Aussie Construction Dictionary: A guide for newbies on the job site – Duralift

Construction lingo for Aussies defined; for that freshman entering the building world or even that baby boomer coming back after his semi-retired trip to Bali and finding the place has been overtaken by millennials who can no longer speak the queens English.

RDO – Rostered Day Off; and no this is not just an excuse for another day off. Despite getting sent home for wet weather or heat days , tradies (a tradesman or women) work hard when they are on the job so they deserve a scheduled day to rest, recoup and preserve sanity. Who else of us could claim to be well and truly on the job by the crack of dawn EVERY single working day and working laboriously all day to ensure the job gets done?



Stand downs – Although most of us would be familiar with the term sun down, stand down is slightly different, and no to stand down is not a yoga move. It is a term used to notify your rental equipment supplier you will not be using any hired equipment on that given day but will require it again in the near future, so being the kind people we are in this industry we willingly give you a day or few FREE, yep you read right, free!

yoga downward dog


Specs – Nope not your grandpa’s glasses. Specs are very important documents (that no one ever looks at) but do in fact give all the details of any piece of equipment to the operator for his own intelligence. Otherwise known as Specification sheets.

Grandpa's Specs


Smoko – Remember how hard tradies work right? Well, you don’t expect them to stand on the roof tops showing off their six pack all day with no break do you? Nope? Thank you, we knew you would show them basic human rights and allow a 15 minute (or so) break to grab a four n twenty with tom sauce. Originally named after the break the sheep sheering Aussies needed so they could take a fag (aka cigarette), although we don’t all smoke now (vegan anyone?) we value our traditions and happily carry this one through to today, awwww.



Do you know of any other great Aussie sayings you use almost daily on  a building site? We would love to hear..message us in the comments below.

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