Is Your Milk Safe to Drink? Thank This Guy

Yes, I drive a tanker and I collect milk, but my job is so much more than that. When people pick up a milk carton in the dairy aisle at the supermarket, the last thing on their mind is whether that liquid is safe to drink, or how it got there. They would never dream that the drivers who haul the raw milk from the dairy farm have anything to do with that – but we do.

I’m More Than Just a Driver – I’m the First Line in Quality Control

A critical part of my day begins even before I start pumping the milk out of the farmer’s milk-house and into my tank.

When I arrive at a farm, before I begin loading the milk, I visually inspect it for color, sniff it to make sure it smells fresh, and check that the milk is being stored between 34° F and 36° F; along with measuring the quantity in the tank.

Next, I move on to a very important part of the job—taking samples. I agitate the tank to allow the milk and cream to mix before filling a 2-oz. vial of the combined mixture.

The sample is then used to determine quality and quantity of the milk. Once the sample is concluded the farm is paid a premium based on the milk quality.

Only after the samples are taken do I hook up the transfer hose and begin pumping the milk. Once that is complete, I wash down the floors of the milk-house and rinse the bulk tank. Then I’m off to the next farm to repeat the routine. 

My Customers – The Farmers – Depend On Me

I feel a tremendous sense of responsibility to do my best for the 10 or 15 dairy farms I visit each day, because I know the farmers work hard— and that their business never stops. The cows must be milked.

I may get a holiday, but they don’t – and they depend on me to make sure the samples reflect the true quality of their product, and that their load of milk – and livelihood – arrive to the processing facility safely and on time. 


Paul Elkins

If there’s one thing Paul Elkins knows well, it’s the milk-hauling business. He started with Wadhams on Valentine’s Day way back when he was a fresh-faced 22-year-old. He’s still fresh-faced—it comes from being up with the cows! They have to be milked each day and that milk has to be hauled. Paul is happy to be the one to do it. He loves the people and he loves his job.