1. Thank you for visiting HeavyEquipmentForums.com! Our objective is to provide industry professionals a place to gather to exchange questions, answers and ideas. We welcome you to register using the "Register" icon at the top of the page. We'd appreciate any help you can offer in spreading the word of our new site. The more members that join, the bigger resource for all to enjoy. Thank you!
  2. ALL NEW MEMBERS READ THIS FIRST!! Thank you for joining Heavy Equipment Forums! If you are new to forums we communicate with "Threads", please search our threads to see if your topic may have already been answered and if not then click "Post New Thread" in the appropriate forum. This will allow all of our members to see your question and give you the best chance to be answered. After you've made a number of posts you will graduate to Full Member status where you'll see a few more privileges. Following these guidelines will help make this the best resource for heavy equipment on the net. Thanks for joining us and I hope you enjoy your stay!!

How do you deal with night shift?

Discussion in 'General Industry Questions' started by Kiwi-truckwit, Oct 31, 2017.

  1. Kiwi-truckwit

    Kiwi-truckwit Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2016
    Messages:
    242
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Long night tonight. 0230hrs and no lifts yet. Looking doubtful that there will be one at all. The forums are keeping me occupied.
     
  2. Birken Vogt

    Birken Vogt Charter Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    Messages:
    3,006
    Location:
    Grass Valley, Ca
    Are you getting paid night differential or something?
     
  3. Kiwi-truckwit

    Kiwi-truckwit Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2016
    Messages:
    242
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Nope, normal rate. Just this client requires a crane around the clock, and I drew the short straw
     
  4. JPSouth

    JPSouth Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2016
    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    SW Montana
    I worked a lot of nights at several different jobs, sometimes days that turned into nights and back into another long day again. Coffee nips, sunflower seeds and got real good at 5 minute catnaps - those were the real savior. I never did get used to it, some guys were more natural night owls and did better. I pretty much drew the line a few years ago after seeing far too many accidents happen at night that most likely wouldn't have during the day, part for visibility, part for humans needing sleep rather than work in the wee hours - not worth the $$, impact to my health, plus having to push out yet more time to cover for injuries and/or lost time. I was always catching cold/flu/etc. when otherwise I rarely get sick working even super-long day stretches. I can push into the night and mostly be fine, it's the getting up at 11p. or midnight and heading into a 14 or 16 hour shift that's tough.

    Good luck pushing this duty out, if you can somehow keep physically busy helping out around the jobsite the time will pass easier.
     
  5. Kiwi-truckwit

    Kiwi-truckwit Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2016
    Messages:
    242
    Location:
    New Zealand
    It always amazes me how an international company such as our client promotes safety above all else, yet allows such work to be carried out at night, for the reasons you listed JPSouth. There's working at heights, heavy/critical crane lifts (including many boom strike hazards) welding, grinding, confined space access, all in the presence of heavy machinery, flammable and toxic liquids, acids, etc. It's hazardous enough in the daytime, let alone running throughout the night. Safety is always number 2 to production, and number 3 to cost.
     
  6. JPSouth

    JPSouth Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2016
    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    SW Montana
    Before becoming self-employed, my last 15 years in the heavy construction industry was working for a large company that constantly stressed safety, but mostly in the sense that you had installed on your person a hard hat, safety glasses, steel toes and hi-vis PPE. Preferably memorizing the company safety manual on your off hours. I saw a pile of incidents get blamed on employees who weren't necessarily doing anything wrong, but mostly fatigued to the point of being punchy. Any some of those were not night-time, but just way long hours. People who put in normal work patterns have a hard time seeing how long hours and lack of sleep causes some pretty bad behavior. Were I a snitch, I could lay bare some industry practices that'd curl your hair, and I expect you could, too. After 35 years of goofy sleep patterns went by the board a year and change ago, my wife says I'm a considerably different person now, getting a more normal 6-7 hours a night.
     
  7. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2010
    Messages:
    6,941
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Hermann, Missouri
    Ought to try my last gig's hours. Worked a six section rotating shift 12/8 hour mixed schedule.

    Week one: 5 days 8 hour 7-3 eligible for +4hr overtime to 72 total or an 8 hour double two times, Second Week: MTW 12 hour Days 6:50-7p, 48 hours off, in FSSM 12 hour nights 6:50=7a, Week three: had SM from last shift then five scheduled days off, Week four: MTWT 8 hour days eligible OT +4hr OT prior to or after shift, can pull two doubles either end, in the week all previous off days eligible for any shift then six days off after and same conditions, Week five: TFSS 12 hour days, a 48 hour turn around and Week Six: WTF 12 hour nights with basically a Friday morning off until Monday to start all over. Night shifts start 7pm day before the shown scheduled day.

    Refueling outages we worked 4 12s straight days or nights beginning to end the longest 67 days on schedule.

    Some weeks I could swear I passed myself going to or coming back from work. Sleep, is that really a necessity?? Did that schedule and a rolling 8 hour five section early in my career.
     
  8. Kiwi-truckwit

    Kiwi-truckwit Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2016
    Messages:
    242
    Location:
    New Zealand
    That sounds absolutely terrible! Hard on the body too, for sure.
     
  9. 92U 3406

    92U 3406 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2017
    Messages:
    1,301
    Occupation:
    Professional Wrench Spinner
    Location:
    Canuckistan
    I did a lot of nights a couple years ago. Biggest thing for me was forcing myself to stay awake until 10:00am. If I went straight to sleep at 8:00am when I got home, I'd be up at 2:30pm. If I went to bed at 10:00am I'd sleep until 5:00pm. Waking up that 2-3 hours later made a world of difference for me. I would catch a quick 20 minute nap during my midnight break too.
     
  10. PJ The Kid

    PJ The Kid Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2016
    Messages:
    230
    Occupation:
    Mechanic
    Location:
    KC
    Working the shop nights, I hat a wall around 0300 to 0330, have to keep myself busy. End up making a lot of pig tails, pre-packing skid caster bearings for the plows, anything we use a lot of that is time consuming usually get done about that time as it turns to get moving or pass out.
     
    DMiller likes this.
  11. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2010
    Messages:
    6,941
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Hermann, Missouri
    Under the management I worked and rules of Nuclear power not Allowed to nap, not even for a moment. That as while walking by the Resident NRC inspectors office he had his feet on his desk 'DEEP' into a daytime nap that he explained away as just a momentary lapse NOT sleeping. Hmmm, double standard jackaxx. And he ONLY worked 8 hour days M-F.

    I know that pre-dawn wall really well, hard to overcome most days.
     
  12. Kiwi-truckwit

    Kiwi-truckwit Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2016
    Messages:
    242
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Night three is all but over, and I haven't even started the crane. On the plus side, I did manage to get in a little nap while everyone was on break, and felt much better after it. Hopefully tonights shift will see a little more action
     
    JPSouth likes this.
  13. Spangles

    Spangles Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2012
    Messages:
    109
    Location:
    Uk
    Drink plenty of water. preferably cold water. That's what helped me to keep awake all night.
     
  14. JD955SC

    JD955SC Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2011
    Messages:
    435
    Location:
    The South
    Melatonin might help you sleep. Doesn't work for everybody though. For me it's almost as good as taking a unisom.
     
  15. Kiwi-truckwit

    Kiwi-truckwit Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2016
    Messages:
    242
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Here we are, halfway through night 6, and it hasn't been as bad as I was expecting. Hit a wall around night 3, had a midnight nap and have been slowly adjusting from there.
    The hardest part has been that I haven't exactly been rushed off my feet... Only a lift or 2 each night, if that. It makes for a long shift. Sleeping pretty well though, was so dead to the world that I didn't wake when the cat brought in a bird, nor when my other half crawled into bed beside me for a Sunday afternoon nap!
     
  16. Dozerboy

    Dozerboy Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Messages:
    2,205
    Occupation:
    Operator
    Location:
    TX
    Man very few guys get run out of plants for sleeping at night. I can barely stay awake during the day with the slow pace of work at industrial sites. You’ve already gotten some great tips though.

    I won’t do night work anymore though it’s just not worth it to me.

    You ask why they do work at nights get to know some of the people that operate the plant. Ask them what kind of money the place generates you’re know exactly why they work 24 hours a day at that place. Some of these bigger places generate millions of dollars a minute with the chemicals they produce. Therefore you get the place up and running as fast as possible when it’s shutdown.
     
  17. Kiwi-truckwit

    Kiwi-truckwit Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2016
    Messages:
    242
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Well, I got through unscathed. Unfortunately, one of my first jobs back on normal hours was dealing with the aftermath of a truck driver who wasn't so lucky. 50 ton of truck and trailer upside down in a river after falling asleep. Luckily, he walked out, but the dangers of night shift are clear.
     
    DMiller likes this.
  18. old-iron-habit

    old-iron-habit Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    Messages:
    3,732
    Occupation:
    Retired Cons't. Supt./Hospitals
    Location:
    Moose Lake, MN
    I was the master of setting in my desk with my feet up. It became automatic when I was on the phone. When my boss said it didn't look good I told him. "Look at the size of my feet. I need them up to get some blood flowing to my head so I can think". Actually it helped keep the nerve pain down the last number of years.
     
    DMiller likes this.
  19. mitch504

    mitch504 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2010
    Messages:
    4,280
    Location:
    Andrews SC
    That's a good answer, but, you should have claimed it as an ADA accommodation. They'd have bought you a custom pillow for the corner of the desk. ;)
     
    DMiller likes this.
  20. pridesculling

    pridesculling New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2017
    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Philippines
    I guess, its really difficult but a person must be able to train his own mind and body so that it will become a regular or natural pattern.