TOOL MAN: Mobile mechanic Joel Sheridan has grown his business in three years to put on two apprentices.
TOOL MAN: Mobile mechanic Joel Sheridan has grown his business in three years to put on two apprentices. Allan Reinikka ROK010319amechani

From the battlegrounds of Iraq to a successful CQ business

USING experience from more than 10 years in the army, Joel Sheridan has a booming business as a mobile mechanic.

Joel calls himself a '40-something'. He signed up to the army at 18, worked as a truckie and then artillery gunner (formerly gun number).

After a while, he decided to take up a trade and go into vehicle mechanics.

Over the years Joel worked on all the army vehicles from Landrovers, Unimogs, S Line primemovers, M113 armoured personel carrier, Bushmasters and ASLAVs.

He worked in Iraq for six months at the Tallil airbase and moved across all the army bases across Australia.

For the most part, Joel enjoyed his time with the army.

"You have your good days and your bad days... when you're sleeping in three inches of water it isn't a good day or when people are shooting at you... it lets you know you are alive,” he said.

He finished up with the army in 2009 in Darwin and it was there he met his partner.

Together they moved to Rockhampton where she had family nearby.

Joel worked for various mechanics around town and then at TEYS meatworks in maintenance.

Three years ago, he took the leap and decided to go into his own business. To keep down costs, he went for the mobile mechanic approach, without the massive overheads.

ROCKHAMPTON MOBILE MECHANIC

  • www.rockhamptonmobilemechanic.com
  • All makes and models of vehicles at a time and place convienent for you
  • Hydraulic, engine, steering and brake repairs, mechanical problems and log book servicing
  • Phone 0488 342 671

Joel spoke to The Morning Bulletin from Etna Creek where he was fixing an four-wheeler, and said being a mobile mechanic does come with some challenges.

This is where his army skills and experience have come in handy.

"When you're out in the scrub and have a vehicle broken down, you have to be able to diagnose it over the phone to work out what you need to take, so you aren't taking stuff you don't need,” Joel said.

"There is obvious environmental issues, being an ex-army mechanic, it's nothing we didn't do on a regular basis, it's just a matter of planning, plan ahead and make sure you have everything you think you need.

Mobile mechanic Joel Sheridan.
Mobile mechanic Joel Sheridan. Allan Reinikka ROK010319amechani

"If you haven't, you have to be able to think outside of the square, adapt and overcome.”

Now with a large customer base and many jobs pencilled into the books, Joel has been able to employ two apprentices.

Adrian Hornagold is almost qualified and James Lawson started last year.

"It's good to be able to pass on the knowledge, they are like sponges, they take it all,” Joel said.

Another integral factor Joel tries to do in his business, is to pass on knowledge and educate his customers.

"We do come across a lot of problems and work on a lot of different machinery and we want to try and help people as much as we can, not just to make a bit of money,” Joel said.

"Rather than just giving them a $1,000 bill and tell them why its doing this, I explain to them why.”