Tanker to ready mix

Discussion in 'Tanker, Bulk and Dump Trucking Forum' started by Fold_Moiler, Apr 20, 2018.

  1. REO6205

    REO6205 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

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    You're in for an education. I spent almost a year driving a mixer and I found out it doesn't have a lot to do with truck driving. You're more like a specialized equipment operator that gets dirty.
    You'll learn about slump and how to eye'ball it.
    You'll learn about chutes and how to handle them without herniating yourself.
    You'll learn about job foremen. Some of them are great and some of them are screamers but they're always under the gun to get a job finished fast and if you louse up their program they'll let you know. Instantly.
    If you're unloading into a pump the job is pretty easy. Just don't over fill the pump hopper.
    If you're doing fence post holes or planters or vaults you'll be doing a lot of pulling ahead and stopping. An ace bandage will help prevent your left knee from swelling.
    You'll be wet a lot. When you're not doing anything else you'll be washing.
    You'll learn how many cramped, crowded, not-made-for-trucks places you can get into...and back out of again.
    You'll hear horror stories of mixers going around a corner too fast and turning over. Believe them
    You'll learn to drive with one eye on the mirror. If the barrel stops with a load on it can get ugly real fast. If the load gets "hot" most job formen can spot it right away.
    If the barrel reverses direction while you're driving you get a giant mess to clean up. You're usually the lead feature on the five o'clock news too.
    There's more but these are just the ones that you'll find out right away.
    It's not a bad job and a lot of people make a career out of it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2018
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  3. Caterpillar6nz

    Caterpillar6nz Bobtail Member

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    Well said Reo
     
  4. Fold_Moiler

    Fold_Moiler Road Train Member

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    Thanks for the response reo.

    That’s what I’m excited for is to learn all that. Driving a truck from point a to point b doesn’t do much for me. I like driving through a foot of mud so it at least gives me something to think about vs driving down the interstate.

    A lot of the work will be feeding pump trucks I hear. We got a lot of condos and buildings going up around here and I’ll be stationed 5 minutes from downtown and in the middle of the city.

    I’ll try not to do anything crazy. I never made messes doing tanker work so hopefully I can keep it that way.

    Yeah a lot do make careers out of it. I’ll be the newest and everyone else has been there 8+ years which I think is a good sign. I’ve always wanted to get into building, Ive been trying to get into cranes for the longest time but no one will give me the time of day because I don’t have experience.
     
  5. REO6205

    REO6205 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

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    When you're working with a pump the pump operator is usually your contact point. Often he'll have a remote control box slug around his neck and he'll be watching the job foreman and you.
    On some types of jobs the pour has to be continuous so keeping the pump hopper full is key. If theres room at the pump you can back in alongside another mixer, set your chute, run a little material in to double check slump and be ready to unload as soon as the other truck empties out and the level in the pump hopper starts to drop.Don't hit the pump hopper with your chute when you back in...that really pisses people off.
    It sounds harder than it is but it does require some focus.
    One good thing about pump jobs is that there are usually other trucks and drivers around if you have a question. I don't know how your company will be but the one I worked for was great at helping rookies.
    Just remember, if you're working with experienced drivers they've probably made every mistake in the book and can really help you learn.
     
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  6. Caterpillar6nz

    Caterpillar6nz Bobtail Member

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    It’s really funny your coming off the road doing tankers...I’m actually on my last couple of days training on tankers to run the road with. I bumped docks and did reefer for a while but there is no challenge in it anymore. I have always wanted to do tanker work and should started along time ago.
     
    Fold_Moiler Thanks this.
  7. x1Heavy

    x1Heavy Road Train Member

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    TBH in Westminster Maryland accepted my tractor trailer bulk delivery for cement several times a week over a period of months, I never had trouble unloading at their ready mix plant ever. It's empty in a hour and off I went. I even showed up when no one was expected to show up in 3 feet of snow. But they took the load.

    Fast forward a little bit and sat in their nice office on a rainy week day to interview for work on a Class A which at that time means I can drive anything Class B or C or whatever Commerical Vehicle. Just not Motorcycles. Despite a yard full of lowboy 18 wheelers sitting still with drivers at home due to the rain all around the office, the management there showed discrimination against me on two count. First I am deaf. Not welcome. (Oh really? Now you tell me... after all those cement delieveries from either Lehigh in Union Bridge or Blue Circle in Canton Baltimore Ternimal off a ship)

    Second that Class A was considered by the Yankees overqualified for the Class B ready mix. In short, they did not want me period. I brought in a ADA lawyer again and had a interview with same against TBH and frankly we let it go. The company itself is literally too small to be worth going after. One of the things the Lawyer did say to me there was go South Young Man, they will give people with handicaps certain oppertunities you wont find up here in Yankeeland.

    Many years later I hired onto B&B Concrete in Little Rock for Bulk Tanking first, without questions. Provided that concrete or flyash is at the silo at the plant asap. That means either Hope AR twice a day or Redfield AR several times a day (*Power plant, flyash way over gross)

    When the tractor of that tanker broke (Not just broke down, but actually broke) they handed me a trainer *Who was one of he few very good ones actually...) and a old time Auto Car 12 yard cement mixer with the splitters.

    That autocar became mine for a few weeks to months after I finished training. That old iron and I enjoyed our time together so to speak. We mostly poured very deep 60 foot 5 foot wide holes to bedrock for the then new Federal Courthouse complex PLUS a annex to be built onto the Capitol building that year in addition to the Alltel Arena plus the UAMS Buildings related to cancers and eye which were pretty avant garde in design for their time. I was very very very happy to do this work.

    Until they stuck me back into that same old tanker. With a thousand more rivets. Long story short, I dared use some of the early hours taking care of the wife's car to the Federal Employment for which she cannot and WILL not ever be late. Then showed up on time at 6 am to clock in. Younger boss threatened me because Im not allowed to think for myself and my needs on a work day.

    I quit.

    Razorback hired me next. Strictly ready mix. This time a Mack, that the running joke goes, everyone has had a turn on it. It's not a very nice joke. The truck was worn through. I made the best of it. But I knew in my hearts of hearts it would be 10 years before they issue me a new mixer. So I settled in and paced myself there. Not working too hard.

    What I did discover was a 4x4 wheeled 936 CAT front end loader to feed rock and sand into the ready mix plant. THAT was the job I have been waiting for all my life. If you put me into one of those wheeled loaders right now and said feed sand and rock.. it's going to get done once I fueled and greased it. Of all the jobs I have held in my life with the exception of working a horse breeding farm the heavy equiptment is my personal favorite. Never mind the petes, KW's large cars and so on. I can climb into a big one or a medium one or a small one and get going well enough.

    The main problem to that type of discovery when you have a life match to a specific job, everyone has it and no openings. So I go home and forget the whole thing.
     
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  8. Fold_Moiler

    Fold_Moiler Road Train Member

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    It’s supposed to be a really good company and everyone is really happy there. That’s why I chose to apply to this job. I don’t think I would have gotten it if I didn’t know the mechanics honestly. They told me training is about 45 days. I don’t know what all that means but I guess I’ll be running loads on my own after a week or so. Maybe they’ll only be sending me to sites with other drivers already there to help or something.

    I’m sure I’ll make some mistakes but hopefully nothing too bad but yeah I’ll definately find a few key guys I can rely on for help.
     
  9. Fold_Moiler

    Fold_Moiler Road Train Member

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    I was home most nights, but I was doing runs for Minneapolis to Sioux City and back. Boring as all hell. Then I started running routes because the other driver had back surgery. That’s much better for me but this is a dead end job so I’m leaving. I could stay there 10 years and barely make more money even though I can do every job in the place. I even dispatch myself sell new accounts and set up the equipment. Do I get a raise? Nope so see you later...

    There is nothing wrong with tanker. I just want to do something else.
     
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  10. PROPANE

    PROPANE Bobtail Member

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    I was driving a propane truck through a construction zone once,

    and a guy came running out in the road, stopping my truck, asking me what the hell I was doing I was going the wrong way,

    he didn't realize it until I told him I wasn't a cement truck, I was carrying propane,

    I knew a guy once who drove for a cement company, and he said some foreman guys, were buttholes about cement,

    I've thought driving a cement mixer, until I started driving hauling propane.

    I interviewed twice, the first time I didn't get call back, the second time I did,

    but didn't take it after he explained the odd hours, and max pay after a year, you start out almost at max pay, and if you make it a year, you get a raise, but its the max you'll ever make, no raise after a year.....
     
  11. Fold_Moiler

    Fold_Moiler Road Train Member

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    Yeah that’s basically every job around here no raises.

    All the mixer jobs are teamster though. Yeah the pension is questionable but this company offers a 401k match too because they know it’s screwed. The union wages are a lot higher than anything else I’ve found. I’ll suck it up and deal with the odd start times for that.
     
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