A young Newcastle man has traded up from a car to a 100 tonne dump truck after successfully completing his initial traineeship with regional employer Banks Mining.
As part of taking up a plant operating traineeship, 22 year-old Adam Pye had to undertake an intensive eight-week training course which introduced him to the skills required to operate a rigid dump truck used at Banks’ Shotton surface mine near Cramlington.
Having never previously driven anything larger than a car, Adam entered the training programme through Banks Mining’s bespoke licencing scheme under the strict supervision of the family-owned firm’s in house training assessor, and received hands-on experience of operating the machine in varying conditions around the site.
After first shadowing experienced members of the Shotton mining team to see how they worked and covering the wide-ranging health and safety aspects of the machine’s operation, he then took the wheel under their close supervision and alternated with them over increasing periods of time.
After impressing his instructors with his aptitude for the task, he completed his assessments and is now responsible for operating one of the 30-strong fleet of rigid dump trucks at Shotton, which are used to move various materials around the site.
Adam, who is from Sandyford, also showed his skills out of the cab by beating all his new colleagues in a speed of reaction game that was run as part of a corporate day for over 100 Banks Group staff at Bedlington Station, winning himself a new iPad in the process.
He swapped a position in IT for his new role at the Shotton site, having decided that office life wasn’t for him, and is now working towards an NVQ level 2 in plant operation in relation to dump trucks.
He will eventually progress on to other machines and will be given the chance to learn the skills required to become a multi-skilled plant operative.
Adam Pye says: “I’d previously worked in construction and wanted to get back into an outside working environment, something which working at Shotton is giving me ample chance to enjoy.
“Taking the wheel of a huge left-hand drive dumper truck was obviously very different to anything I’d done before, but the training I was given before being allowed into the cab and the support I’ve had from the rest of the team enabled me to find my feet quickly.
“The members of Banks’ mining team have been available to cover any questions or concerns I’ve had, and I’m now looking forward to getting more training and experience on site.”
Neil Cook, site manager at Banks’ Shotton surface mine, adds: “The careful management and operation of our plant fleet is central to operating our surface mines in the safest, most responsible and most efficient way possible.
“Adam has quickly shown his aptitude and enthusiasm for the role he’s taken on, and we’re confident he will make a good addition to the team.”