When it comes to maintaining valuable mining equipment, Gerard Wood has a simple but successful theory.
“It’s really not rocket science,” the 51-year-old managing director of Brisbane-based company Bluefield said.
In fact, Mr Wood argues most maintenance issues can be fixed with a few simple changes.
“In reality, maintenance should be a fairly smooth process and you can generally fix most issues by keeping things simple,” Mr Wood said.
“Problems mainly occur when standards are allowed to slip, so it really comes down to the culture of the organisation.
“So when we visit a site, we can suggest certain things, but it is the workers on site who must come up with the solution.
“It is possible to see quite dramatic improvements when workers take ownership (of ensuring quality maintenance).”
Mr Wood, who started his career as an apprentice tradesman at Goonyella Riverside in 1985 and went on to gain academic credentials, including a Masters of Mining Engineering, has put all of the knowledge gained in over 30 years working on mine sites around the country into a book due for release next month.
Simplifying Mining Maintenance is out on November 13 and is a guide for companies about how they can minimise equipment breakdowns and, as a result, increase profits.
“The book came about because I always wanted to make a difference in the industry,” Mr Wood said.
“I have a vision that maintenance can be made excellent in the mining industry and I want to be a part of seeing that happen.
“Obviously a book like this is one way of getting that message across.
“It’s not meant to be a textbook, as such, but I do talk about my experiences in the industry and how I have come to the conclusions that I have.
“It also looks at some of the problems with maintenance I see over and over again and how they can be dealt with.”
Mr Wood admits it is a slightly surreal feeling to now be able to add author to his list of achievements.
“It feels good to have written the book,” he said.
“It’s probably not something I thought I would ever do, but because I’m passionate about the industry and getting the message (about maintenance) out, it’s been well worth it.”