Toolkit for starting as a Field Engineer – 5

Starting as a Field Engineer – what’s in your toolkit – part 5

If you are a new field engineer either starting your first job, or switching into field engineering from another role or industry, you may be wondering:
What should I include in my toolkit?
Is there anything really useful that I may not have considered?
How can I carry everything?
Following our first four articles,
Starting as a Field Engineer – what’s in your toolkit
We have had more advice from experienced and veteran Field Engineers for part 5
This time the advice includes an extendable magnet tool for those times when something is dropped in the most difficult place to reach.

Senior Gas Turbine Mechanical Engineer in Dubai

Darren Hunt on turbine

Darren Hunt started his working life after completing his education in the RAF (UK) as Ground Crew working in Propulsion.
He left older and much wiser to join General Electric (GE) in their Field Engineer Program in the USA where he was trained as a Mechanical Site Lead working with large frame gas turbines all over the world.
Fast forward a little more and he joined Siemens in Dubai as a Mechanical Field Engineer working on their SGT 100-400 Lincoln fleet of Industrial Gas Turbine (IGT) units. Darren recently qualified to work with the SGT 800 – 62 MW(e) IGT from Siemens Energy Finspöng, Sweden.
Darren really enjoys his working life and would recommend it as it’s varied and rewarding with amazing opportunities for growth if you apply yourself correctly.

Darren Hunt and colleague on turbine

The tools in your toolkit

What do you choose to have in your tool bag?
All our hand tools are provided by Siemens Energy. However, there are a few special tools which are just better suited to me. For example, I really love Wera tooling the quality is head and shoulders above the standard.

What is in your tool kit/bag which is nonstandard but really useful?
The answer I’m supposed to give is none, as we don’t use nonstandard tools for safety reasons. However, I do have a 17mm socket which has been ground down to fit perfectly for one application.

Which tool could you not work without?
The tools I couldn’t work without,
Laptop– it contains my world, my schedule, my drawings and most importantly my expenses.
Extendable magnet tool – I have the dropsies: meaning if you give me the opportunity to drop something in a really hard to reach spot I’m the man for that job. Therefore, I have an extendable magnet tool (doesn’t work on stainless steel).

extendable magnet tool for a toolkit

A sharp sense of humour – As working in the field is hot and tiring and often it’s wearing so finding time to make light of the little things really helps.

Carrying the tools in your toolkit

What’s the best bag, box or case you have ever used?
For the past 25 years I have had a particular favourite brand which is The North Face. Many years ago, we were given the bags to trial, and I have beaten and battered them all over the world and they just keep performing. They are expensive but highly worth it. I have several different coloured duffel bags and a rolling bag plus backpack for my laptop.

North Face rucksack

Field Service and Support Engineer in the UK

Joe Fox is an experienced Engineer with a demonstrated history of working in the food production industry.
He now works for UK Inspection Systems.
UK Inspections Systems offers foreign body detection and weighing equipment expertise, sales, and engineering support to customers in the food industry.

Joe Fox beside equipment

The tools in your toolkit

What is in your tool kit/bag which is nonstandard but really useful?
A telescopic stool – It’s not exactly essential. However, when working on control panels for long periods of time it saves the discomfort of being on your knees!

Collapsed telescopic stool
telescopic stool

Strangely, my entire bag!
Like most engineers, we aim to travel light so all tools need to be a ‘must have’ or essential.
Although, to choose I would say my Wera Micro Precision Screwdriver Set. All those tiny drivers, all in one place!

Wera Micro Precision Screwdriver Set to use in toolkit

As well, my Unilite IR-375R inspection torch, just because you can never have enough light especially on those machines tucked up in tight corners.

Unilite IR-375R inspection torch to use in toolkit

The tool bag for your toolkit

What is the best bag, box or case you have ever used?
I’ve had a few.
My current bag, the Unilite UR 4.5 is certainly the best for size, comfort and organisation.


What is the best piece of field engineer advice you have ever been given?
“No two days are ever the same, have patience and ask questions.”

Further Reading

Starting as a Field Engineer – what’s in your toolkit

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