Mick the Mechanic

Host: Legune Station
Written by Mick Hill – Mechanic, Legune Station.

The day starts with the walk from our accommodation to the generator shed to check the heart of the station, the generator. Without that life would be very uncomfortable. No air conditioners, no lighting, no computers, no cold beer . . . I could go on! If there is an issue, we have a backup generator. They are serviced every two weeks and use around 250 to 300 litres of diesel per day. I have been told that in the past that station generators were turned off at night to save fuel (that’s not for me!)

If the generator is running ok, it’s into the work shop. I start the day with a plan, but that can change by the hour.

Legune has a large variety of equipment, including: road trains, a bull dozer, grader, excavator, bob cat, cat loader, Manitou, tractors, tray truck, light trucks, Toyota utes, motor bikes, buggy, ride on mowers, four wheeler, and garden equipment. In fact anything that moves on the station at some point finds it’s way into the work shop. The variety of work is huge. I can be working on a whipper snipper in the morning, then a D10 dozer in the afternoon.

With all this equipment, and most years a new stock camp and machinery operators, there are always things breaking down. So this keeps me very busy!

Being remote, we cannot always get the parts we need in time. So to keep things going, it’s off to “K-mart” (the dump) to find something off an old machine we can modify to keep things going. We soon learn to think outside the square.

Meeting the new stock camp every year is always interesting. Most come direct out of school straight into working 12 hours a day! Most come keen to learn and work hard. Some have not even changed a tyre! It’s not long before they are changing and repairing tyres and learning new skills. The different personalities they have certainly make the workshop an interesting place at times. They learn very quickly, if you take my tools without asking, you will think twice about it next time!

The bar/social club is our watering hole. We tell others of our day and laugh at those who have had a worse one. For example: Matt, the head stockman came to the bar and told us how he was bogged for three hours! I piped up and said, “I was bogged for three days!” Then Cameron, the station manager, said he was bogged for six days! So that was the end of Matt’s story!

Station life is a unique way to work and live. It can test your ability as a mechanic on a daily basis with different problems having to be solved.