An Unusual Job

One of the most unusual jobs that I have ever had was driving a 180-ton truck in an open-pit copper mine. This was a summer job while I was studying at university for a Masters Degree.

The trucks were so large that the drivers had to climb up ladders to get to the drivers' cabs.

There were three areas that were important for the drivers. The first place was the bottom of the pit, where the trucks were loaded with rock by huge shovels. While they were waiting, the drivers had nothing to do. It was too dangerous to get out of the trucks, so they just sat and waited in a line until they could be loaded. They usually read a lot of books.

Then, depending on what they had picked up, they drove out of the pit to the dump with rock that had no ore or to the smelter if the rock had a lot of copper ore in it. The drive in or out of the pit was slow and often took 20 minutes. The driving was not very exciting as there was little traffic on the roads other than other ore trucks. There was nothing to look at except the walls of the pit.

Most of the time, the work was tedious and there was little to relieve the boredom. The drivers stayed in their trucks for 12 hours at a time and rarely spoke to each other; however, the mine was far from the city, and, at night, the sky was so clear that you could see millions of stars. Sometimes, there were deer and eagles near the dump.

The main advantages of this job were that it wasn't physically hard and the pay was excellent.

From The Life and Times of Mark Brown: An Autobiography