EMPLOYEE STORIES – ROD TAYLOR
There are few things that compare to having a spectacular canyon as your office for the day, Active supervisor Rod Taylor explains, and it’s certainly very different to his former career as a panel beater.
Rod is a supervisor on the Endeavour Energy contract at Bowenfels and Kandos, and is privy to some of the most picturesque scenery in the country surrounding the Lithgow area of the Blue Mountains.
The job sees him responsible for clearing vegetation around electrical assets while also meeting annual fire clearance dates in a region that is a significant bushfire zone. It’s also a role that covers some serious ground, with Rod notching up around 70,000km traversing the vast region each year.
“It’s a big area, with some pretty amazing scenery,” he notes. “It takes about 2½ to 3 hours to travel from one end to the other.”
Rod has been working for Active for seven years, but never tires of his outdoor office.
“I was a panel beater for 28 years,” he continues. “But I’d had enough of working inside buildings and was looking for a change. I’d seen the Active boys around and then there was an ad in the local paper. I thought they looked like a good company to work for.”
Rod started out on a ground lining crew, moved to driving a chipper truck, and progressed to tower cutting before being asked if he’d like to try his hand at auditing and scoping. He was doing that near Sydney until the contract at Windsor ended last year, and the role of supervisor at Bowenfels came up.
Now he’s enjoying getting to know a new region in his spare time and at work.
An average day sees Rod out and about early, travelling up to 100kms to organise crews, quote on jobs, check maps and audit work. He’s responsible for a team of two EWP crews, chippers, climbers and a scoper. And in addition to the scenery, the people are a highlight of his job.
“I’ve got a great crew, and enjoy all the different people you get to meet.”
Rod’s role takes him into many privately owned properties where he makes a point of personally talking with the owners about the work.
“It’s really important to communicate, say hello, and have respect for their properties,” Rod explains. “Most people are great if you explain what you’re doing and why you’re there.”
He notes the past 12 months as a supervisor have been a “big learning curve” but a challenge he’s enjoyed.
“Active’s a good company to work for. They’re very supportive and I’ve got a great bunch of guys in my crew.”
For now Rod’s looking to settle more permanently in the region, with a view to buying a house and indulging his passion for cars.
“I’m looking forward to workshop project,” he says. “Maybe a car to work on in my spare time.”