Heavy Equipment & Mobile Crane Operator
Operating heavy equipment requires a unique skill set. It commands steady hands, focus, and often very precise work.
It is these skills that Local 793 member Harvey Storms continues to practice well into his retirement.
Storms spends countless hours constructing miniature wood models in his backyard workshop at his home in Brantford, Ontario. The 78-year-old has turned his ability to operating heavy equipment into building models in amazing detail. It’s been a passion of his since retiring in 2004.
“When I first started building, I would look forward to seeing the finished product,” Storms said. “Then, I would sit back and wonder; how did I do that?” he laughed.
Each model is built to perfect scale, with all the moving parts made strictly from wood. Each is made to look even more realistic with details like seats and gear shifters in the cab, sleep cabins, rear view mirrors and many other features.
It requires a lot of time and many careful, patient steps to produce a quality finished product. Each model takes about a month to complete and generally, Storms builds a few at a time.
“I’ve sold a few pieces in the past, but it can be hard to let go of something you spent so much time on,” he said. “And for that reason, I generally build two or three at the same time.”
He added “I have to cut a piece of wood for one model; why not cut three at the same time.”
Storms has built well-over one hundred pieces that include everything from backhoes to excavators and graders to trucks. His collection also includes military vehicles, transportation trucks, school buses, doll houses and other pieces.
Storms spent 35 years working different types of heavy equipment and mobile cranes across Ontario and British Columbia. He worked mostly in the roadbuilding, sewer and waterman sectors in Ontario.
He also spent 15 years as a union steward for Local 793 at Bot Construction in Oakville.