fuel bill will be delivered to them at the kiosk."

Shell hopes to have the forecourt assistants in place by the end of 2012 and plans to roll out the service to 600 sites by the end of 2013.

Edmund King, president of the UK arm of the AA, said: "In today’s world of anonymous forecourts, putting someone there to help must be a welcome development.

"A fair proportion of drivers don’t know how to check tyre pressures and fluid levels. For that category of driver, an attendant on duty will be extremely helpful."
Mark Saunders 2012-05-29 12:59:53 PM
Something South Africans are not too familiar with...???? it's something South Africans are ALL too familiar with....
Mandy Casey 2012-05-29 05:53:31 PM
If you don't know how to check tyre pressure or water, oil levels then you should not be driving a car. " time poor", but they have time to dilly dally in a que inside the shop.
jacques.conradie.56 2012-05-30 07:18:53 AM
Ignorant motorists do two things wrong when they pull in at filling stations. Firstly they have the oil checked in an engine that was just switched off, so a lot of the oil is still floating about somewhere resulting in the dipstick showing a lower level. Secondly their tyres are warm, giving an erroneous pressure reading. One should always check oil level end tyre pressures when everything is cold. If the vehicle was driven, you should wait half an hour before checking. Most people don’t even know what the correct tyre pressures are for their vehicles. Then there is also the issue of inaccurate and uncalibrated pressure gauges at the filling station.