Ivan Rassokhin

Excavator Operator, Stoilensky mine

You can learn more about mining excavators by talking to Ivan Rassokhin for half an hour than you could by spending a week reading reference books. The experienced repairman says there’s not a single machine in the mine he has not assembled. Ivan has observed as several generations of excavators have evolved. Ivan and his team repair mining machines with buckets of 8, 10, 12 and even 15 cubic metres. “I came to work at the mining equipment repair shop in 1979, so I’ve been working here for 34 years. I did not even move fr om one shop to another, let alone leaving Stoilensky,” Ivan said. The machinery mechanic can speak in detail about the strengths and weaknesses of each of the excavators as if they were purebred horses rather than machines. However, unlike horses, which run in the occasional race, the machines have to work hard every day. Ivan’s criteria for assessing the machines are chosen accordingly: capacity, reliability and ease of repair. “I like to repair them, to take them apart and then re-assemble them. But it’s not as simple as taking a wrench and unscrewing something. You have to think wh ere to start from. You need to know what to do first and how to proceed. And then you allocate people. “When assembling an excavator, you often face problems that might confound a beginner but make the work all the more interesting for professionals. “An installed turntable or boom, for example – I look at them and my heart fills with joy! Especially if it’s done well.”