Witnessing the meticulous nature of Tim Oakroot’s workmanship on display at Royan’s Brisbane, you’d think NTI’s 1946 “Green Diamond”, was his own.
As a deaf man in a noisy workshop, Tim jokes that there are definite advantages to being able to block out the world around him – one of which is being able to focus, and get stuck into things.
“I like being busy, I always have. Being deaf, I don’t have to listen to the bullshit,” writes Tim. “I have a cochlear ear but haven’t worn it since high school. I find it too noisy.”
Tim originally started as an apprentice with Royan’s Sydney in 2000, but followed his family to Brisbane in 2012, and transferred to Royan’s Brisbane.
“He’s the man,” jokes Barry Blomeley, Branch Manager, Royan’s Brisbane. “I was under instruction from Sydney that if we didn’t want him, to send him back. They didn’t like seeing him go.”
The sentiments from the Sydney team are echoed by Barry, who says Tim’s work speaks for itself.
“He’s one of the best I’ve ever seen. He’s got a feel for it. The fact that he’s deaf doesn’t come into play. We find other ways to communicate, and we communicate well.”
Tim’s commitment to his craft started at 15 years of age. “I was offered work experience in year 9, and that was that. I like to work with my hands. I’m not too good with reading and writing, but I like to think I make up for that with my handy work.”
It’s not just being good at something that keeps Tim panel beating, but also his genuine interest. When asked about advice he’d give the younger generation looking to get into a trade he writes “if you’re not fully interested and willing to make the commitment – don’t do it. I never thought I’d be here for 17 years!”
Even after joining Royan’s at such a young age, and being part of the crew for that long, Tim still finds fulfilment in his job.
“Challenging myself, and seeing the finished project is the best part,” writes Tim, “and my advice to younger people starting out is to set expectations for your output, and don’t settle for less at the end of your project.”
Day to day, Tim works across commercial heavy vehicles but NTI’s restoration has peaked his interest.
“I’ve had restoration projects of my own, but none that I’m currently working on,” he writes.
“Restoration work is very different to the day-to-day work we do. It’s exciting to see a piece of Australian history come to life.”
With that kind of enthusiasm and genuine interest in his work - it’s obvious why Barry didn’t send Tim back to Sydney.
Truck Assist | Restorations
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