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Day in the Life of a Used Cooking Oil Pickup Driver
At Mahoney Environmental, we are committed to ensuring that all used cooking oil (UCO) from our clients is picked up in a timely manner and transported to a facility for recycling. Our regular UCO pickups help foodservice businesses create a safer and more efficient working environment and protect the natural environment. We wouldn’t be able to provide this important service if it wasn’t for our dedicated truck drivers.
Foodservice businesses that are part of our UCO pickup and recycling program get regular visits from our truck drivers who load the UCO into their trucks to be taken to our facility for recycling. Our truck drivers are properly licensed and trained to drive tanker trucks and safely load and unload the UCO. Since they are such an important part of our team, we are going to explore a day in the life of a used cooking oil pickup driver and discuss their main responsibilities.
What are the Main Responsibilities of a Used Cooking Oil Pickup Driver?
To put it simply, UCO pickup drivers’ main responsibility is to collect the UCO from the clients on their route. Each driver is given a route at the beginning of their shift, and they make sure to reach every stop and collect the used cooking oil. These shifts usually start between midnight and 3am, so the pickups can be done while restaurants are closed.
Our truck drivers will load the UCO into their trucks either by lifting the tanks and emptying them into the trucks or by using a vacuum pump to pump the UCO into the trucks. The amount of UCO collected from each of our clients is documented and they will receive a copy of the report for their records. After completing the stops on the route, the truck drivers return to the yard with the UCO.
Picking up the used cooking oil is an important service. Our truck drivers are trained to safely transfer the UCO from the storage tanks to their trucks without causing a spill that can be dangerous and damaging to the natural environment.
A Day in the Life
To better understand the job of a used cooking oil pickup driver, we talked to the drivers themselves. Paul Longfellow and Mark Reed are used cooking oil drivers, and they answered the following questions to provide more insight into a day in the life of a UCO pickup truck driver. (Answers have been edited for clarity.)
What does a regular workday look like for you?
Paul Longfellow: A driver’s job basically entails going to bed very early the night before to wake up to start your shift somewhere shortly after midnight. We are required to be outdoors in all-weather types. A driver will normally have very long days of at least 10 to 12 hours or more.
Mark Reed: A typical workday for me begins the night before by ensuring that I am well rested and prepared for the workday. I arrive to the yard at approximately 2-3 a.m. I certify logs from the previous workday and preform a pre-trip examination of my assigned trailer and tractor.
How do you prepare for your workday?
PL: We arrive at the workplace; we collect our routes and go through our routes to put them in an order that will be most efficient and allow us to service the customers first that need an earlier pick up.
MR: I double check I have all the tools necessary to get me through the workday.
How are you routed to different customers?
PL: Our routes are put together by the logistics team and our department managers. For the bulk department, most routes are based on three-week intervals. We do have some stops that are picked up weekly, but we also have some stops that are picked up annually.
MR: The routes are put together collectively by the logistics team as well as the manager. They review the route trip to make sure we can work efficiently between stops and collect a good amount of oil but stay within the legal weight load limit.
How to do transfer used oil to the trucks?
PL: For the bulk department, we could pick up UCO in two different ways. One of which is we can connect the chains and turnbuckles to the tank and lift them up, possibly heating them in our hot water tanks and then dumping them and returning them to the ground. We also have a vacuum pump that we can use to pump the tanks out. Many of the drivers also service our pump stops where we have a port on the wall of the restaurant where we attach our hose to empty the indoor tank.
MR: We utilize our chains to pick up the tank and dump the oil into the trailer. If for some reason the tank is not able to be moved, we use the hoses attached to the trailer to pump oil out for collection.
How do you finish your day?
PL: We finish up the day by hopefully completing a route or collecting an appropriate amount of weight that still allows us to be under the legal load limits and drive the trucks back into the yard.
What’s your favorite part about being a Mahoney truck driver?
PL: I would most definitely say a few of the items that are the best part about being a driver for Mahoney would be job security, the 401(k) program that they have for the drivers, and the recent generous raise that we were given.
MR: Mahoney has many benefits for its employees including a 401k program, insurance benefits, and great pay rate. I enjoy being part of the team.
Career as a Mahoney Truck Driver
Working for Mahoney as a UCO truck driver is a great career opportunity. If you are interested in this career path, the following are the requirements of the job:
- You need a valid CDL A or CDL B license with Tanker Endorsement (or willing to get) with Air Brake Endorsement.
- DOT certified medical card.
- Good driving record. Safety risk rating within Mahoney acceptable standards.
- Ability to drive manual shift (no restrictions) with 8- and/or 10-speed transmissions.
- Ability to drive automatic transmission and use of PTO.
- Sitting 50% of the time.
- Handling 2″ and 3″ hoses while pumping grease.
- The ability to lift, push, or pull 100 lbs. on a repetitive basis.
All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to the individual’s race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability, genetic information, status as a military veteran, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.
Are you interested in working with Mahoney? Check out our career page.
Used Cooking Oil Pickup and Recycling from Mahoney
Our UCO pickup truck drivers are a very important part of our team at Mahoney as they collect the used cooking oil from our clients so that we can take it for recycling. Driving for Mahoney is also a great career opportunity for those that have a CDL license and experience with commercial driving.
Whether you are interested in a career or need regular used cooking oil pickup services for your restaurant, call Mahoney at (800) 892-9392 to learn more. We are proud to serve food establishments across the country, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle, Washington DC and the surrounding areas.