Day in the life: Hydraulic/ROV technician
I usually get up around 6.45am to give myself time to get ready. I then have my breakfast and prepare my lunch to take to work. My younger brother, Ruairidh, also works for Aleron and we leave the house at 7.55am to give me plenty of time to drive from Aberdeen to the company’s base on the outskirts of Westhill. We usually arrive at work at around 8.20am, and I change into my coveralls and make my way to the workshop.
The first thing I do is liaise with the workshop manager who assigns me my tasks for the day. All of Aleron’s systems are thoroughly tested prior to any project commencing to ensure the success of each specific project, and my role can range from electrical, mechanical or hydraulic problem solving tasks to repairing faulty equipment.
Aleron also offers full contract support for the supply, service and maintenance of complete ROV systems and their associated equipment, which means that my work also takes me overseas. If I am working offshore, I report on shift at 6am for 12 hours of work, and my day usually consists of maintaining and flying ROV systems. I always use my initiative to look ahead to prevent any possible hazards or faults.
I take half an hour for lunch, and tend to eat in the staff canteen, which gives me a chance to catch-up with my colleagues. My homemade lunch is usually something healthy as I try to look after myself as my job is physically demanding. When I am offshore I go to the galley for all my meals where there is usually a good selection of dishes to choose from.
My afternoon, whether on or offshore, usually involves me continuing my morning tasks as they take time to complete. Onshore I am also involved in mentoring our trainee technicians. This involves teaching them how to carry out certain tasks on ROVs and helping them to develop problem-solving skills. My younger brother, Ruairidh, is one of our trainees and although I sometimes give him a hard time, he is picking things up quickly and gaining valuable experience in the industry.
I enjoy this aspect of my job as providing advice to the trainees’ means that I have to be knowledgeable about all aspects of the ROVs. My favourite part of the job is being able to travel the world; I am recently back from a trip to Borneo, and prior to that I was in Indonesia working with my clients on their first job with an Aleron ROV.
I usually finish work around 5pm, and say a quick goodbye to the ladies in the office before heading home for the day. I try to visit the gym as much as possible in the evenings, or spend time working on my car. I hope to modify it for entering track days in the near future.
I also enjoy socialising with my friends and work colleagues. When I am offshore my time is usually spent sleeping as the shifts can be quite demanding, and I like to keep in contact with my friends and family at home as I can be away for a few weeks at a time.