T-DRILL Service Engineer Harri Aikio Has Visited Almost Every Country in the World

Harri Aikio at the junction of the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean in Morocco

Picture a man. He is getting off an airplane somewhere in the world after an 11-hour flight. He grabs his belongings, stretches his limbs and says goodbye to the crew who know him by name. He casually gets off the plane and without batting an eye, hops in a cab, travels to his destination – and gets straight to work.

Is he a president? A movie star? No. He is T-DRILL’s Service Engineer Harri Aikio.

Harri Aikio has been a T-DRILL Service Engineer for almost 22 years. In total, he has about 27 years of travel work under his belt. As a T-DRILL Service Engineer, Aikio’s work days consist of follow-ups, installations, commissionings and trainings in the customer’s location – where ever in the world. When Aikio is asked how many countries he has been to, the answer is simple.

“I have not been to the South Pole or the North Pole. We’ll put it that way.”

Travel Work Requires Ability to Withstand Pressure and Relax

In 2023, Aikio spent about 190 days out of country – his record so far. Generally, the number is about 150 days. In order to succeed working abroad for almost half the year, Aikio believes that it is crucial to be able to withstand pressure, but also be able to relax. Travel work requires a lot from the person doing it, but also from the people who stay behind.

“I have been lucky enough to be surrounded by people who understand the nature of my work. I am often asked how can I keep traveling this much. The truth is that this is something that has grown on me. I have been doing this ever since I graduated. Once you have had a backpack on your back for long enough, it becomes a part of who you are.”

When abroad, Aikio likes to get close to the local culture by learning about their religion and their way of life.

“For example, when I visited Tangier in Morocco, I was given a genuine Quran, which I have started reading. This way I can dig a little deeper into the culture. It makes travelling interesting.”

Over 20 Years at T-DRILL

After 27 years in the business, Aikio is able to arrive on the customer site calm and confident. His mission is to get his task done with care and precision. Aikio remains calm even when schedules are tight.

“I like working with people. I do not think I would do this if I was not as chatty as I am. I like to talk to the customer while I work – it reassures them that I am making progress and doing my best to get the machine back in production as swiftly as possible.”

Aikio is proactive in his customer service. If he identifies ways that the customer can make even more of their T-DRILL machine, reach cost savings or optimize their production even further, he brings forth his recommendations – but only when thoroughly justified.

According to Aikio, the best part about his job is getting to work with his hands and seeing the fruits of his labor. Challenges sometimes arise when the characteristics of new machines need to be mastered on the go and with no time to spare. However, Aikio’s extensive experience and the fact that T-DRILL machines often have the same operating principles mean that challenges are quickly overcome.

“Differences between languages and cultures can sometimes be a learning curve. If there is no common language, gestures and pictures come into play. During one of my first trips to India, after I was done training the machine’s operators, I asked them if they had understood everything. They shook their heads, so I repeated the training from scratch. Later I found out that in India, shaking your head means ‘yes’.”

Aikio has stayed with T-DRILL for over 20 years for one reason in particular: the work community and his colleagues. Aikio enjoys T-DRILL’s relaxed yet professional atmosphere and genuinely likes the people he works with. As a mid-size company, T-DRILL is just the right fit for a person like Aikio who wants to know the people he works with.

“At the end of the day, I truly like my work. Plain and simple.”



Harri Aikio in Korea

Harri Aikio at the Kumamoto Castle in Japan

Published: January 29, 2024

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