Exciting mission in Bordeaux

Technical assistance for the stern trawler “Commandant Gue”

Bordeaux-HafenA Special MWM Moment of Rolf Gruber

I have fond memories of my more than four decades of working at MWM. For me, the company was more than “just” a factory, but rather a kind of family business, in which there was always very good internal cooperation between the individual departments, but also good contacts to the “outside”. No matter whether it was the suppliers, customers, authorities or sales offices.

MWM – a factory in the heart of the city of Mannheim, known far beyond Mannheim, with worldwide connections through its outstanding engine and aggregate products.
One real “moment” in my professional life has made a special impression on me: The trip took me to Bordeaux where a ship’s mechanic was having problems because of an oil pressure dressing, the handling of which he was not familiar with. Now speed was of the essence. The owner of the stern trawler “Commandant Gue”, built in Viareggio, Italy, in 1975, threatened to take recourse if the outbound date was jeopardized. Fortunately, we were able to complete the repair satisfactorily after four days and report the vessel ready for fishing. The ship was designed for three months at sea, all the way to the Arctic Ocean and back. Our tandem aggregate was intended, among other things, for cooling the catch.

In spite of everything – it was not an easy job: The bad-tempered owner came on board personally – in full working gear – to make himself known, but also to “put us in our place” – despite the necessary immediate help – because we had entered his ship without registering with him.

In the course of my working life, there were a number of business trips both within Germany and in neighboring and other countries, even as far as South Africa.
Maybe a bit unusual for a man from the aggregate design, but the field of work covered the whole engine range with many applications.
Now, after many years in retirement, it is with pleasure that one remembers such times and exciting circumstances as back then in Bordeaux.

It is also gratifying that we have put together a small hiking group within our department, which has continued to exist for 50 years now. One can see here also the attachment to MWM, our MWM, until today. This is also an important moment after my professional life.


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Photograph: helenedevun / Adobe Stock