Behind the scenes of our Mobile Service Centres.

Episode 1 

This project is a little bit crazy.

We've got a Service Centre in the back of a bus.

Really, you've got all that in a bus. I mean, how big is this bus?

Fitting a Mobile Service Centre in the back of a bus is no easy task. But Service NSW is up to the challenge.

There's a lot of areas we just can't get a touchpoint into.

They might travel for over an hour and a half just to do one transaction that needs to be a face to face transaction.

From the get-go, we knew that we wanted to offer the whole range of services that we offer in a regular Service Centre inside the back of a bus.

Driver tests, driver knowledge tests, our full complement of digital transactions and over 40 government rebates.

We needed to consider exactly what we required inside the bus in order to be able to provide that full service.

There's a defib on there, there's a duress device, there's security cameras, both internal and external.

Our digital computers, CSR counter, the knowledge test computer, eyesight test charts.

I've got a bit challenge ahead of me, pulling a team together and keeping everyone really motivated and focused.

So they reached out to local company Amtek to make it a reality.

The last time we saw this it was, uhm. Nothing was happening. Nothing was happening, and it looked really neat inside. What do you have for us today?

This time we just have the second one. WOW, so this is our new one?

I'm Arthur from Amtek. We've been around for about 20 years.

We modify vehicles to specific requirements.

We must always have a genuine commitment towards the customers and their needs, regardless of how crazy they may sound.

I don't even want to think about it to be honest. We're just going to get it done.

The first vehicle will be an interior fit-out.

Whereas the second truck is entirely a new vehicle getting built from scratch.

There's no mucking around. There can't be any time wasted, even a single second can't be wasted.

I'm a bit worried about this one. Oh, WOW, this looks a bit different now.

The interior has been stripped.

The first truck was built as a 27 seat bus, so we had to remove all the seats and free up the entire cabin in the back. And then start planning for a mobile office.

This vehicle with this setup, the powered ramp, is the only one in Australia.

In terms of what's going to go where on the bus; they'll be two seats here. That will be double seats.

All up we'll have six.

This next section is going to be a little kitchenette.

So you'll be here. The staff member will be around here. And I'll be around here. Doing your eyesight test up that way. Perfect. And taking a photo of me here.

The biggest challenge was to keep the vehicle floor height as low as possible. It would be much more difficult to get customers on board of a truck like that. It has nearly 1.2 meters.

Unfortunately, not everything goes to plan.

Nah, that's not going to work. 7th of January is way to late. So either we arrange our own courier or we pick it up. Can we send one of our staff to help?

Alright, I just had a phone call that I didn't really want to receive. The supplier couldn't deliver the material on time because of Christmas closures.

Unfortunately, they had to close down before they could deliver the order.

During the Christmas break we can have people using that material to continue with the build.

I just have to try to figure out what to do.

We really have to have the material here, no is not an answer.

I guess at the end of the day, if this doesn't go live, it's my head on the chopping block.

There's a lot of people involved behind the scenes, so much coordination to get these buses on the road.

Our job is to wrap a bus. It's basically, wrapping a vehicle with the imagery. There's a lot of Photoshop work, there's a lot of attention to detail. We have to make sure that the configuration and the dimensions are absolutely spot on.

We started off with a kit from Amtek that basically showed us what the dimensions of the vehicles were. But it involved going out to Amtek and actually measuring the bus and making sure that the kit represented the reality.

So there's a lot to do. I'm a bit worried, but look, I guess the pressure is on Arthur and his team.

The pressure is on our team as well. We've got a lot to finish.

Everything is a challenge. Every single area.

Electrical, fit-out, building the seats, the colours we have, air conditioning. We know it's possible.

So, yeah, we'll make it happen.

I will definitely be trying to get on the bus.

I'm going on the bus. I'm getting on that bus in the first road-trip.

So I'll see you there!

Episode 2

Hi my name's Mark, I'm a customer, I'm not. I'm a driver tester! Start that again!

Hi...far out!

Service NSW is dealing with the challenges of fitting a Mobile Service Centre in the back of a bus.

But what kind of crew can step up to the challenge of running it?

My name's Mark, I'm a driver tester from Dubbo and I've been with Service NSW for about nine years.

Hi my name's Tayla. I work at the Muswellbrookn and Singleton centres as a Cost of Living specialist.

I'm Gabby, I'm a customer service representative from Wellington which is located out near Dubbo.

I'm Stewart from Parkes, commonly called Steven. I don't know why, but I'm always called Steven.

Parkes is in the central west of New South Wales. Have you seen the movie 'The Dish'?

That's where we are.

We have the same mindset, we all think the same things, and we're all on it for one specific reason; To help as much as we possibly can.

So I think, yeah, it'll be quite good. It'll be fun!

The team is ready to go, but what makes them the ideal candidates to bring our passion and customer service to the road?

I'm a customer service officer, driver testing, so I test all facets of provisional licence holders up to heavy vehicles, aged, disability, do the whole gamut.

I think I'm a good driver, a very good driver!

I work on the counter, out on the dancefloor as we call it. I help with the digital transactions.

I've been hired to actually go out there and tell people where to go. That is; left and right.

And being chauffeured around in different styles of cars. We have old Utes out there and old farm vehicles and, yeah, the occasional nice Alfa Romeo that might come through.

I am conducting Cost of Living appointments throughout the day. I do a maximum of six appointments in a day.

They last for an hour, completely free to the public. What we do is, we just have general conversation about the 40 plus different rebates the state government offer to our communities.

I think that my job at Service NSW has to be the best, because I'm saving everyone money.

I absolutely love travelling. Especially Australia. I've done a lot of Australia. I absolutely love being in the car, on a bus, same kinda thing I suppose.

Not a massive change, I mean the centre itself will be a lot smaller than what we are used to.

We are going to make it work. It's going to be a lot of trial and error, but the one thing will be waking up in a new location every day.

The change of scenery will be really nice.

I just wanted to bring what we do out to the people. It saves them travelling all the way here. We can travel out to them.

Coming from a rural location myself, I know that a lot of people travel very far distances to get transactions completed.

To be able to go out, to cater for them, will be really good for the communities.

Service NSW is working hard to get these buses ready. What does that mean for the communities that need them most?

We have to travel 100km's from home. It's an inconvenience.

We have a full day planned every day on the farm. We have to down tools for a full day to come to Dubbo.

It takes a bit of preparing the night before for the days trip.

I think that a mobile service unit will be a real benefit for these communities.

With everything set for the launch, all that remains is some specialised training and making sure that the crew gels nicely for those long hours on the road.

At the moment we are doing out induction training for the Mobile Centre.

So we're going through lots of information, just making sure that we're up to date and getting preparation for next week.

It'll be a big relief to actually get to the bus. We've spoken too much about it. We've seen little snippets, little bits of photos.

Looking really forward to getting on the bus, and doing the induction.
I think we've kind of gone, or I have personally gone from that stage of being excited to 'Let's hurry up. Let's just actually get it'.

Everyone's really really lovely. Which I expected to be honest because we're all wanting the same thing.

Stewart actually mentioned that he's got two types of music. Country and Western.

As I said to them earlier, I like both kinds, Country and Western.

Both Country and Western.

Country and Western.

But we all boo boo'd that. We said no no no.

It went down like a lead balloon.

I'm going to have my headphones in and play my own music off my phone.

Some Spotify or something. I'll play my playlist.

We'll see how that goes!

I think it'll just be a long road trip with these guys and it's going to be a lot of fun.

It's because I'm a driver tester.

To see this big bus roll up into town with four very smart looking people on board. They'll certainly be saying 'What's this all about?'.

I'm sure you'll have a few come along who will say 'What's this?' and 'Let's have a look inside'.

It's going to be new for them, new for us as well. I know they will love it. Once they see it coming in they'll be 'Wohoo, Service bus is in town!'

I can't believe it. We're here. The bus looks fantastic.
It's so exciting. It's so exciting. It's magnificent.

Episode 3

I can't believe it, we're here.

It's so exciting

With the crew ready and eager to bring service to the road the builders are getting a bit anxious will the bus be ready for the big launch?

We've been steaming ahead with this project as you can see a lot happened so we have six or seven guys walking around so they actually enjoy challenges and they have the creative mind and we encourage them to be creative always looking to ways of doing things better always yeah thinking outside the square so you can see the quite large rolls that have to be applied and it's fairly tricky, it may look easier it's just a sign you're getting stuck on the wall, but it's very tricky.

The artwork needs to be in the right place, you have windows, you have a door there, and yeah everything needs to work well. Everything is down to wire and that's what makes it fun, and adrenaline rush.

While the guests are getting ready to see the finished bus.

Arthur and his team are working on the final touches.

The moment of truth is just around the corner.

The bus looks fantastic.

It's so exciting. Look at it, it's magnificent.

We haven't really been able to have a look at any pictures or anything so to finally see it is really exciting. I think it's such a great concept and I think we're gonna do really well out on the road for sure.

I've been advocating for this is so long and honestly, it's just this overwhelming feeling of accomplishment and pride and excitement for our service to South Wales team members and our communities to actually have the service coming to them.

It really will be a Service Centre on wheels.

They'll be able to do all their transactions, it'll be such a huge benefit to people.

We kind of had an idea of the size of the bus I guess you could say so when we finally got to see it, and the wrap and everything, it looked really cool and I think it's gonna really stand out in the communities, and they're gonna know who we are, and hopefully understand what we do.

There's a lot more space than I thought and it'll be really good.

We had a few people in here before and it was still plenty of room to move around. I've got more in here than you kind of think until you actually start poking around the place.

The crew are inspecting every detail closely. Will the design actually work out on the road?

Did she get it? Did she work it out? Yes okay cool, 'cause everyone was in there fiddling around with that but she got it?

Oh nice.

It's a fantastic bus you know, the branding is amazing. Once we get out in the road people are gonna see us coming and then they'll get used to us coming, because we want to see them often.

I think it's really lived up to what people wanted it to be so. Thank God.

We know this vehicle will make a difference, especially out in regional areas. Because of that it sort of kept us going not to give up because we know it's important that's why so many different people are involved in in this project I think it's a good project something to remember.

So I hope they have a great journey, taking it out there to the communities.

And I can't wait to hear what they think, when they come back.

It's finally time to get on the road, and no matter the hard work and preparation it's a brand new journey for Service NSW. Did they get it right?

Definitely a bit of a learning curve, this is the first time we've done this.

I'm sure we'll get used to it, throughout all the other trips we're going to be doing.

Episode 4

Hi, Mark again.

I'm very excited. I think we're all really excited.

The day has finally arrived, and the team is setting up for their first location, in the small town of Kandos.

So, it's our first ever stop-over today, we're in Kandos. And we're going to go and set up the bus for the very first time. We're all very excited but a bit nervous, we've never done it before, but I'm sure we'll work well together.

I am putting the hand rails on for the ramp.

I don't actually know how to do it, I'm just winging it.

Definitely a bit of a learning curve, this is the first time we have done this, I'm sure we'll get used to it throughout all of the other trips we're going to be doing.

With the bus all set up, the team welcomes aboard the very first customer.

We'll probably pop out maybe once every 8 weeks, 16 weeks, we'll see.

That's really good because it's a 20 dollar trip to Mudgee. We've got to go for some things.

Looks like stationary, there we go. That's what I need.

And then we'll see you next time you need to pop in and see us.

Yes, that was very exciting. Number one.

With lots of customers stopping by, the word is getting out that the bus is in town.

Does this mean that the team has won over the locals?

Exactly right, yeah.

I saw your vehicle driving past. I think it's wonderful, it's like outreach to us. Anything that we have to do in regards to government services is generally a day trip.

So a lot of contingency involved to getting to those sort of services. So they're just difficult, with kids at school.

For you coming out here, it makes us feel like we're cared for.

About to do my first driving test here in Kandos, for the young Jasmine over there. So yeah, first time for her as well, first time for both.

So how you've been? All good. All good yeah?

That's good.

The day is going well, not just for the team, but especially for Jasmine. Best part of the job is when they do pass, they have that big smile on their face. Then when they go to sign the firm, they're all so nervous, shaky.

More so than what they were when they went for the drive.
When I left there was a couple of people, and when I came back there was quite a few more people. 

It's working very well.

Gentleman who just drove past before and pulled over and came over. "I need to redo my registration".

So that's what it's all about.

It's been really good, obviously it's got out because there are plenty of people here.

It really hasn't stopped.

Lots of 'Working with children checks', which are a nice easy thing. We've had a knowledge test pass. 

Our first knowledge test. We had our first driving test pass, so she got her P's. We've been doing really well.

The team has really enjoyed serving the Kandos locals, and have had a great time working together.

We have a lot a fun. I think it was very successful, all of our customers had great things to say.

They all left us really good feedback.

It's exceeded expectations. We've had repeat customers.

They came in the morning and then came back and seen us an hour later. That's not because we couldn't help them out, it's because they just wanted to come back and say 'Hello'.

Most people are saying that they either go to Bathurst or Mudgee. So generally a minimum 45 minute trip. It's helped them out a lot.

Yeah, love coming here. Can't wait to come back.

Just have to bring cash for the pie shop.

Yeah. No Eftpos.

We're just wrapping up for today, our very first day on the road. Everyone seemed really happy, and all the customers were really happy about it so it was great. Just packing up all the chairs and the tables outside and everything. Bringing them back in and making sure that everything is nice and secure for when we're driving.

We're going to Gulgong tomorrow. Is that how you pronounce it? It's 'Gulgong', they don't like 'Goolgong'. It's 'Gulgong'.

We're a bit quicker at setting up today, I guess yesterday we got a bit of a run through so today we're a little bit down pat with everything to do.

Episode 5

We've got everything out ready to go, here on time 9-o-clock waiting for our first customer.

Another great day.

The team is on the road again and looking forward to hopefully making some new friends in Gulgong.

Travelled out from Mudgee this morning so that was a nice little drive. The people that have come in today, they've said that they hope that we come back.

And that they think it's a really good service to have and that it saves them an hour round trip to go to Mudgee to do any of their Service NSW transactions, so we're saving them a fair bit of time which is good.

We had a few who were actually on their way to Mudgee, they found about us being here yesterday. Mudgee is about a 40 minute drive down the road. They found out that we're here and thought 'great, I'm going to save all of that time getting there and coming back'.

I was told by a lady yesterday about the rebates and we didn't know anything about it. So it was so fantastic to learn all of this today.

It is yes. We can get things that we didn't know. Discount on my gas bills and things.

Yeah, it's going to be magic.

One of the really fun things that we do is, in every town that we stop in we go to the post office to stamp our little passport book.

We're at Gulgong today so we've got our Gulgong stamp on here. We've got two stamps so far, and a lot of pages to fill.

We've been able to do a little bit of a walk around the town and kind of experience the different shops and people, talking to people as we walk past them, it's been really good.

After a great day in Gulgong, the team is off again for the last stop on the trip.

Last stop for this week, we're in Merriwa.

We're here for the full day. It is a very very nice little town.

With the last few customers coming through at Merriwa, the first road trip with the Mobile

Service Centre, is starting to come to an end.

Coming from a small town myself, I completely understand where they're at with the small communities, having to travel to locations to get anything done. For us to come out it's such a great opportunity.

My expectations for this job have just gone above and beyond anything that I would have thought it could have been.

I'm loving every minute of it. I love to travel,

I love seeing the little country town. I would love to come back and have a look around on the weekend when I'm not working.

I am so glad that I am on the bus and I can't wait for Monday next week, to head out again with everyone and start a whole new adventure.

Because that's what it is, it's a new adventure every time we go out.


Last updated: 6 June 2023