Delivering Every Day: from captaining Scotland to the jungle of East Kalimantan - meet Brian
At Bis we operate in some challenging places.
Take Tabang in Indonesia, a coal mine on Borneo operated by Bayan Resources. The Bis team of almost 450 employees work together to transport more than 7 million tonnes of coal in a year using a fleet of 30 haulage trucks including dual powered road trains.
Surrounded by jungle and with annual rainfall of more than four metres, reliability is key to them delivering every day and no one knows that more than Brian McKeown.
Brian is the Maintenance Manager at Tabang and oversees two workshops that are critical to the day to day operations of the site. It is a long way from the playing fields of Glasgow, where soccer-mad Brian captained Scotland as a semi-professional player.
Brian addressing his team at the morning pre-start meeting
“When I left school at 16 I never really had a career plan in place, but I got the opportunity to get into a mechanical apprenticeship - and as they say that was that.”Fast forward to 2011 when Brian and his family moved to Australia and he joined Bis, starting at the company’s Welshpool workshop and then moving to operational roles at a Pilbara iron ore mine and then nickel cobalt operations in Western Australia’s Eastern Goldfields.
Brian was offered a role at Tabang in late 2016, starting as a technical advisor then moving to Workshop Manager and now Maintenance Manager.
His day at Tabang starts at 5am when he catches up with the planning team and supervisors to see what work was got through overnight, then it is the pre-start meeting to talk safety and go over the day’s tasks with his team. From then until end of shift, Brian is overseeing the day-to-day running of workshop operations, and maintaining constant dialogue with all departments to address any challenges or issues.
“It takes the ability to think on your feet quickly and decisively, sometimes I get from plan A to plan F depending on what that day holds.”
"My whole Tabang experience has been my biggest accomplishment, starting as tech advisor, then getting to know all the great people we have here and obviously progressing to my current role" – Brian McKeown
Brian’s 10 Questions
1. What's your first memory of joining Bis Industries?
When I first walked into Welshpool workshop and saw a WA800 loader in a million pieces and thought ‘Oh……’
2. What has surprised you most about working for Bis?
Possibilities that have arisen for me in quite a short space of time.
3. What do you do when you aren't working?
Spending time with my wife and three kids back in Australia, still playing soccer and just chilling out.
4. When have you been most satisfied in your life?
Right now, I have a great family and have a great experience working in Indonesia.
5. Who is your role model, and why?
I have had a lot of mentors while I’ve been at Bis and they have all helped in their own way so not just one but many, as they say every day is a school day.
6. What are the personal goals you most want to accomplish?
Keep progressing as far as possible in Bis and see where I end up.
7. What is your favourite thing about your typical day?
Dealing with new cultures and trying to pass on my experience.
8. If you weren't working in your current career, what would you be doing instead?
A retired soccer star with plenty of $$$’s in the bank.
9. What would you say most motivates you?
I want to succeed at everything I do, and will go that extra mile to accomplish my objectives.
10. What are you most excited or passionate about?
Becoming 40 as that’s when they say life begins, so can’t wait to see how it can trump my last 39.