Mining is a billion-dollar industry in Australia. It employs thousands of people who extract valuable commodities like coal, metals, minerals, and other ores from the earth—materials that are then used in a variety of other industries, from construction and energy production to the manufacture of valuable finished products like jewellery and electronics.
Of course, people alone can’t extract, haul, and transport such materials using their bare hands. Miners and other mine workers need the help of powerful machines like excavators, loaders, and drills, among many others. It is these machines that make HD fitter jobs so important in mining.
What Does a Heavy Duty Fitter Do?
A heavy duty fitter—known simply as an HD fitter—is a kind of mechanic. They work with vehicles and heavy machinery used in various industries, like farming, construction, and mining. HD fitters are tasked to regularly inspect these vehicles and machines, ensuring that they are properly maintained and repairing them when necessary.
Due to the naturally dusty or muddy conditions of Western Australia mining sites—depending on current weather conditions—heavy duty mining equipment have a higher risk of damage. If these vehicles and equipment were to malfunction, they could cause severe injury to workers. In addition, when mining vehicles and equipment aren’t running efficiently or have completely bogged down, they could slow down the mine’s work schedule and negatively impact its productivity. Thus, HD fitters have the crucial job of ensuring that these machines are running in tiptop condition.
What Does a Heavy Diesel Fitter Do?
Diesel fitters are also HD fitters, but they specialise in diesel engines. Diesel engines have a high torque output, which means they are suited for moving heavy loads like rocks and ore. Coupled with the low cost of diesel fuel, diesel engines are the most suitable type of engine used in mining equipment and vehicles. From movers and trucks to pumps and tractors, almost every piece of heavy machinery you’ll find in a mining site is powered by a diesel engine.
This is why diesel fitters are essential workers in a mining site. They perform regular maintenance check-ups, along with maintenance procedures to keep the diesel engines in mining equipment and vehicles running smoothly. Depending on the size of the mining site, there could be multiple diesel fitters working at the same time. There may also be various HD and diesel fitters in one site to accommodate a huge number of machines. For example, there could be fitters assigned to work with driller machines, while others are assigned to work with digger machines and other earthmoving equipment.
How Much Does a Diesel Fitter Earn in Australia?
On average, diesel fitters can earn up to $95,000 a year. Depending on your skill level and qualifications, this amount can easily reach $150,000 to upwards of $200,000. Of course, being a diesel fitter is a demanding job, not just physically but also skill-wise. You should have ample experience in heavy diesel mechanics, as well as possess diagnostic and troubleshooting skills. Having first-aid certification and various safety training certificates is also a big asset, along with prior experience on specific brands of machines. You will also likely be required to undergo pre-employment medical examinations to ensure that you are physically fit to take the job.
A mining site has many facets, and these include the powerful machines that make the hard work of miners possible and considerably easier. The work of HD fitters are crucial in maintaining these pieces of equipment used in the mining industry. Do you have what it takes to be one?