January driver of the month – Jason Garskey, FKD Contracting (Alta) Ltd.
My name is Jason Garskey. I have been a professional driver for over 18 years. I am employed with FKD Contracting (Alta) Ltd. as company driver. FKD specializes in the transportation of dangerous goods to remote locations. This requires an elite class of drivers. I specifically haul mine-grade explosives. Without getting into regulations, and tickets/courses we are required to have, here is a brief look at my day-to-day operations.
When I arrive at work at FKD in High River, I go in to talk with my supervisor to find out the things going on that day, how the mines are and what the schedule might be for the day. My supervisor advises me of road conditions from information he has gathered from other drivers.
I go to my unit and complete a pre-trip inspection – then, go into the shop and complete my paperwork for the day. Then I drive half an hour to the Orica plant in Blackie. I put on my PPE and sign in at the plant. I go pick up the trailer at the back of the property and complete a pre-trip inspection on the trailer. I then have my Orica paperwork to complete; this consists of Bill of Lading, my personal driver information and certificates – this paperwork must be completed for each load. Then I head back to the gate and must sign out, take off my PPE, and update my logbook before departure. From Orica, it is 1,137 kilometres to my delivery point in Tumbler Ridge, BC at Perry Mine.
From here, I have five scales to cross:
- Aldersyde (not always manned)
- Balzac, Alberta
- Whitecourt, Alberta
- Demmitt, Alberta
- Pouce Coupe, BC
- Fuel in Dawson Creek, BC
Once I leave Dawson Creek, I am about 150 kilometres from the Perry Creek Mine. I drive onto Highway 97 and then turn onto Highway 52. This is not a road for novice drivers, this road has no shoulders and steep inclines and declines.
Once I am in Tumbler Ridge, I turn onto a logging road where a judgement call needs to be make whether to throw on a set or two of chains in order to proceed the 14 kilometres to the mine site. I must call each mile marker on the way to ensure safe passing of other vehicles. I have special permission to take the back way in to the Orica site, which saves about an hour driving time both directions.
Once I hit the second gate, I complete my post trip and my job is done for the night.
In the morning I open the gate, put on my PPE and go into the office to sign in. Then I call security to inform them that Jason Garskey, with FKD, is on site. Then I talk to the Orica supervisor to clarify that there is enough room in the silo to load off. Once I am cleared to offload, I pull around to the silo, do a walk around of the silo and pump shack, checking all hoses and connections, making sure all valves are in the right position. Once that is complete, I hook up the hose, open the value to the pump, and open up the external and internal valves on the trailer. Then I start the pump. Once the pump is started and product is flowing, I go the top of the trailer and open the hatch. It takes 45 minutes – one hour to offload. During this time, I clean and tidy the area around the pump house as this primarily FKD’s work area at this mine, therefore I take responsibility to keep this workplace clean. I also walk around to monitor that the offloading is continuing in a smooth and safe manner.
Once I am offloaded, I call security to sign out. Then I sign out in the office and head back the 14 kilometres on the logging road to the pavement. I then call my supervisor to let him know that the load was successfully delivered and I am safely back on the road heading home.
This is just a brief description of my most common trip, as I have been oriented at multiple locations, and I do work out of our FKD McLeese Lake, BC location as needed. As a driver with FKD, I have the ability to perform any task on any equipment that FKD may need or require.