Originally Posted by Keithert
How does one get into this line of work?
Im not sure if your Australian? But if Australian you can apply to the AAD which is an Australian Government department. For people in other countries I guess there would be the some sort of thing. There is also a lot of hoops you need to get through before being selected, you need a lot of experience in your select field. Everyone down here are the top guys in there field. "Or so we think"
Originally Posted by Lacedaemon
It's amazing to me that (what appears to be) a basic Furuno radar can operate in those conditions. Quite an endorsement.
How much of your equipment has to be custom built or modified vs. commercial off the shelf? It sounds like the way that engines work down there is by having a lot of mechanics who have a talent for cold starts, but things like electronics and such which are a little less tolerant of direct human intervention must also suffer from the conditions.
Most of the equipment we use is commercial. Our Hagglunds are custom made. They are based on the old BV206 Hagg made in Switzerland. We have modified them for the use down here. Electrical equipment in the vehicles are one area that fail a lot. The problem we had the other day was a computer that failed. Which ment it did not talk to the transmission, we had to hot wire and by passed the system to get it back to base. We then spent most of yesterday trying to fault find the problem which we did. As diesel mechanics we all have to adapt to the conditions and all of us had an extra steep learning cerve when we came down here. Nothing likes to start in these temps. At times it can take hours to get a machine to fire up but we know most of the tricks needed to do that. We have been chosen for this position because we all have done very well in our select field. I have been lucky to have worked in remote places all over the world and seen all sorts of different problems. You never stop learning and this job is also a learning cerve. I love the job because of the challenge we face each day. The environment is like nothing I have ever experienced. North Canada was probably the closest I have come to these conditions.
The radar does at times play up in the most extreme temps, but is still very reliable.