A day in the life of a professional construction truck owner/driver (May 01, 2010)

by Ron Singer

-The following is the conclusion of a two-part look at a day in the life of a professional construction truck driver:

When entering the load site, the professional driver notices that a truck ahead of him has left the load site with his trailer gate open.

The professional driver calls out to the driver on his CB radio and advises him to stop and close his gate.

Unfortunately, the driver is not listening. He is talking on his cell phone and has failed to clean off his sideboards after loading.

He leaves the load site and travels all the way to the dump site, spilling wet sticky material all the way without noticing. When the professional driver arrives at the load site, he is stopped by the site supervisor and asked who is spilling material?

The professional indicates to the supervisor where the wet, sticky material has spilled so he can dispatch a crew to clean up the mess.

After loading, the professional driver observes the DoT has set up an inspection as a result of the spilled material on the roadway.

A DoT officer pulls the professional over to check his licence, registration, brake travel and weights.

The officer asks if the professional knows about the spilled material and he advised him the contractor has dispatched a cleanup crew and will be sending the driver who caused the mess home.

After getting a CVSA sticker for passing the Level 1 inspection, the professional driver proceeds to the dump site.

When he returns to the load site, the trucks are backed up because of a loading delay.

The message is passed onto the other trucks on the job so they don’t all bunch up at the load site.

Now there is time to grab a bite of that healthy lunch.

Most contractors don’t allow drivers to stop for a lunch or coffee break, so the professional driver grabs a bite to eat when he gets the chance.

After dumping, the professional driver needs to clean his boxes.

It is important to keep the boxes as clean as possible to prevent the product build-up in the box and to prevent contamination. The professional drivers alternate cleaning out their boxes so the trucks don’t pile up at the dump site.

It is important to space out at the load site, dump site and along the haul route.

The professional driver will do several in-route inspections with his boxes up in the clean-out area. He checks his duals for rocks, hammer-checks his tires, and checks to ensure his wheel nuts are tight and threads are even on all studs.

He keeps the boxes up so he can observe the driveline, check for fluid leaks, etc.

Professional drivers don’t travel with their boxes in the air because it’s extremely hard on the equipment and could tear down power lines, creating a life-threatening condition.

The professional driver is now headed back to the load site for the final load of the day.

He is communicating with the drivers to ensure they charge the proper hours and travel time. They give a friendly nod and wave to the operators, drivers and crew.

The professional driver leaves the job site to proceed to the fuel stop for his daily fueling and equipment check. The professional always fuels at the end of the day, checks fluid levels, hammer-checks the tires, checks the wheel nuts for tightness and again checks the threads on the wheel studs. He cleans his windshield, mirrors, headlights, tail lights, signal lights and brake lights.

He fuels at the end of the day so he doesn’t leave it to the morning and risk being late at the job site.

The contractor expects you to be on the job on time and the professional driver always shows up on time.

After fueling and checking his truck, he proceeds back to the yard. He then does the most important vehicle inspection of the day -the post-trip.

He completes all the relevant paperwork and stops by the shop to discuss the post-trip with the mechanic to ensure there are no misunderstandings.

The professional driver always greets his peers and wishes them a good night. He has now completed a 12-hour day. He struggles through rush hour traffic to get home to his family. It takes twice as long to get home as it took to get to work.

When he pulls into the driveway, the professional driver is greeted by his wife and kids. Just another day’s work as a professional driver in the construction truck industry.

-Ron Singer is owner of Ron Singer Truck Lines and president of the Alberta Construction Trucking Association. He can be reached at 403-244-4487 or by e-mail at ronsing@telus.net.ACTA’s Web site is www.myacta.ca.

Have your say

This is a moderated forum. Comments will no longer be published unless they are accompanied by a first and last name and a verifiable email address. (Today's Trucking will not publish or share the email address.) Profane language and content deemed to be libelous, racist, or threatening in nature will not be published under any circumstances.