Getting to know a road marker
MILLIONS of cars travel on South Africa's roads every day. With so many people using our roads, the white road markings needed to control traffic are of vital importance.
Glen Monnane is a road marker supervisor with the Department of National Roads. Monnane, who worked his way up to his current position as supervisor, says he thoroughly enjoys his job.
"I was working on the road with a road-marking machine once when a taxi came along and lost control. It missed me by inches and I believe someone was looking out for me that day," he says.
Monnane spoke about this interesting career.
Road markers are employed by the Department of National Roads, earning between R4000 to R8000 a month. Monnane says it is possible to work one's way up the ladder quite successfully.
A road marker supervisor is a senior position. He or she supervises the road-marker assistants, paints all the surface markings on the road and installs reflectors, where required.
"We are also responsible for re-marking the lines that have faded. I pre-mark the lines and fill up the patches."
An inspection is also undertaken before the road markings are done. Road markers do all this and more.
"Most lines need to be repainted every two years," Monnane says.
"The pros of this job are that you work outside, get to travel and explore new places and meet new people. The cons are that it can be dangerous and the stopping and starting for installation can be frustrating."
Prospective road marker supervisors need to have a matric and driver's licence, as well as some mechanical experience in case machinery needs to be fixed on site.
Monnane says people interested in following this career must be able to work in a team and get along with people, be supportive, friendly, particular and hard-working.
Communication, problem-solving and mathematical skills (for working out measurements) are also necessary for the job, he says.
An average day for Monnane starts at 7am and ends at 5pm. "I go to site and usually stay there for four to five hours. We follow a programme that we usually work out before going to site.
"The whole process starts with the inspection, followed by drafting a programme for the job and then doing the markings on the roads.
"We are sometimes called to do line marking for things such as cycle races. If it rains, we can't do anything, then we come in to the office and do administrative work.
"The best thing about the job is that it's challenging and I have to use my brain to solve problems, and I love that," Monnane said.
"The worst thing about the job is that it's a high-risk job."