RIVERDALE -- Tristen Cassity wants to be a construction worker one day so she can operate all of the trucks.
"The trucks are so awesome," she said. "I like the hats, too, because they will keep us safe. You should always wear the hats when you are around the trucks."
Tristen and her classmates at Good Foundations Academy and the Bible Institute got to see several different types of construction trucks and even climb onto the driver's seat.
"Look how big these tires are. I'm almost as tall as this tire," said Brooklyn Gainey. "This is the biggest truck I've ever seen. I want to honk the horn."
Associated Builders and Contractors of Utah sponsored the seventh annual Big Truck Day in the parking lot of the charter school so students could get an up close and personal look at what it's like to work in the construction industry. Each student got a yellow hard hat as well as an explanation of the job of each truck.
"We wanted to bring out some large equipment and talk about it with the kids and let them know there are some fantastic opportunities for them in the construction industry," said Chris Hipwell, president of ABC. "The industry has really changed over the past several years. It's much different than it used to be. There's so much you can do. Weber State University has a four-year construction management program and scholarship opportunities as well."
Jeremy Bowen, a fleet manager with Sorensen Companies Inc. in Syracuse, said he loves being outdoors, so construction was a perfect match for him.
"It's a really great career," he said. "You work with people who share the same type of values and ideas. It's a very family-oriented business with very strong family values attached."
Bowen said the work is hard and you have to be willing to get your hands dirty, but it's well worth it.
During the truck tour, students got to honk the horn, sit inside the tires and see exactly how the truck operates. They saw cement trucks, cranes, loaders, mini-excavators, concrete trucks and super dump trucks. Companies participating included Boman Kemp, Kapp, Morgan, VO Brothers and Jack B. Parson.
Peggy Downs, headmaster at Good Foundations Academy, said not only did the kids learn about construction and safety issues, but they also learned how the field relates to areas of science.
"Some of our students are studying simple machines and some of them are studying physics," Downs said. "We thought this would be a great way to end the school year and incorporate the sciences."
Hipwell said she was excited to bring the companies and trucks together for the event.
"The term 'ditch digger' is not the same as it used to be," she said. "This is a really nice profession. You operate expensive, high-tech equipment and make a good living as well."