The World Of Readymix Trucking

Topic 3787 | Page 1

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Little Debby 's Comment
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Wellll,,,, I just felt the need to post a little FYI for all of you gals. It seems difficult to find enough industry related knowledge these days. Truly, it's in our best interest, as women, to continually seek and find it, as it may relate to our particular life situations. Where can you go to get the nuts & bolts backstory you need to make sound judgements? That is why I like this website so much; it allows us to share.

I was a cement dry bulk hauler for 6 months after I graduated with my CDL last year. I switched to Readymix trucking for 3 months. Now I'm preparing to move to aggregate hauling; (super solo or doubles rock hauler.)

But: A note about the world of Readymix trucking, (in case you're noticing all the job vacancies for it right now)...

1. It pays very well but is highly seasonal. 2. Even in 'the season', the job sites, scheduling, and dispatching change on a DIME. 3. When it's cold, raining, rainy, or even too hot, no one pours concrete. You might not work. 4. Every day concrete splatters all over your rig and you only have so much time to rinse it off before it becomes...guess what? ;p 5. Once it becomes THAT, the only way to remove it is by spraying it down with acid, chipping and scraping it with a paint scraper, or flat out hammering it off with a hammer. 6. Setting up your chutes to offload is easy. Hanging your chutes back up on their rack is also easy if you are tall. If not, you compensate like me by guiding each chute up onto the rack with one thigh. I've acquired an impressive collection of black and blue hematomas across both thighs from doing this. Not good. 7. If you're 5'4" or shorter, it's going to be hard to scrape your chute, clean your rear videocam, rinse, scrape, or hammer your hopper, jam a steel 'candycane' hose into your water tank, and just plain pop the hood with no front step on the bumper.

Not saying these things can't be done because there is always a way. Just saying you're in for some extra work.

Cheers! ;D

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Boots&Bludog's Comment
member avatar

Cheers Deb!

Thank you for the post. When I told my Dad about me getting my CDL for some reason he went OFF about not being able to handle driving a cement truck. He hammered me with questions about the equipment and pointed out how a previous surgery makes me "handicapped" for performing the duties. This was all before I explained that cement truck was one of many options for me once getting the CDL. I will take pleasure in being better informed if he brings it up again. At first I thought I would prefer the seasonal jobs you mentioned. Now upon considering my lack of experience and current financial needs I will probably go OTR with drybed or reefer. Thank you again for the lady point of view and thanks to Brett for providing the safe place for it!

Boots

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Little Debby 's Comment
member avatar

Glad to be of help to you, Boots! (OMG I clearly remember my Dad hitting the roof when I told him I was dropping out of private art college to drive trucks; even 35 yrs ago!) LOL. But now, after many other jobs, I'm back at it again because it gets in your blood.

Are you saying you'll not pursue readymix now? The readymix job is normally permanent/full time. It's just that it slows down come November at which point you would normally file for unemployment. That's cool if you can collect; I learned in my case I cannot collect much since I'm a Fed retiree. Which is why I'm now trying to diversify my talents. It's a good job for certain life situations; like wanting to stay near home, or run local, while gaining experience. It only requires the Class B CDL for readymix. To advance to aggregate or transfer trucks requires Class A CDL.

Can you share the handicap story on our forum? I was pre-tripping a running truck during training in March and broke 2 fingers in the fanbelt/pulley, if you can believe that. I'm lucky to still have the fingers. They just sent me off for xrays/splints and kept on training me. Knife River Corp is awesome. I'm doing physical therapy for the rest of the year and the funny thing is wrapping your fingers around a steering wheel is a large part of the P/T ! hahaha

But the readymixers are bigger than road trucks. They are pseudo pieces of heavy equipment. They are higher up than road trucks. The steer tires are massive. The Cat engine is a howler!! And they are a kick to drive!

Don't listen to your Dad. You're the one driving your life, not him. ^-^

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Little Debby 's Comment
member avatar

Footnote: Why I'm Local/ I'm doing local readymix because my sons' father found out last Nov he has terminal cancer and I felt it was a good idea to stay local for 2014. But we just learned today he's been upgraded from 'terminal' to 'living with cancer'. My sons moved back in with him to help with the transition to the end but that's all changed now. So once my sons move back out for new jobs and such, I'll probably try to work 11 western or maybe work temporary out of state construction projects for Knife River. The possibilities are endless. :)

Cheers!

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

ColeTrucker's Comment
member avatar

Hey Debby,

Thanks for sharing this info on readymix. Who knew? I never even thought about it but, it is good to know and thanks for sharing. I am learning that my options for local are wide open when I am ready.Sweet!

In ref to your son's father....prayers abound for health and strength.

Little Debby 's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for your prayers Cole! And good luck with the starter job! The main thing is, we ladies want to do what makes us happy. We have a right to be happy. We choose this because we dig it. There is so much work available out there now it's amazing. Just as an example, please see www.kniferiver.com click on careers, type 'driver' into the search. watch what comes up across the USA....

Cheers!

debby

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Boots&Bludog's Comment
member avatar

Good morning!

OK, to start wow I am happy to hear you still have your fingers! Is it normal to pre-trip with the truck running? So far at school the truck is always off.

Hear in Reno, NV our cement trucks are seasonal as well. Usually I embrace seasonal coming from the horticulture industry. I've got a plethora of projects normally lined up for the winter months when the work hours are slim. However with the economy tanking and the wages with it I no longer find it financially feasible to continue in this field. So along comes the idea to get back into Logistics and this time as a driver.

My first inclination was to stay local with the rock hauling jobs. After talking with a few OTR drivers and gleaning on this site I think it would behoove me to get in that golden "year" I hear of. Staying with the same company and getting the experience that will lead to more opportunities for me is what I need. Seeing your post Debby reminds me of that first inclination and has given me a clearer picture of the physical side of what to expect. So far I think I could do it and like the being physical part but as a 5'2" lightweight I have to be realistic too.

As far as my so called "handicap" for the record that was mostly my fathers negative way of making a big deal out of something I've already addressed and conquered. For now I will keep it off the record publically but anyone who wants more details on that is welcome to PM me. Thank you Debby for the congrats on my success with the above. :-)

I really admire your spunk with your driving and employment record Debby. It is very reassuring to me to see all of the women drivers post on here and the support they offer to us newbies. Sometimes as a female of middle age I tend to have my doubts about my decision and then along comes the positive threads and I feel better. Thankfully the folks at my school are also very encouraging. As has been mentioned the possibilities are endless and I plan to keep an open mind for the decisions I will be making here soon.

I really congratulate your decision to stay local for your son and his father. Cancer really has a mind of it's own and for the survivors that support is everything. Also for the family of survivors support is everything. Never forget to take care of your feelings while going thru this as well Debby. You are a strong woman to have made the decision to stick around and deserve a whole bunch of kudos for it! :-)

Happy Memorial day/weekend, Boots

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Starcar's Comment
member avatar

I really like this thread, since I have not driven aggregate anything...But I'll tell ya up front...if I was gonna work that hard...I'd be on the oil fields makin' that big money...21 on and 7 off...and the pay... OMG....yup...I'd be there for sure...

Little Debby 's Comment
member avatar

Ohhhhh,,,,...no. Nope. Nooooo no no no no no. Never heard anything good about the Bakken.

Take a look

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vevLz332k1o

Starcar's Comment
member avatar

I don't know....a job can be what you make of it....and when its big money, sometimes its worth it...I've done big money work...and you usually pay with your pound of flesh....but were I 20 years younger...my bum would be in a seat in a truck haulin' whatever they wanted me to haul for that kinda money...I'm used to hard work and hard working conditions...

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