Doug Hood Mining

Gavin Thompson – Heavy Equipment Engineer

April 14, 2021

After a lifetime in the mechanical engineering industry, including the last 14 years with Doug Hood Mining Ltd, Gavin Thompson has decided to retire. However, with a number of restoration projects backed up at home plus being Chief Engineer to the family speedway team, there’s not much chance of him slowing down any time soon.

Working out of our Westport workshop Gavin was responsible for heavy engineering work as part of the “mostly” scheduled repair and maintenance required to keep a mining fleet productive.

Hence he spent a fair bit of that time at Stockton Mine plus Reddale, Cascade, and Escarpment Mines.

His handiwork included:

  • Removing and replacing slew rings on 20-200 tonne diggers
  • Track and undercarriage rebuilds on the dozer and excavator fleet
  • Dismantling and rebuilding the L90 loader
  • Dismantling the 777B fleet for scrap
  • Excavator and loader bucket repairs
  • Dumptruck deck repairs and liner package replacement on 777B, 777D and 785-5
  • Dozer blade repairs & wear package replacement on D8T, D9R, D11R, D155 & D275
  • In-field R&M on the production fleet
  • Establishing and disestablishing major plant items at sites


A sample from the DHML photo library:

Komatsu WA800 disestablishment from Stockton Mine

Volvo EC290 slew ring replacement

D11R full component rebuild

Volvo A40E deck liner replacement

777D refurbishment

D8T track frame and undercarriage rebuild

Looking back to the beginning of his career Gavin completed a 4 year coachbuilder’s apprenticeship with West Coast Motor Bodies. He then worked as an engineer for Grey County Council, H. Langridge & Sons – earthmoving contractor, Stillwater Sawmill, Gough Gough & Hamer (including working with the Doug Hood crew at Strongman Mine) and joined Doug Hood Mining Ltd. in 2007.

You can imagine therefore after a lifetime of fixing and maintaining other people’s gear he has been itching to get into those projects waiting patiently in the back shed, including:

  • 2x GMC 1942 trucks
  • 2x Caterpillar D2 bulldozers
  • 2x vintage TQ midget speedway cars
  • 4x Ford Jailbar 1947-48 trucks
  • Assorted motorbikes requiring riding, repairing and restoring

So we all wish Gavin a long and happy retirement although we may call on his services from time to time once he’s had a fair crack at what retirement feels like.

In the meantime Gavin has left a big opportunity for someone to step up and into a role defined as Engineer/Mechanic, but they will need big feet to fill those boots.

Links to other web posts featuring Gavin’s handiwork:

Doug Hood workshop crew recognised for 3,000 days LTI free

Komatsu PC1250SP-7 ready for the next big job

100 tonne dumptruck rejoins the fleet

Bulldozer refurbished at DHML Westport Workshop


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