He has been working for ŠKODA AUTO for 40 years – most of that time as a woodworker. “My career is tied to the Mladá Boleslav plant”, says Jaroslav Lochman. In his new job as a mechatronics technician, he is housed where the master woodworkers used to be.
How did you get to work at ŠKODA AUTO?
My dad and grandpa were carpenters. I started climbing roofs with them when I was 13, and I later went to become an apprentice. But instead of carpentry, I followed woodwork. I went to school in Kladno, but I gained my practical experience in the wood shop at ŠKODA. And because they were still hiring new people, I stayed here after I finished the vocational school. It was hard work. Everything had to be pulled manually. But it’s a beautiful craft, nonetheless.
What did a woodworker’s job in the car company involve?
When I joined the company on 1 July 1980, timbering was still required for certain uses, which I never got to do. But we really used to make everything – from wooden jigs and pallets to mats, we’d build any furniture, equipment for food corners throughout the factory, kitchenettes, we used to fit out with furniture kindergartens, children’s camps and mountain cabins for our employees’ holidays.
And has your work changed considerably over the years?
It has, and so has all woodworking. For example, we used to make veneered boards, and we worked with solid wood a lot. We had 12 dryers. There was a large warehouse for our material where the parking house is located now. Then it gradually started to be ordered from our suppliers, and we switched to laminated boards. We started using much more modern equipment for material processing, which also significantly decreased the number of injuries.
What do you do nowadays?
The wood shop closed five years ago, so I moved to machine maintenance and overhauls. We did a lot of other crafts at our wood shop, so it was quite a logical shift for me.