Mr Zekan Erceg (Pictured on Right).
‘Well-Respected”. “The Fixer”. “A Legend”. These are just some of the words used by our clients to describe one of Perth’s hardest working mechanics, Mr Zekan Erceg. A humble man, Zekan is reluctant to be interviewed. As much as he likes to chat, it is clear to see that talking about himself goes against his selfless demeanour.
Brought up on a dairy farm in Whangarei Northland, New Zealand alongside his eight brothers and five sisters, Zekan knew from an early age that he wanted to be a mechanic. “I just had to pull things apart” he said, “I needed to see how things worked and I’ve never stopped”. After moving his family to Perth, Zekan worked for a couple of large companies but, as fate would have it, when he was looking for a new opportunity in 2011, the boys were looking for a warrior to run their new workshop, and so Zekan moved over into KEE.
“Zekan had been our go-to person when we first started up the business”, said Clayton, “He was already well-known and respected in the trade. We knew we had to have someone of his calibre to head our workshop and Zekan was looking for a new challenge”.
“It was very basic in the beginning,” Zekan said, “My workshop was the back of a Thrifty van and I was KEE’s one and only mechanic. It was very different after working for a big company like Wirtgen but I liked being my own boss and the boys had every faith in me.” The expansion of KEE’s workshop has been a testament to Zekan’s hard work and patient teaching. “We now have eight full-time crew. Hand on heart they’re the best crew we’ve ever had”.
Thirty years of being a mechanic has given Zekan a wealth of on-the-job experience and knowledge. “My best advice for clients is to nip a problem in the bud as soon as possible; if there’s an issue with a machine and it’s ignored for a week, it could mean the difference between $150 and $5000 to fix. Most issues are simple and fixable with the right knowledge and when I’m confronted with a problem I cannot rest until I’ve made it right again.”
Zekan attributes his work ethic to his father, “He was a hard man and a hard worker. He was very disciplined and worked as a linesman, but his true passion was as a boxing trainer.” Zekan and his siblings were brought up to learn how to take care of themselves at an early age and he started working on the family dairy farm at nine years-old.
Zekan has two children with Angela, his partner of 31 years; Joseph, 28 a pilot and Emily, 24 a teacher.
Words and pictures by Katharyn Quinn