MARJAN KRAJNC of SPIKE MASTER 1000, an Engineer and Inventor
“I was born in Maribor Hospital in 1946. We lived at Bohova near Maribor and later at Rogoza. I attended Secondary school at Hoče near Maribor.
At home we were encouraged to speak German due to my grandparents’ Austro-Hungarian and German backgrounds.
With my parents we spoke German and Slovenian.
I was a very good sportsperson – I was the fastest kid on the block (5,000 and 10,000 metres, soccer).
I loved and excelled in History and Geography. I was the only pupil with a photographic memory and that saved me a lot of time doing homework and study.
As well as studying, I was forced to work in the blacksmiths’ workshop for my living. Not much time was left for any other interests, including mischief.
I was given a lot of technical and practical experience by my stepfather in his blacksmith’s shop.
I learned to make various tools, new implements and to do repairs of the old ones, as well as shoeing the horses, making and repairing wheels for horse drawn carriages, working carts and others.
I studied for my apprentice-ship in Metalna, Tezno near Maribor, getting a lot of background knowledge in metal industry and machinery.
I completed the apprentice-ship in two years, in 1964. I was conscripted to the compulsory Yugoslav Army Service for 18 months, where I learned, that no such word as NO or I CAN NOT existed.
My memory from the army is that I came second in the running race, 5,000 metres. My time was 13.2minutes. It was a national record in Yugoslavia!
We had learned Serbo-Croatian language at school and the commands, discipline and instructions were all in the official Serbo-Croatian language.
After the army service was completed, I returned to my previous work place.
I always had a desire to travel, exploring different parts of the world.
I travelled via Vienna to Melbourne in December 1966.
I stayed at the Baraga House Hostel at Kew for a short period of time, and I was invited by the Australian Olympic Committee to train and represent Australia at the Mexico Summer Olympic Games in 1968. Unfortunately the good social life prevented me from enjoying myself in that field.
I went to school to upgrade my education, eventually becoming a supervisor in the Construction industry.
Working on various construction sites all over the world, I have learnt to converse in 7 languages ( Slovenian, Macedonian, Serbian, Croatian, German, Italian, Spanish, Ukranian).
In 1964, with the Melbourne Company DUST & FUME, we designed the underground carriages for transporting ore, with the capability of opening the carriage floor, so unloading of the copper or iron ore is done through the bottom of the carriage. In Tasmania, the Queenstown Mt Lyall Mines, still use the implemented system for unloading and loading of carriages in the tunnels.
I attended Tafe College at Seven Hills, Sydney – Liverpool, ESSO owned training college, where I completed my Engineering Degree, giving me the position of ‘Construction Engineer’, specializing in welding and boiler making, from 1974-76.
I was employed by EGLO Engineering, from there I was sent to different construction sites all over the world.
In 1980s I lost everything: the house, the partner and all my memorabilia – I lost everything in the fire. I was left with just a suitcase,as I was on my arrival to Australia in 1966.
Never say NEVER!
I mainly worked for EGLO ENGINEERING, we build and install oil platforms for exploration companies ESSO, BP, BROWN & ROOTS, and TRANSFIELD.
I have travelled extensively in Australia – eastern part of Bass Strait: on the oil platforms Snapper, Forthescu, Halibat, Flounder; Western Australia: Rankin A; South Australia: Flare Tower in Adelaide; Middle East – Abu Dhabi (the first time in my life I was a witness to a person being punished with 5 lashes, for enjoying a drink with me, and my punishment was deportation – persona non gratta – from the town – window seat). Also South America, Scotland – Aberdene, and Malaysia.
We specialize in welding with flax core wire, which I introduced to the Australian companies – flax core wire is my innovation while employed with the Canadian LINCOLN Company, which processed the patent under their name. Flax core wire is used for welding huge pipes in the oil and gas industries. I adapted and qualified the welding procedures. The insurance company for the Australian Oil and Gas Industry, Lloyds of London Insurance Company, accepted our procedure without compromise.
I remember a construction site in Bathan, near Singapore, while we were building tripod oil platforms, humans had no value at all. An example: our welder, with no scaffold, just a ladder, his belt as an anchor, fell and was injured. His replacement welder was there within a minute ( in the case that someone got injured, they were waiting behind the barbed wire fence, and had a chance of making a few bucks with no training). Safety issues were unheard off: no tools, the welders held the eloctrodes with their lips.
In 1973 I went on a job in Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, where our accomodation were tents. The native Aboriginals were not very friendly. For a bottle of beer, we were safe, we became buddies.
My nomadic life lead me to the places, many people are not aware off, including- Arnhem Land, Groote Island (east of Darwin), Argyle (WA), Karatha (WA), Broome, Hamersley Iron (Wikham, WA), Moomba (SA), Tallachi (SA), Coober Pedy Opal Mines, Adelaide, and many more.
My job was to train welders – I was running training schools, therefore I was an Educator, awarding trainees, with full qualification, for any particular jobs for 38 years.
Due to injuries, I needed to leave the industry in 1992.
I retired, bought a farm and after my last visit to Slovenia in 2004, I became interested in importing and distributing forestry equipment in Australia.
I am the Principal of SPIKEMASTER 1000, my own design, and I developed wooden survey pegs, (chissel and pyramid pointed pegs).
We are a proudly Australian company, emphasising Australian hardwood machinery and forestry equipment, such as radio remote hydraulic logging winches, fire wood processors, circular saw mills, log grabs with rotators, and other implements.
I have partner companies: 5 companies in Slovenia, and also sub-distributors in Western Australia, South Australia, Queensland and Tasmania; and New Zealand.
To date, we continue with promotion and sales of Spikemaster 1000, hardwood sharpenning machine. We did found the manufacturer in Slovenia for the production of Spikemaster 1000.
My motto has always been:
IF I PROMISE, I WILL DELIVER!