First off, ask around for a mix of fits for a couple purposes.
!. GTFO - I usually mine in this fit, as I can get to my perch in one cycle of the prop mod. Also I have drone nav mods to speed up the excavators. Mining drones are really slow. I also have two command burst modules loaded with charges that boost resists, as well as self/remote shield reps.
- I Fell Asleep At The Wheel And Got Tackled - Keep your wetu deployed, pick it up before you move to a new rock. Why? If you do get jumped, you can refit on grid. In a storage container in my cargo hold, I keep my tank fit modules. If I need to, I can swap out even if tackled. Most importantly, the wetu is the only mobile depot large enough to hold all five of your excavator drones. Before your wetu can be reinforced, move your excavators into it. While it would suck losing a rorqual, losing a rorqual AND your excavators would suck worse.
I set up a perch for each belt/anom/refinery I mine at. I like to set it between 160km and 200km, because you can get a pretty large swath of the belt scanned, and warp to each rock from there. I have my warp to distance set to 3300m, and I rarely bounce off an asteroid. If you do, hit the approach button, and once your speed starts to increase after deceleration, stop the ship. You want to be no further away than 3000m from the asteroid, to reduce their flight time, and most importantly, recall time.
Something I also carry in my refit container, is command burst modules and charges for boosting mining. Not everybody uses a rorqual, and the boosts will be appreciated. Also, set your fleet hangar to allow fleet and/or corp members to use it. Ship maintenance bay too, if they may need to refit. The fleet hangar will allow them to drag ore from their ore hold to there, and compress the ore.
Whatever you do, wherever you mine, if you are in a rorqual pay attention. If you are in J-space with one, you cannot do without an active scout on each wormhole out of your system. Having an active response fleet is highly encouraged. I took an orca into a wormhole while on a streamed fleet because our scouts found a massive ice belt. We had eyes on all holes out, we had a response team that was ratting at the same time, and a dedicated hauler to ferry the ice out. We had a ton of fun, made a huge amount of money each, and we all got a lot of experience working as a combined team. I highly recommend having a ratting alt for those days that you want to mine, but there is not sufficient support to cover your whale.
EDIT: Forgot to say, when you choose the right fits for the rorqual, don’t even sit in it until you can use every single module. And the PANIC module should be the first thing you train up. Too often you will rorqual kills on zkillboard that don’t have a PANIC module fit, because the pilot hadn’t trained for it yet.