This week at Casey a Mechanic and Field Training Officer trade places…

I wanna be a Dieso

This week I swapped roles with Will, one of the diesel mechanics (diesos) on station. To enable me to work better as a dieso, I stopped cleaning under my fingernails weeks ago, and I started introducing “she’ll be right” into normal conversation wherever possible. I also donned a wig of a mullet to fool the machines into thinking I was one of the engine whisperers. I was ready.

My week included a variety of work from simple to complex tasks. Some of the other mechanics were skylarking around and were telling me things they’d made up for their amusement, for example “make sure you don’t put petrol in the JCB (telehandler) because it only takes diesel”. Ha ha, those clowns think I don’t know that all fuel is the same and you can put any fuel in any engine. Do they think I’m an idiot?!

I also found that I could get away with ‘working’ by banging things with a spanner and making a few grunting noises every now and then, but really, I was watching YouTube videos on how to fit a homemade turbo onto a Commodore.

Diesos are a hard-working bunch of guys and I hope they’re proud that I gave myself the tattoo that they said I should get so I can be a part of the crew. They said they’ll show me theirs after I’ve done mine, I can’t wait to see who’s best!

Flynn Jackman, Field Training Officer

Trusty Willy FTO

Wow! Being an FTO (Field Training Officer) is going to be the easiest week of my entire life! I mean how hard can it be? Field trips, eating healthy, regular exercise and becoming one with nature.

First thing I had to do was the induction, quick video from the greatest FTO of all time, Trusty Rusty. He taught me the most important thing you’ll need is the biggest watch on the market with a built-in compass and fold out sun dial.

Now that the boring stuff is done, I can check my schedule for the week: put up a few blizz lines and walk around station reminding expeditioners that “cotton kills”. They really know how to work the FTOs down here.

I have to look after the Green Store as well, the place is a mess! At least I get to drive Raymond the most environmentally friendly forklift on station. Raymond runs off electricity from our solar panels — that just gives me the warm and fuzzies.

Finally, I got a small glimpse of deep field travel, I put on all my extra supplied FTO clothing and ventured out into some of the harshest weather conditions mankind could endure. Now I understand why they are so serious about the level of training we go through to live and work in Antarctica. Well I must say I honestly can’t wait to get back to the oil, grease, fuel, and heated workshop. Being an FTO is too intense for me!

Will Holstein, Diesel Mechanic