For truck drivers, the path to increased earnings comes with experience and endorsements. Endorsements are special designations given to certain truck drivers so that they can drive specialized types of vehicles or haul materials that are dangerous or difficult to haul.
Two of the most popular endorsements are the “N” and “X”. Here’s what you need to know about those endorsements including their requirements, differences, and the jobs you can get with them.
Are There Different Tanker Endorsements?
Yes, there are two different tanker endorsements. The “N” endorsement allows drivers to haul a tank trailer. The “X” endorsement also allows a driver to haul a tank trailer with HAZMAT material inside. This means that the “X” endorsement is really just a combination of the “N” and “H” (HAZMAT) endorsements.
The “N” endorsement allows a driver to haul a tank or “tanker” full of liquid or gaseous materials that the FMCSA doesn’t consider dangerous. These jobs are often higher paying and usually are local or regional runs, so you’d have more home time than some other jobs.
A tanker truck driver needs to be able to adjust to having his cargo constantly moving around if the tank is not full. Dealing with the “surge” caused by the movement of the liquid in the tank while driving takes some practice and skill development.
The “X” endorsement allows a driver to haul large loads of liquid or gaseous HAZMAT cargo inside of a tanker. Having an “X” endorsement even further separates these drivers and their skill sets from the rest. If a driver has any plans to be in the gas and oil hauling business, an “X” endorsement will certainly be required.
What are the Requirements for an “N” or “X” Endorsement?
As of right now, all that’s needed to secure an “N” endorsement is to take an additional written knowledge test. This can be done at a testing location in your state. Visit your state’s DMV/BMV for more information on where to test and what information the test will cover.
Because of the dangerous nature of hauling HAZMAT liquids and gases, obtaining an X endorsement is a little more involved. In addition to passing a written test, you need to pay for and pass a TSA background check as well.
These requirements are on top of what’s required to hold a CDL A.
What are the Benefits of Getting an “N” or “X” Endorsement?
Companies that haul any type of liquids or gases will require drivers to have either an “N” or “X” endorsement. By securing that, you’re already opening yourself up to a number of high-paying jobs that many truckers can’t get into.
Drivers with additional skills and endorsements often find that they are paid more than drivers without. Driving a tanker requires additional safety skills due to the unstable nature of hauling liquids. Therefore, drivers with tanker endorsements are many times some of the highest paid truckers on the road. The payoff of seeing those paychecks increase certainly outweigh the up-front costs to pay for a tanker endorsement and training.
Getting your “X” or “N” endorsement can be very beneficial to any CDL truck driver, regardless of what career stage they’re in. With a tanker endorsement, the job pools is bigger, the pay is likely higher, and overall earning potential as a trucker increases.
If you’re looking for tanker truck driving jobs, you’re in luck. Drive My Way partners with carriers who have open tanker positions for drivers with “N” and “X” endorsement. Complete your driver profile below, and be sure to include that you have that endorsement. We can match you to a great new job that best fits your lifestyle and driving preferences.
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