Meet Rich Cooper
Hydraulic Service Engineer Yorkshire
Growing up I wanted to be a fighter pilot, as a young boy it sounded like a fun and exciting job. After leaving school and thinking more about my future, my brother in law was able to set up an apprenticeship for me at the company he worked for, ADT Flexibles. I fell into the hydraulics and engineering industry by accident but enjoyed the work so stayed. I completed a 3 and a half year apprenticeship in welding and engineering with ADT Flexibles whilst attending Leeds College of Technology. When my apprenticeship finished I was offered a job as a welder with ADT Flexibles and happily accepted. I worked welding a range of end fittings onto stainless steel and industrial hoses which were manufactured to be used in a large number of industries. I worked at ADT Flexibles for ten years in total and throughout my time there progressed to a Supervisor role. I was responsible for overseeing the production and manufacturing team and the despatching of orders.
In 2002 I felt like I needed a change and wanted more of a challenge where I could learn new things so decided to leave ADT Flexibles. I had built up good rapports with customers through ADT Flexibles and had heard that Novia Engineering had a vacancy for an engineer so I decided to apply. I was offered the job and began working on site in my own van as a hydraulic engineer. During my first few weeks at Novia Engineering I completed the relevant industry training that I needed to go on site. I had lots of previous experience on different types of hose and fittings, but gained new knowledge on hydraulic machinery, its functions and components. I worked as an engineer with Novia Engineering for about four and a half years and really enjoyed my job but wanted a change. My girlfriend and I had always thought about one day living in Australia. We decided to take the risk and in 2006 moved to the Gold Coast, Australia. It was a big move to make but having always wanted to do it, we went for it. I’m pleased to say we absolutely loved it! Australia is a great country and we loved living there, it was very exciting and I soon found work there. I worked in the hydraulics and engineering industry and for three years worked on machinery in open face coal mines which I really enjoyed. I also worked on some ocean units in Brisbane, they were huge exhaust bellows often 2 metres in diameter which meant I had to sit inside them to fit them! I worked on some major gas projects in Queensland supervising a team of 3 on wellheads extracting shale gas and also repaired some pipelines on the Gateway Bridge in Brisbane which had wear and tear due to the expansion and contraction that the bridge went through due to the weather throughout the year. I loved life in Australia but my job meant that I was spending more and more time away from home and I started to miss things about my home in the UK. I missed the small home comforts and my friends and family who were now on the other side of the world from me. My girlfriend was feeling the same so while still living in Australia we decided to start looking for jobs in the UK. I enjoyed working in the hydraulics industry so when I came across Hydraquip I decided to contact their Managing Director Duncan MacBain. He was very keen to increase the number of Hydraquip vans on the road so asked me to let him know when I was back in the UK and we would meet for an interview. At the time, the company I worked for in Australia was making redundancies which I volunteered for and after living there for 8 years we flew back home.
It was a great feeling to be home with my friends and family, having had such an exciting adventure in Australia. I arranged to have a discussion with Duncan and Hydraquip’s Regional Director Fintan Ennis about the opportunity of me joining the team. I wanted to work for a larger sized company which could offer me job stability and after speaking with Duncan and Fintan I could clearly see that Hydraquip could give me this. I liked the ambition of the company and the fast rate at which they were growing so when I was offered the job as a hydraulic service engineer I happily accepted and started working remotely in the Yorkshire area in June 2014. For me I think joining Hydraquip was a great decision, I really like the company and the way it is run, it is very modern and rewarding. You get out what you put in, if you work hard you are trusted and respected for it. Throughout my working life I’ve worked in three service vehicles, in Australia they were huge trucks which could fit everything inside! I like the Hydraquip vans and the way they are designed. We have new Mercedes Sprinter vans which are kitted out with up to date racking systems which make the most of the space and help to keep my stock organised. I can ensure that I have all the stock I need before going on site and can complete the job there and then 99% of the time.
At the weekends I like to watch football on TV, I support Arsenal and my favourite player of all time is Thierry Henri. My favourite food is Indian food, preferably chicken madras and I like to watch action and war films in my spare time. My favourite film is Saving Private Ryan. I also love to travel. I like to go to a different place each year and some of the places I have visited include all across Australia, Paris, Cancun, Thailand and Fiji. I’ve been to Cancun twice and is the best place I’ve visited, I love the partying there! And I can’t wait to go somewhere new next year!
Monday 14th November 2016
Meet The Team