Most technicians aren’t ready for alternative refrigeration changes on the horizon, but Hillphoenix is working (and training) hard to change that.
By Rusty Walker
Hillphoenix Senior Corporate Trainer
One thing really surprised contractor Kurt Hugger about his CO2 training session: How simple it was to learn the alternative refrigeration system.
“A lot of people are intimidated by CO2. But, honestly, it’s very easy to work on,” Kurt told me after completing one of our on-site training sessions at a supermarket in California where his company, CHM Mechanical, is based. “There are different components and pressures,” he noted, “but it operates on the same fundamentals as the refrigeration systems I’ve worked with since the 1990s.”
That’s what I hear from many of the refrigeration technicians I train on Hillphoenix’s Second Nature® CO2 Booster, Cascade or Secondary systems — both at store sites and at our Learning Center in Conyers, Georgia. Some, like Kurt, are independent contractors. Others work directly for our supermarket and convenience store customers.
Almost all of them come in half believing the CO2 mythology out there, and then they learn the reality. CO2 refrigeration has been around for about 150 years — really, look it up. And in a trained technician’s hands, CO2 is just as safe and simple to operate and maintain as a traditional refrigeration system.
Thousands of technicians have gone through our CO2 training — over 320 just since the beginning of this year. Of course, we’d like it if all of them go on to work on Hillphoenix systems. But our leadership role in getting the entire industry ready for the next phase of alternative refrigeration systems takes priority. Most technicians aren’t ready for the alternative refrigeration changes we all know are coming, and we at Hillphoenix are doing everything we can to change that.
Kurt is a great example. He first worked on our Second Nature CO2 Advansor Booster System. But his next CO2 job was on a competitor’s system. That company didn’t offer training, however, so Kurt would have been left to his own devices to figure out how to work with the alternative refrigeration system. He’s a smart guy, but he and I agree that getting proper training — including hands-on practice — is a much better way to do business.
The CO2 training Kurt got from us has opened up new opportunities for his contracting company. As he put it: “Knowledge is everything.” I couldn’t agree more.