ZEMEK Engineering has had a solid base in Mackay for more than 40 years, working with mining giants to improve the performance of heavy equipment. We had a chat with co-owner and managing director Paul Hockings to discuss the ins and outs of equipment refurbishment and innovation.
ZEMEK Engineering was started by Dud Zemek in 1975 when the mining industry was in its early development phase in the Bowen Basin. Dud had his workshop set up in an old shed in Carlyle Street in Mackay, where he was also locksmithing on the side. He eventually decided to retire so I bought the business with Wayne Short in 1990.
We started off as a refurbishing business, repairing dragline components and other mining equipment. It was a solid market for us but we found that when the mining industry was doing particularly well, organisations would prefer to buy new equipment instead. So in the late nineties, ZEMEK branched out into both markets and we have broadened our scope of mobile plant equipment to include rope shovel, loader, digger and bulldozer components.
We’ve developed some innovative parts using advanced polymers, replacing steel and bronze bushing. Used in a range of heavy mining equipment, polymers are self-lubricating, prolonging availability to the machine should the lube lines be damaged.
We’re always looking for innovation and improvement. We say, “we stand behind our product and beside our customers”. We also have a solid team who go beyond expectation.
It’s the people. We’ve had changes over the years, but everyone who has worked at ZEMEK has had the right intent. We’ve also moved with the times and continue to innovate.
I’ve owned a lot of businesses in a range of industries – hotels, manufacturing, hospitality, even a drive-in picture theatre! I never thought I had an engineering bone in my body but I absolutely love it.
I’ve only lived in Mackay for the last three years, but it’s a great environment. You can make it as quiet or as lively as you like, without the hustle and bustle of city life.