World-Renowned Author and Maintenance Expert
28 Books Later: A Look Back on Lessons Learned
At The RELIABILITY Conference 2016 in Las Vegas, world-renowned author and maintenance expert, Terry Wireman, announced his retirement. Wireman is the very definition of a prolific writer, authoring numerous textbooks, white papers, and articles. Following his announcement, Wireman received Reliabilityweb.com’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Take a trip down memory lane as we revisit some highlights from Wireman’s storied career.
Wireman’s journey began with a millwright apprenticeship in 1970. With on-the-job and classroom training, the apprenticeship consisted of an 8,000-hour investment over four years. This kind of strong trade apprenticeship that Wireman was involved in is almost non-existent today. He eventually graduated the program in 1974. It wasn’t until 1983, though, that Wireman published his first article. Appearing in “Power Transmission Design Magazine,” he contributed a series of five articles for it over that year. The articles covered maintenance and proper alignment of couplings. This is where Wireman’s writing career started, writing about maintenance.
In addition to articles, 1983 also saw Wireman’s first book being published. Titled “Industrial Maintenance,” it was used as a training program for industrial millwrights. “Industrial Maintenance” ended up getting state adoption for several vo-tech systems in the United States. Life started getting crazier for Wireman as he began writing more textbooks. A total of eight were produced around that time. Some of these titles include “World Class Maintenance Management” and “Total Productive Maintenance.”
The next big step in Wireman’s writing career came with the six-book “Maintenance Strategy” series. Wireman credits Terrence O’Hanlon for helping getting it off the ground and motivating him to keep writing. Each book in the series focuses on a specific area of maintenance reliability. Wireman wrote the books to cover basic blocking and tackling one needs to do to be successful. For example, “What do we need to do if we were to implement a preventive maintenance program? What would it look like?” While it might seem like a massive undertaking, Wireman remembered having much fun while writing it. He even taught the material at some universities.
That’s where many of the workshops come into play, which Wireman also enjoyed due to the interaction he had with people. But don’t think that Wireman gave up on magazines throughout all this. For 15 years, he was the Maintenance Editor for “Engineer’s Digest” on a freelance basis. He also did a short stint at “Lubrication & Fluid Power Magazine” and “Maintenance Technology Magazine” as the Editorial Director. In recent years, Wireman has started gravitating more to “Uptime Magazine.” Any article that he’s published recently has been through “Uptime.”
After finishing his presentation, Wireman mentioned that it was time to leave it all in the past and ride off into the sunset. While that might be true for him, Wireman’s body of work will still be with us for a very long time.
~Sean Flack, Associate Editor
Thank you for everything you have given to this industry and for your friendship.