Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Mechanic On Mechanics

My Mechanic's Thoughts On The Field Of Mechanics
I never thought that I'd be sitting here blogging about the mechanic's trade 35 years after getting into a Heavy Duty Mechanic Pre-Apprenticeship Course. Back then Heavy Duty Mechanics was an all around trade which involved all heavy equipment including class eight trucks, earth moving equipment and automotive vehicles.

Years later Commercial Transport serving the transport truck field came on board and HD Mechanics became an earth moving / Mining equipment trade. It was information overload back then with all this equipment combined into a 6 month course. No complaints,  it was a welcome handful of knowledge.

Realistically you wouldn't be able to hop around from a truck shop to a Mining site too easily because of the diversity in each industry. working on a P&H shovel is totally different compared to a Class 8 highway truck. I worked for Highland Valley Copper in Logan Lake for a few months (between jobs) and it was policy for new mechanics to start with the Shovel and Drill crew. I had copper mining experience during my apprenticeship but I felt like a newborn climbing up a drill mast on a graveyard shift.

The Mechanic trade is full of new experiences and I have stories I can tell, some are strange and quirky. For example:The GM diesel engine that ran backwards one day and the heat riser valve that trickled down to block the muffler causing grief and embarrassment (ate some hours on that one). But.....If you are human you WILL error.

I had a very nasty Journeyman during my second year apprenticeship and he had minimal time to teach me anything and thought apprentices were a waste of skin. Unfortunate but luckily he was the only low point of my career and until I became certified I had the pleasure of working with very honorable Journeyman.

I couldn't wait to become a Journeyman and teach others, it's rewarding to help others. You look at rich and powerful people who are avid philanthropists who state that giving back is the most satisfying gesture of all. It doesn't have to be cash or cars but sharing your knowledge is priceless.

 I still remember things I was taught that are still with me to this day so keep it in mind when someone asks you a question :)

Remember To Think Safety On The Job...Don't try this at home. These guys in the video below are testing out an air bag. After too many beers.....

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