Working as a Dump Truck Operator: It’s Not as Easy as You Might Think!

I have helped people get into their “dream job” mining and some people only last a few months and quit. A lot of time and money wasted. They hear about all the big money and the consecutive days off and think they can do that.

What you don’t hear, is how you’re sitting in your camp room and you’re missing the whole family, who are at your mothers 60th birthday party, your sons footy games, your daughters debutant ball, graduations, first steps, first words, friends birthday. You don’t get put into friends plans anymore because they never know if you’re home or not, you actually lose people close to you because you’re never around. That’s just the personal stuff.

Getting under a loading unit is an art and you will get abuse from loading unit operators if you keep getting it wrong.

Then you get the work side of things. You get out of bed, dress, eat, off to work, 13-14hrs later, shower, eat, bed. Up to 21days in a row, dayss and nights. You spend 12.5 hours a day listening to a radio squaking allllll day, voices but no faces, it’s a bit like a school yard most of the time.

You have your clicky groups, you have your bullies, the clowns, the serious, the very smart, the elite and the dumb asses. You will have the ones giving you wrong advice but believe they know it all. Oh and don’t forget the cranky bastards who think you should know it all before you start. You will have people you don’t get along with and have to speak with them every day.

Sounds Easy…

Then you get to do some work as well. Driving a truck around in circles, sound easy but believe me, it’s a lot harder than you think. Getting under a loading unit for a start is an art and you WILL cop abuse from loading unit operators if you keep getting it wrong. In these big machines, a meter seems like an inch to a truck operator bit it’s a mile to the loader, and the angles, 45, 90, reverse 45, back hand 90. This is just to get dirt in the truck.

Then off to the dump you go, this could be a hundred meters away or 20kms. Dodging light vehicles, water carts, graders, other trucks, concentrating on what everyone else is doing as well as your own. You don’t hurt people in these machines, you kill them.

Then you get to the dump. Bring on the next lot of abuse. If you can’t get this part right, you’re going to make this operators day a lot harder. Pretty standard, back up square, touch the bunds, dump the load, tub down head back to the dig unit.

This takes a lot of practice and you will stuff it up and the dozer jockey will give you a mouthful on the radio for everyone to hear. Some days you could do this trip 100 times, some days 5 times depending on distance to the dump.

This is where your have to keep yourself awake and alert. Think of it this way, jump in your car, drive at 50kmph west for 4hrs, 30 min break, drive another 4hrs, 30min break, then drive another 4hrs still at 50kmhr. You should be 600km away from start point. Eat, sleep, eat, drive again doing return trip. That would be equivalent of 2 days mining.

Think of doing that exact trip 7 times (14 days)in a row then you get to spend a day getting home for 6 days off and spend a day getting back to work……

So if you’re thin skinned, can’t take criticism , don’t like constant repetition (you lose days in this industry), missing out on life in general, not forgetting that when you get home, all your friends still have to work, so no socialising until evening or weekends. You need to be happy in your own company….

Source Facebook