ROHR-IDRECO combines cutting-edge technology with centuries-old craftsmanship. Our smith handcrafts each bucket of every bucketladder dredger. He is not just any smith: Volker is a smith in heart and soul. When he started at ROHR-IDRECO, he brought with him a wealth of experience.
Now he shares his story:
The way over
“Before I started, there weren’t many jobs I hadn’t tried. After school, I started my first apprenticeship in building metal constructions, followed by an apprenticeship in metal cutting. But they weren’t the right fit for me.
For the next five years, I was on a tour with a backpack, moving from workstation to workstation. For example, I worked as a trade show builder, a projectionist in a cinema, and even inspected chemical reactors to change the catalyst.”
Smith at ROHR-IDRECO
“At a certain moment, I realised “My whole life, I have always had a thing for metal. Why not look for something in this direction?” The first vacancy I came across was for this company, which was looking for someone to fabricate buckets for dredgers. I wanted to give it a shot, even to just work and re-learn how to handle metal again. And that is how I began my career with ROHR-IDRECO in 2017.
Since the beginning, I have had a lot of fun forging the buckets. I started building and quickly learned how it worked and I could start forging on my own in an early stage.
At the age of 28, I received my metal building certification. However, I consider forging a matter of talent. If you are a handworker, you are a handworker. It is not something that can be learned.”
How it’s done
“Forging a bucket is performed in stages: I first start the oven, then heat up pieces of the bucket and bring it in form. Some buckets are perfect on the first try, but sometimes I can spend an hour on one thing and it doesn’t do what I want. However, I have never thrown anything away. There is something you can always do with the material.”
“To me, forging the buckets is an adventure. Because it is all handwork from start to finish, no two series have ever been the same. Each bucket is a work of art in its own right, and that is what I like about it.
Furthermore, because we conduct all of the forging ourselves, we know our product inside-out. A valuable signature of our special machines.”