Interview with Rheta White, Loader Operator at Texas Materials

Rheta White has had quite a career in the construction industry, and in mining before that. Learn what brought her to this line of work and what drivers her passion for the job.


Hi, my name is Rheta White. I am a loader operator at Texas Materials. I stack and load rocks, materials on the trucks, assist unloading trains. Day-to-day basis, take care of the yard and keep things clean and picked up. I’ve been working here about probably two-and-a-half years. I came from working for Aluminate Mine. I worked 21 years as a coal miner, so I have been actually running equipment, probably three-quarters of my life. So I run all kinds of dozers, backhoes, track hoes. And I joy running loaders, it’s always been something I’ve enjoyed doing.

My granddad owned his own business so I was always drawn to heavy equipment. And when I was very young, about four years old, I used to go to work and help him a little bit, and he’d let me ride around on the dozers all day long. Or if we was out combining… And he also had a custom harvesting business so he went around on custom harvesting. I always enjoyed going and riding on the columbines, and stuff, with him.

Yeah. The mines shut down and I was looking for a place to go, and I found Texas Materials. And I’ve enjoyed working here, the people are very friendly. Everybody is very attentive about if there’s something that needs to be taken care of, it seems like it gets handled. Finding somebody to be open with you, and help you a little bit, and give you just a little bit of hints and tips. Some supervisors and stuff like that would be always… was very resourceful to talk to. They can advise you on which way is the best way to approach whatever task that they are asking you to do.

Being safety conscious and stuff, I’ve always kind of been aware of my surroundings, and things like that. It’s just been something that knowing that there’s other people you’re [inaudible 00:02:01] home, you want to make sure that they go home in the same shape that they came to work in.

Keeping three point contact is a must, because you can lose your balance. And you think you’re very stable and it’s just a split second and you can lose your balance and possibly lose your life. When you’re out maneuvering and unloading vehicles or loading trucks, you need to make sure to remind yourself to take your time and don’t get in a hurry. A lot of people have a tendency to get in a huge hurry and do not realize that there’s other people that’s come in the work area and you might not have noticed it, being in a hurry. So to slow down, take your time, and make sure you’re making the right moves.



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