Role: Large excavator fleet operator
Company: Bengalla Mine
Do you operate the same machinery everyday?
No. We usually rotate through training on various bits of equipment. We do six hour rotations so we're not on the same piece of equipment for twelve hours. I might come in and drive a haul truck say for six hours till crib (lunch) and then it could be a grader, a dozer, water cart, drill; any number of different pieces of equipment for the next six hours of the shift.
What do you like about working for the minerals industry?
I guess we're met with different challenges every day and we work on them. So you get through the task and you get home at the end of the day with a good feeling about the work that has been done.
Is it difficult to drive a 240 tonne truck?
No, it's probably easier than driving a car. Initially it's very daunting. The size of the equipment is a bit of a put off but you get good training. We have good operators who supervise our training so we feel comfortable in what we’re doing.
What should Year 10 students do to enable them to get where you are today?
I guess if they know someone in the industry, try and get out on the job if possible, have a bit of a look around and familiarise yourself with what's happening, see if it is suitable and what you want to do, rather than jumping in and finding out its not for you. You definitely need to be able to work in a team environment, be safety and environmentally conscious.
What do you see as the key skills and personal qualities that young people need to be successful in the Minerals Industry?
That depends on what type of wok you want to do. You don't necessarily need any experience on the equipment, because you can learn that from experienced people on the job. Like I said before, the most important qualities are to be safety and environmentally conscious and work in a team environment.