“I am human, and humans make mistakes, but that is not going to stop me from trying to perfect the process”

posted on Friday, October 21, 2016

“I am human, and humans make mistakes, but that is not going to stop me from trying to perfect the process,” said Kiley Cook, Truckwash Assistant at the Ponderosa Truck Wash located near Thayer. Kiley is referring to the accountability he has for making sure the trucks get cleaned, sanitized and “baked”—all in an effort to remove all organic material, bacteria or viruses from our trucks and trailers.

Born and raised in Osceola, Iowa, Kiley played football in high school and received a scholarship from Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls. He played left offensive tackle while obtaining a degree in psychology. He returned to Weldon to start a family and worked various jobs until an Iowa Select Farms truck driver referred Kiley to his current position last August. “I’ve had a few different jobs over the years,” said Kiley. “I really like everything Iowa Select Farms does for their employees, like being able to take my wife and three children to the Iowa State Fair and Adventureland.”

Kiley oversees the wash dedicated to the semi-trucks and trailers and goosenecks used by the southern Iowa transportation team. Most of the drivers Kiley works with get on the road early to load weaned pigs at nearby sow farms (Sow 15-22; Sow 28) and then transport the pigs up to nurseries and wean-to-finish farms a few hours north. The drivers head back south after unloading and make their final stop at the truck wash, usually between 2-4 p.m.

Kiley arrives at the wash about 10 a.m. to begin preparations and get his wash crews ready for the first trucks to roll in. “I use that time to get organized, clean, do maintenance and upkeep on the facilities and complete paperwork,” said Kiley. By midafternoon, both wash bays and the dryer are hopping, and between 7-8 p.m. Kiley has the trucks cleaned and ready for the drivers to begin their routes the following morning. “I like this job because there is consistent, predictable work that keeps me really busy, but at the same time I have a lot of flexibility in how I set my day,” said Kiley.

Gooseneck trailer washes normally take 30-40 minutes both in the wash bay and in the dryer, semis take about 20 minutes longer for each step. Kiley and his wash crews play a major role in biosecurity. “There is huge risk in transporting a disease a trailer could pick up from the loading dock at a finisher in northern Iowa and bringing it back to a sow farm, which is why the truck wash facilities are in place,” explains Kiley. Being close to perfection in his job is critical to protecting the farms from disease, which is why his work is double checked bi-weekly when an auditor shows up unannounced to inspect his clean trailers.

“I really enjoy working with Kiley, he always greets me with a smile,” said Jessica Rosener, who is a member of the Production Well-Being Team and inspects the trailers for biosecurity compliance. “What he says about perfecting the process is true as he is always eager to hear his results because he understands it’s critical that our trailers are properly cleaned and disinfected as well as structurally safe to transport our pigs.”

Kiley said the entire transportation team is headed into the tough season of snow and bitter cold. “After the trucks unload at their finishers the bedding tends to freeze on the way home, and the cold temperatures means it will take longer to heat up the dryer bay to the necessary 140 degrees need to kill off any remaining bugs. We all work a little harder and watch out for one another when the snow flies.”

“Kiley is one of those guys who always steps up and fills in when we need a hand,” said Ron Rush, Director of Transportation. “There are time when we’ve been down a wean truck driver and Kiley will get up early, haul that load and then do work at the wash. He’s never said, ‘that’s not my job.’ He’ does a really great job for us and he in a critical spot when it comes to protecting the system.” #billionpounds