Canadian Mining Journal


Keeping moving parts … moving

Mechanically minded is a term that is commonly used to describe someone with an interest in tinkering with mechanical devices. It’s basically an interest in moving parts.

But unlike the other minded people in today’s society, namely the closed variety, mechanically minded people are a dying breed because rarely does anybody really like to tinker or, for that matter, do anything for themselves anymore, especially if dirt is involved.

It’s a generational thing because it’s easier to pay someone else to do the dirty work, but honestly, I think it’s more likely because many people just don’t know how to do much of anything for themselves anymore.

I’ve mentioned it here before, but we’ve become a society filled with people with limited skills; a generation that knows little-to-nothing beyond what they do on a day-to-day basis to earn a living. They seem to be loaded with disposable income, and for that, plumbers, electricians and auto mechanics are thankful.

But even more appreciative are companies like H&R Block during tax time, and a slap-in-the-face to many men; a company called “Husband For Hire” in Toronto that has found a niche market for mechanically skilled people to step in where husbands apparently don’t care, don’t have the time, but more likely, don’t have a clue.

I’m not saying that all husbands are inept at doing mechanical things around the house, and I applaud “Husband For Hire” for its initiative and clever name, but it’s perhaps a sign of the times that leads me to believe that people are relatively ‘unskilled’ when it comes to mechanical things.

To many people, nuts and bolts, and the tools required to put those two components together, are foreign objects; as foreign and misunderstood as some of the other languages spoken around the world.

But if ‘nuts and bolts’ are so foreign and misunderstood, then why are they used daily during business discussions in all industries to describe the basic ingredients for success? “Let’s get down to the nuts and bolts of the matter” is something that’s said in almost every boardroom around the world, and in different languages too. But, regardless of what tongue they’re spoken, they mean the same.

The basis for success means taking a hands-on approach to keeping the moving parts that make things work, working. Analysing and watching them go round and round does nothing but admit cluelessness.

But sadly, that’s what’s happening in far too many circles today. Thankfully, however, the mining industry hasn’t fallen into that circle… yet.

But I can see how it could.

When you ask any mine operator for a list of people who are critical to the day-to-day operation of a mine, the obvious answer will be: “All of them!”

But ask a little deeper, and I’m willing to bet the answer will be: “Anyone who can jump in and fix a problem in an emergency.”

Mechanics, and particularly welders, are those people; the skilled tradespeople who don’t think twice about getting dirty for the cause.

In fact, I’ve met a few of these people over the years who have told me that they actually “enjoy it” when something goes wrong because they get a chance to fix a problem instead of just doing routine maintenance.

I know that it’s a nightmare when something breaks in a mine, but thankfully there are still mechanically minded people working in the mining industry to help ensure that moving parts keep moving.

Print this page

Related Posts

Have your say:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *