June 10, 2019 | Barb Carr

Where did you get your mechanical aptitude? Did you break it or fix it?

Where did you get your mechanical aptitude?

  • You were born with a silver wrench in your mouth? No silver spoons for you.
  • You had that friend say, “Grab this spark plug!”.. while he cranked the lawn mower?
  • You tinkered with stuff before it broke?
  • You tinkered with stuff after you broke it and before mom and dad got home?
  • You had formal apprentice training on all things mechanical?
  • You just hit it with a hammer until it starting working? Learned that one from “Fonzie” on television…. Worked on my engine check light.
  • You never got a mechanical aptitude for stuff?

Mechanical aptitude tests measure your ability to understand and apply mechanical concepts and principles to solve problems.

Why discuss mechanical aptitude on the TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Blog? Simple…When Analyzing a Causal Factor like “Mechanic over-torqued the bolt 50 foot lbs”, the mechanic was not a solving a problem. Instead the mechanic created a future problem. The information below must be asked and answered concisely as it relates to the analysis of torqueing a bolt…..

What are the required knowledge, skills, and abilities of the person performing the task?

From my old military CFETP, what level of mechanical aptitude (proficiency) is required for successful torqueing of a bolt? Do your answers change when you think about time on the job? Do your answers change when you think about age of person or time in the workforce? Some people would say, mechanical aptitude is common sense…..

Problem is that…

Many forget where their own mechanical aptitude journey started when they investigate Human Performance Difficulties during the root cause analysis and assume everybody knows what happens to an over torqued bolt over time.

Many over trust procedures when it comes to mechanical aptitude required.

Many over trust tools like pre-set torque wrenches when it comes to mistake-proofing. After all, a running torque is different than a static torque but the pre-set torque wrench clicks regardless which method is required.

On the lighter side of all things mechanical, please share your mechanical aptitude lessons learned the hard way in the comment section below.

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