Heavy Equipment Field Mechanic

Discussion in 'Jobs I Have Had' started by Jack Knight, Dec 8, 2018.

  1. Jack Knight

    Jack Knight Member
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    That was the job I enjoyed the most. The reason is really simple, I didn't punch a time card and had no direct supervision. Another contributing factor I never knew what I'd be called upon to repair.
    By field that means out and away from any kind of building, could be in the mountains, crossing a farmers field or even public lands.

    Two of my more memorable.

    A Caterpiller D-7 dozer operator was 4 miles back cutting a road into the side of a mountain. A lot of large rock to push when somhow he spun and snapped both track locking pins causing both tracks to come apart. The road was still not passible by truck so hauling the tools and parts needed to make the repair took ingenuity. I had a John Deere 450 dozer and blasting mat brought in. Loaded tools, large acetylene & oxygen tanks, dry ice and dragged those to the work site. Took all day but was able to tell the foreman he could have his operator continue the next day.

    Another was deep in a forest with a winding road. Hauling poles back to the construction site the steerable trailer used stopped steering. The 12 volt motor inside the hydraulic fluid tank that provided the hydraulic power to steer quit. With cement delivery and more poles scheduled that trailer had to be repaired that day. No problem just open the tank remove the motor and buy a replacement. OOOPS the motor was special, only replacement was in Germany. The cost of delay would be huge. No option but to take the motor apart to try to find out why it quit. Once the outer casing was off I could see the winding had snapped off the connection. Whew not to bad, just unwind one layer,solder the connection, melt a votive candle to wax over the windings, test & reinstall.

    Then there were other no pressure repairs like rebuilding a rear under the vehicle. A mild challenge. The pinion snapped because the operator was sunk a few inches in frozen mud and tried to move it. A little tricky getting it out and back in but that is what made the job interesting.
     
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  2. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Sounds like pretty good job! I like the no supervision part...the rest would be too difficult for me though.
     
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  3. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Very Well-Known Member
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    One of my sons works as a mechanic. During most summers, he works on earth moving and paving equipment, and in the winter he works on semi tractors. He likes the paving job better, but the benefits are better with the trucks. He was moved up to servies manager at the trucking firm, and he doesn't know whether he will be able to stay there as it isn't as enjoyable.
     
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  4. Jack Knight

    Jack Knight Member
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    I think there is pure enjoyment in repairing something that is broken. As for management not being exposed to all kinds of weather works out well later in life.

    The real problem with management is once you accept a 1st. line position realizing that employees think you lost 25% of your brain power is a fact. The higher you go the less you know, I finished mindless.
     
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  5. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Veteran Member
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    No kind of construction type work for me. Tried it and it definitely didn't work out. Most of my physical work came in shipping/receiving and warehouse work. After that, went into Purchasing and Inventory Management, with my own office/computer/phone. Now, THAT was my type of work!
     
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  6. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    The closest I came was a bridge construction crew in Iowa, but mostly I painted the metal parts of the bridge while hanging over the side on a harness.
     
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