S. Norvilas: "I've wanted to work with machinery since childhood"

This time we talk to Saulius Norvilas, who has been working as a crane operator at Malkų Įlankos terminal, JSC (further - MĮT) since 2002 when the company started cargo handling, i.e. for twenty-two years.
- How has your professional history as a stevedore developed?
Before joining MĮT, I worked for another port company that hired employees and rented cranes for the whole port. There I worked with cranes and handled timber, which is how I learned the job. Later on, port companies bought their own equipment - cranes - and started loading on their own. Naturally, the order flow of the company I was working for at the time dropped, so I didn't even consider joining the newly formed team at the loading terminal when I was offered the job.
- What were your first experiences like?
When I first started working at MĮT, I was just a simple stevedore because I didn't know how to load cargo onto ships with a crane. Over the years, I learned from other stevedores. Today I work with hydraulic cranes and all hydraulic equipment. I load cargo on and off ships, on and off railway wagons. We load timber at our terminal, we also load bulk cargoes, crushed stone, and grain onto ships of all sizes.
- Have cranes changed over the decades?
Yes, everything changes - technology is improving a lot, everything is being modernised, so what was there before doesn't even exist anymore. Of course, it's simpler, easier and more comfortable now - everything is made to be ergonomic for the crane operator. What was twenty years ago and what is now is as different as night and day.
- What does it look like from a crane operator's point of view?
You need to see to imagine. There is the main crane control lever, with which the crane operator controls the crane's power, the brakes, and there are the corresponding buttons that control the dedicated equipment, the information system, the communication equipment, the heating, the ventilation and so on. The nicest part of the whole process is that you can see everything from quite high up, i.e. the ships, the water, the quay and the various loads.
- Is it a difficult job?
I think it depends on the willingness to learn and the receptivity. Driving a simple car can seem difficult at first. Learning to operate a crane requires memorising a lot of information, knowing the loading instructions, so it can seem complicated at first, but with time you learn and it's automatic. There is the day-to-day handling, where there are some rules that work, others where something doesn't work and so on.
- I wonder what stereotypes you encounter at work?
Sometimes young people come in and imagine that in this job - operating a crane - there is nothing to do, everything is simple, easy, the crane works automatically, and the crane operator just looks out of the window and enjoys the view. But this is not really the case, because handling goods always requires special attention and responsibility.
- How long does it take to get good at operating a crane? What does it depend on most?
It can take six months to learn how to operate a crane, but it takes a lifetime to maintain and continuously improve your skills. Technical training is continuous, so you can't just take it and say you've reached the top and know everything perfectly. There is no shortage of change and development in this field, because, as I said, the machinery and its management are changing, it is constantly increasing in power and capacity, the types of cargo are changing, etc.
- Could you see yourself working in an office and doing paper work?
I really can't see myself in that role. I've only wanted to work with technology since I was a kid. My professional dream came true and is still being realised at the Malkų Įlankos Terminal.
- Tell me a secret, how do you relax after work or do you have any special hobbies?
The best way to spend your free time and relax is fishing. Interestingly, before I started working at our terminal, I did not fish and had no passion for it, but when I started working at MĮT, the director of the company gave me a fishing rod for Christmas, and that's when my friendship with fishing started, or in other words, "I got hooked".
<< Return | Date: 2024.04.23

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