How do you veterans do it?

jason2

PlowSite.com Veteran
This is my first year plowing. I sub for a contractor 40 miles away. I live in a rural area that's in a snowbelt. While 40 miles away where I sub get's a lot less snow.

This afternoon we got about an inch where I live, so I assumed that 40 miles away they probably just got flurries. Should have checked I guess.

Stayed up late. Sure enough an hour after I go to bed, the phone rings. Contractor wants me to come down and plow. Fire up the truck, take the hour drive south. Plow for a few hours. Drive an hour back home. Really want to go to sleep. But have to get back in the truck and go to my day job in another hour.

I'm exhausted. :) Don't know how you vet's do it. But so far I do love it.
 

John DiMartino

PlowSite.com Veteran
Location
Walden,NY
After 30-40 hrs in the truck during blizzards,I start getting out every hr or so,just to stay awake and keep from getting zoned out.By 50 hrs I am very tired.Get used to it,its part of the job ,you gotta work when mother nature says.
 

GeoffD

PlowSite.com Veteran
Its all part of the job.

Up to this year we used to run non stop from start till finish.

However this year drivers and shovelers will be required to take breaks. Equipment oprators must also take breaks however for them it won't be easy to find a place. I don't care if we have to take a 1 hour break. I would rather get the job done safely then have someone get hurt because of a tired opperator.

Geoff
 

Alan

PlowSite.com Addict
Two years ago I was on the tail end of about a 20 hour session, doing one of our bigger lots. Wide open area, I was just hammering back and forth, the dark watch, just before dawn. All of a sudden, in the middle of one reverse run, I didn't know where I was! Total blank, flat line, no discernable brain function. Pounded the brakes, sat there a minute until I "came to", got out and took a walk around the lot.

Another time I was doing a sand run to one of the few sites that calls for sand specifically. Got there well before they opened, it was all done snowing, so I took a nap in the truck before I spread sand. Must have had a dream, because all of a sudden I was wide awake, white knuckles on the wheel and trying to shove the brake pedal through the floor.

Now we've started taking off for a few hours for sleep. Less dangerous and I think it's as productive as trying to play The Iron Man and make a marathon out of it. I find that a shower and about 4 hours sleep will tune me back up for a long time behind the wheel again.

John, you shut down for a period every night as well, don't you?
 

John Allin

PlowSite.com Addict
Location
Erie, PA
Yup. We send everybody home between 7PM and Midnight. Customers know it, and those retails that we know will call get plowed a second time about 5 PM to avoid the "call out" at 8 PM. Mandatory that everyone go home and sleep - and around here that's exactly what they do.

We had to do something about 7 years ago when we went 62 days in a row, got 2 days off and then went another 24 days in a row. So, we came up with the 5 hour period that we normally don't need any services provided.

We now usually have someone in Dispatch to tell customers that no one is out right now, and that we'll take care of it after midnight.

Now... in a 36" storm that system doesn't quite work, but we do "shift" the subs so that they can get some rest - and we do have a number of guys that sleep on the floors of our offices so that they know we will wake them up at Midnight (when we go long periods of plowing every day).

Killing these guys doesn't get us much. After a few days the wives get cranky and want them to sleep (and that is just plain good sense).

It works for us...
 

matthew Urban

Senior Member
Location
Western Mass
I recall, on more than one night, grabbing a few hours sleep on the first piece of furniture that presented it self, comming in the office door.
Of coarse, that was a few years ago when we had a winter. Last winter we only plowed 4 times.
This year, Still waiting.
 

Charles

Moderator, Friend, Angel
Alan, thats why DOT requires sleepers on trucks. When you sleep in the drivers seat over even lay across the seat. If you have been driving a long while. You never completly rest. Part of you is still driving in your dreams. I use to drive a truck long haul. The truck didnt have a sleeper. I would do the same thing you did. Jump up in my sleep, grab the steering wheel, stomp on the breaks. Heart racing like you are going to have a heart attack. Never park facing traffic either. Just makes it worse. Or you have dreams that you are driving while you are asleep and you cant keep your eyes open and you are going off the side of a cliff or hitting someone head on and theres nothing you can do about it. To get complete rest you have to get out of the driving area.
 

klc

Junior Member
TRY TO TAKE ON AS MUCH WORK AS YOU CAN HANDLE DONT OVERLOAD TRY TO FIGURE OUT THE AVERAGE AMOUNTS OF SNOW YOUR TOWN GETS USE THAT AS WHAT YOU LIVE OF THE REST IS GRAVEY
SNOW IN NOT GUARENTED SUMMER IS MAY BE GET A PART TIME WINTER JOB TO HELP PAY THE BILLS
 

Mudrtrukr79

Junior Member
Accesorize

I installed an AM-FM Casette deck in my DPW truck, and listen to a few "driving tapes " consisting of mostly loud , obnoxiuos music, and an extra large drink holder mounted to my spreader controls that holds a thermos of coffee, this usually gets me thru most days ,when all else fails I just pull over and take a nap!!!!

Dan
 
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