Rock truck driver Kari Kenttälä applied to Tapojärvi to work on the recommendation of his son Henri.
Kari works at the Outokumpu Kemi mine in Tapojärvi and drives a truck.
“By May I had worked here for two years. My son Henri has been working here for about five years. He told me many times, “Dad, this is the workplace for you. You get to drive a vehicle and to work in a nice team.” I have not regretted one day,” Kari says.
Driving a rock truck requires special precision. A big car has to move in tight spaces.
“First, getting the truck to fit in that cave was already an accomplishment. Right when you start to feel like you can drive, that mirror is the first to come off. It kicks back right away”, Kari grins.
“You don’t really grasp how accurate the job can sometimes be, until you are the one driving. You drive briskly according to restrictions but yes, it just get too tight sometimes” Kari says.
Kari’s working days often start at 7:00 a.m. That is when he goes to the shift change booth, takes the list, and sees what kind of driving is on the menu. Usually, the whole week is run with the same system. Kari works every second week – every other week there is work, every other week there is time off.
“It is awesome to work for a week and to have the next week off. I think everyone can work for a week, when they know that a free week is ahead,” Kari says.
“I’ve liked my work. It gives even an old man energy to hang with those yuppies. They are insanely distressed when I come to work in the morning whistling. If you have ever worked in such heavy industries before, you know how to enjoy this from time to time”, Kari says.
According to Kari’s own words, the equipment used in Tapojärvi is “on top of the last one.” Good condition and new equipment makes it meaningful to do the work. It is nice, for example, to listen to music while driving as the cabins are quiet.
“I have enjoyed my work. After all, the night shifts and the long days scared me the most, because I had never done those before. However, they are not a problem. If I stay in the current shape I’m in now, and get to work with this team, I will stay here as long as they keep me,” Kari says.
“I’m a happy rock truck driver. You can read that from my face,” Kari says, smiling broadly.