The coolest job on a hot day

IT’S like going from the desert into an igloo when you visit Wesley Zuber’s workplace.

Yesterday, as the temperature shot past 40 degrees outdoors, it was a frigid zero inside the freezer at the Border’s biggest ice-maker.

“On a day like this we get people saying to us all the time ‘you’ve got the coolest job in the world’,” Mr Zuber said.

“This is the cool spot, the freezer, and we fight over being on the forklift and bringing in the ice.”

Mr Zuber is operations manager at Wodonga’s Smith’s Ice factory, which at the moment is manufacturing 25 to 30 tonnes of ice each day.

They have the capability to make 50 tonnes daily.

About 300 kilograms of ice can be formed every 20 minutes, with filtered tap water turned into thousands of cubes which are bagged and stored before being distributed to 400 customers which stretch from Deniliquin to Khancoban and south to Benalla.

The freezer temperature is minus 12 overnight and in the middle of the day you can see the condensation from your breath as bags of ice are stacked and moved to meet demand.

Mr Zuber said while business was good during hot weather it could plateau with the extreme temperatures.

“We’re busy enough but we find when it gets to 43 the business doesn’t go through the roof because it ends up too hot to go anywhere,” he said.

“When the temperature goes over 40 the tendency is to stay at home in the air-conditioning rather than grab a bag of ice and head out to the weir for a barbecue.”

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