8 May 2011

Band of Bluekens, Netherlands

Combined the four members of Band of Bluekens can boast nearly half a century of Volvo experience. Each team member has qualified for a VISTA semi final at least three times, and even reached the 2009 world final, where they finished ninth. Its therefore not that surprising that the team are once again Dutch champions and qualified for the world final for the second time in a row.

“We think that the secret to our success is that we are busy with VISTA the whole year round,” says Pieter Bastiaansen, a workshop manager with eleven years experience of working with Volvo. “Every working day we get questions and problems that could have been VISTA questions. And it works the other way around as well – we recognise and solve problems easier because it once was a VISTA question! It is a big learning event.”

Pieter’s teammates are Arthur van der Westerlaken, foreman with over twenty years experience with Volvo; Mark Rennen, a diagnostic expert and key technician with eight years experience; and Johan Vissers, workshop administration with twelve years experience. All four work for Blueken Breda in the Netherlands, which has a long and successfully history of involvement in VISTA competitions.

“As long as we have been work for our workshop at Bluekens Breda, we have been involved in VISTA,” says Johan. “Our manager Jan de Roover was the first Dutch VISTA winner ever, and ever since that time VISTA has been promoted every two years.”

With so much experience with Volvo and VISTA, Band of Bluekens can offer plenty of good advice for other aspiring teams wanting to make it to the 2013 world final. “The most important thing is not what you know but where to find it in the Volvo documentation,” says Arthur. “None of the jobs are too difficult and it is just a matter of starting right. Read very carefully and do what the instructions ask. And avoid stress.”

Like all successfully VISTA teams, each member has a well-defined role and area of expertise. “Johan and I are familiar with Impact parts and standard times, while Mark and Arthur know how to use Tech Tool and Impact service,” says Pieter. “By dividing jobs we are able to finish everything on time, and this is what we want to continue in the world final.”

But with so much VISTA experience, Band of Bluekens are also aware that there is a lot more to the world final then competing and winning. “We’re looking forward to a unforgettable trip to Sweden – to seeing the Volvo factory, Volvo museum and so much more. The VISTA final is very special and well-organised event,” says Mark. “What we liked most about the last final was being able to chat with other competitors – people who solve the same problems as us from all over the world.”