One of the greatest things about a career as a truck driver is that there are endless possibilities to find something you love doing every day. While most people think about long distance haulage when they talk about ruck driving, there are many other options, and one that really is very different is cement truck driving.
Driving a cement truck, often known as a ready mixer, requires high levels of driving skill, as does any truck driving position, but it also adds in the responsibility for the material itself, managing the mix and pouring the material at the site. That takes an extra set of skills, understanding how the mix reacts over time so that the truck leaves the yard with the right slump, that is the consistency of the material mix.
Because the driver also controls the unloading, or pouring of the material on site, the cement truck driver has a very different work day than almost any other truck driver out there, so what is involved in a cement ruck run?
At the depot, the cement truck is loaded up with the mix, and the driver needs to make sure it is the right constancy to be pourable when they arrive on site. This means working with the batchman, who prepares the mix and oversees loading, to add more water if necessary, adjusting the load before leaving. Once out on the road, the truck is a little top heavy, and the main object is to get to the site quickly and maintain the mix.
At the site, unloading is a much more hands on experience than many truck drivers are used to. On large sites, where multiple trucks are pouring their loads, this can be straightforward with plenty of space to get into position and pour, the biggest challenge is often the mud. However, for small sites, such as a basement floor project or similar, then precision driving to get the truck into position without damaging the support walls or shuttering and so on is required. In many of these jobs, accurate pouring is a skill in its own right.
With loads going to all kinds of sites every day, for cement truck drivers, every day is completely different. With each site offering new challenges, and with working with new people to get the job completed, its never going to be boring driving a cement truck. But, some may say that is a lot of extra work, and it can be a physically demanding job too, both in terms of the pour and checking mixes in the depot, climbing the ladders to check the mix a couple of times per load is as good as a gym membership!
There are advantages though, that variety keeps your enthusiasm going, and because of the nature of the material, there are no long hauls, you can be in your own bed every night. It’s a different experience, but cement truck driving really can be a rewarding one.