Employee voices: “No two days are the same.”

Wind turbines can be found almost everywhere in the country. Who takes care of maintenance? And how are the maintenance work carried out? An interview with our team leader rotor blade David Först gives insights.

“As soon as the temperatures rise, I see you jittery. What’s going on?”

David Först: “The great thing about our profession is working at heights. This is not always possible in the winter months. So we use the dark days on the one hand to revise our repair instructions and prepare ourselves for the new season. Here, knowledge from the past season and feedback from our customers are included. On the other hand, we use the time for further training and refreshing certificates. But as soon as the temperatures rise, we all get restless and want to get out.”

“David, tell us what a rotor blade team in the WP Group does.”

David Först: “On behalf of our customers, we take care of the functional efficiency of the rotor blades of their wind turbines. Depending on the order, we inspect, maintain or repair the turbine. Typical orders are, for example, end-of-warranty orders or inspections within the framework of statutory maintenance intervals. When the manufacturer’s warranty of a plant expires, an expert opinion on the condition of the plant is drawn up. The customer comes to us with this report and we take over the repairs. Or we inspect a system ourselves and prepare an expert opinion within the scope of the maintenance intervals. Depending on the customer’s order, we repair any damage found as a result of lightning strikes, transport damage, production faults or improper older repairs. Our goal is to restore the system to a perfect condition.”

“And what are your tasks as team leader?”

David Först: “As team leader, I coordinate our operations with our project management, look at the reports and make sure that we have the right tools and materials in the car. And last but not least, as team leader I am also responsible for the quality of the repairs.”

“What is the size of a rotor blade team?”

David Först: “The number of teams depends on whether we are working from the rope or with a driveway system. Inspections are mainly carried out by our industrial climbers. They work in pairs, one of whom must have at least one Irata or Fisat level 3. There are three of us when working with the access equipment. Two people work on the platform and one person is on the ground for protection. If steel ropes or power cables twist into each other at the tower, a downward movement would be impossible. And we must also ensure that no unauthorised persons enter the plant.”

“What does your typical working day look like?”

David Först: “We always spend the night near the wind farms and are on the road for up to 21 days. We then have seven days off. At the beginning of a day I first ask my team mates if they are all right. We have to be fit for our tasks. Even severe headaches, private problems or a cold can lead to a team mate no longer being able to focus one hundred percent on his job. Working at height can quickly endanger an entire team. And then follows a ritual that is very important for me personally: preparing a good cup of coffee! After arriving at the wind farm, I register with the operator and the manufacturer of the plant. They need the information to note the failure of the plant accordingly and finally it is also their own time stamp for our service on site. We hold a toolbox talk about our daily schedule and split up. Then two fitters go to the rotor blade with the drive system and one stays down for safety reasons. Depending on the work involved, rotor blade maintenance on a wind turbine can take up to a month.”

“What do you like about your job?”

David Först: “I like the variety. No day is like the other. We often don’t know what the next day will be like. I also like to be on the road. I especially like being abroad to get to know different languages and cultures. The north and south of Spain have particularly impressed me. During my time there I was able to develop my language skills and made many new friends. To this day, I have wanderlust to Tarifa and Santiago de Compostela. I also like working independently. When a problem arises, we have to solve it locally. We fitters are a small family out there. To this day I still know from many former teammates how they drink their coffee, when it’s their birthday or what the family situation is like. That’s when supposed work colleagues quickly turn into true friends. And then there’s working in wind and weather and at heights. I like to move and the great views compensate me for the exhausting climb.”

“What are the requirements to work as a service specialist for rotor blades?”

David Först: “Basically, we are looking for people with a technical education. We are looking for people who have been involved in the processing of glass fibre reinforced plastics, such as boat builders or fibre composite technicians. They are already familiar with the material in the rotor blade and only have to get used to the height. Height suitability is a must. Because even if we are secured - we work at a height of over 100 meters. But don’t worry, I was also a career changer and had to learn everything new. That’s why I prefer motivated people with the ability to learn.”

zurück back