If you are afraid of heights then this job is probably not for you, however Port Macquarie tower crane operator Tim Hassett, says he has possibly the best job in the world.
Mr Hassett, from Integrity Tower Crane Solutions, based in Port Macquarie, currently operates the crane that moves vital materials around the work site at Garden Village.
His office currently sits at about 35 metres above the ground with an ocean view to die for, but he says, the work is far from easy.
“Every person on the site has to get home safely to their kids and that certainly plays through your mind when you sit up in the crane.
“Safety is key.
“I work as a team, me in the crane and the riggers who organise the materials onto the crane and are my eyes and ears on the ground, so we all stay safe,” Mr Hassett said.
The life of a crane driver is never boring and Mr Hassett says he is one of the first people on site each day.
“I get to work early, do a safety prestart with my team which is basically discussing what other site activities are happening that day. I then make my way to the top of the tower where I go through all the daily safety checks.
“During the day the crane does all the moving of materials around the site which is planned out by the site manager.
“You need to be aware and plan for what is coming up so that the crane can efficiently move materials around, the more efficient you are, the smoother the build will be.
“Anything outside the normal routine of a day is carefully planned and managed particularly because operating on a work site is a high risk job,” he said.
Mr Hassett, who has worked all over the Mid North Coast said the best part of his job is the view from the top of the tower.
“In my time I have seen some remarkable things; in Port Macquarie because there are no high rises near the crane I have an unobstructed view up and down the coast, as well as a great view of the mountains.
“A favourite part of my job is watching kids faces when they see me at the top of the crane and I give them a wave.
“It really adds a human face to what we do, kids play with toy dump trucks or trains and cranes when they are little, so when they actually see someone using them in real life they get really excited,” he said.
That is not to say life at the top of a tower crane doesn’t have its downside, but it is all about managing it to stay safe.
“I have had guys freak out about the height which can obviously be a problem, but personally I think the view at the top is great.”
Part of the job that most people would over look Mr Hassett says, is how much consideration goes into moving a load of materials.
“The things we think about routinely in regards to weights, protecting people on the ground, the capacity of the crane and where we can move things is a big deal.
“Something as small as moving a beam may require a lot of thinking around what will happen to where it will go and if it will need to be moved again, so there are lots of little things people might not realise we have to think about,” he said.
But at the end of the day Mr Hassett said he has one of the best jobs in the world.
“My office has the best view in the world and some days when I look out to sea I see dolphins and whales, life can’t get better than that.”