Ready Mix Drivers, how labor intensive.

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by Ziggyncali, Dec 24, 2014.

  1. Ziggyncali

    Ziggyncali Bobtail Member

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    Jul 11, 2008
    California
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    I'm curious what you guys would say is the easiest on the back as far as working for Ready Mix company's. I have no experience so I really don't know the difference between the many different materials an trucks used for Ready Mix. Bottom dumps, driving powder, transfers an mixers are something's I've seen posted when talking about Ready Mix but I don't know anything about them. When I say easy on the back I mostly mean where lifting might be involved. I can handle driving in the truck I'm more concerned with positions that might require a lot of getting out of the truck lifting an bending. If you have any experience please let me know what kind of direction I should head in when applying for a Ready Mix company, thanks for any help. I already have a class B license with just a little experience driving a bobtail in Inland Empire area.
     
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  3. chopper103in

    chopper103in Road Train Member

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    ready mix is a pretty demanding job

    there is a lot of lifting and climbing involved with the job

    you have to climb up the ladder and wash the inside of the drum after you get loaded each time

    you have to hang the chutes on the back when you get to your job, 2-3 chutes depending what your truck carries and they are not light 50lbs or so

    when your finished at the job you have to climb back up and wash the drum down again and wash the chutes clean of concrete then rehang the chutes on the chute holders

    then there is additional climbing up the ladder to add calcium chloride , color or fibers it the job calls for it

    it is a very demanding physical job
     
    Bluedew and heyns57 Thank this.
  4. Powder Joints

    Powder Joints Subjective Prognosticator

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    The biggest issue with ready mix in the long run is they will destroy your back, High vibration. The shuts weigh about 35 to 40 bs each. washing is more dangerous than difficult. Powder is the better end of ready mix.
     
  5. chopper103in

    chopper103in Road Train Member

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    I did the job for 11 years before I got laid off
    I really enjoyed the job but it came with some cost, had a couple of herniated disk in my back and had to have shoulder surgery also
    I would like to get back in to a mixer but the pay is a lot different here than when I did it in the Chicago suburbs
     
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  6. Ziggyncali

    Ziggyncali Bobtail Member

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    Jul 11, 2008
    California
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    What does that mean driving Powder? what is the work like can a new driver start out driving Powder, also as far as working for Robertson's is there a certain type of driving that I could do that would not require so much physical work.
     
  7. VTSharpshooter

    VTSharpshooter Light Load Member

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    Oct 29, 2010
    Vermont
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    I tried a front load ready mix truck once, it didn't look too bad when I followed another driver around on the first day, but I didn't even make it to lunch the next day in my own truck. It was raining on day two and when I arrived at 6:30 AM my heart sank as I turned the corner and saw a row of trucks with drivers pounding, scraping, chipping, and washing the outside (of course) and as far down into the drum as you could reach. No matter how careful, the trucks get covered in concrete crud. I knew this was going to be too much for me in my early 40's and I was right. I asked how often we would have to do this, and was told "You'll get real good at it."

    Before I left, I asked my trainer if there was any way I could just drive and skip the physical work that my back couldn't handle. LOL. He said they were all in terrible shape, but they need the hours, and it's by seniority so if anyone is skipping the hard work it's not the new guy. Of course. As it should be, I suppose, unless they were so desperate for drivers they would hire anyone, but in that case you'll be the first out the door when it slows down.

    Bottom line: It's not very likely that you'll get a job in a physically demanding industry that allows you to avoid the physically demanding aspects of the job, everyone wants those jobs, especially the guys who paid their dues. But who knows? Everyone deserves to get lucky once in a while. Give it a shot.

    The worst that can happen? You'll have a whole new respect for the industry and the people doing the work. I certainly do.
     
    "semi" retired Thanks this.
  8. Happily Retired

    Happily Retired Road Train Member

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    I've heard of cement truck drivers having to have to climb down in the drum, and chip away the concrete that didn't washout. Cement trucks, being front or rear discharge, are extremely top heavy, and I've seen several go over. It's a good job, mostly paid by the hour, but if you have back issues, you best keep looking.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-W3-cWWJ4A0
     
  9. 77fib77

    77fib77 Road Train Member

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    "semi" retired Thanks this.
  10. Happily Retired

    Happily Retired Road Train Member

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  11. Happily Retired

    Happily Retired Road Train Member

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    Hi Ziggy, guess we kind of freaked you out, hey? Powder is the hauling the concrete powder (lime?) in a tanker, and you blow it into a silo with a pneumatic tanker. It's a much better job, but good luck finding a job like that. Most redi-mix drivers go into that when they can't schlep the chutes around, or go into the drum to chip out the dried concrete anymore.
     
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