I run Linux as my Primary OS and have been doing so for 20 years now.
You posted a 'gotcha':
I just need something to work with the mechanical equipment it controls.
What exactly does that mean ?
How do you presently 'work with the mechanical equipment it controls' ?.
Is it a 'Windows-ONLY' App, a Browser-Based WebApp, what ?
If it is Windows-ONLY, you're stuck with that Windows.exe program.
Maybe it will work in WINE or a VM but you have to figure that out for yourself,
If it is a Browser-Based WebApp, you'll probably be OK.
Then there are all the 'oh yeah, I do that too' Apps like OutLook and Word and the like.
Those will annoy you too.
I run Slackware Linux as my main OS and VMWare Workstation for all the nasty Windows-Only tools I have to have for my job.
Slackware is a little more work to set up, but once it's configured, you'll not suffer WTF's where things suddenly stop working for no good reason.