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Dry Bulk Tanks: Everything to Know as a Truck Driver

There’s plenty of options to choose from when you’re deciding which type of truck driving job is right for you. Many drivers look to get started driving some type of tanker trucks. But what about a dry bulk tank driver? Here we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of what you need to know about dry bulk tank trucking.

What are dry bulk tanker trucks?

Dry bulk tanks are pneumatic cylinders, which sit upon a row of cone-shaped hoppers. The freight is loaded from the top of the tank, and exits from the bottom. This configuration releases the freight from the bottom into the hoses that will deliver the product to the customer. The contents pass from the cylinder, through the valves, and are then suctioned or blown out from the tank to the customer’s container.

The materials hauled can be anything from sand, powders and grains, to plastic pellets used to make your coffee pods or gaming devices. Because the materials vary so much, so do their weights. Dense powders weigh significantly more by volume than airy pellets. So careful consideration needs to be paid to weight. And keeping the loads within the weight limits set by the DOT.

Pros

1. Good Pay

These trucks are for carrying specialty freight that can’t be shipped any other way. The materials need to move from point A to point B, but unlike other trailer types where freight types can be mixed to fill up a truck to capacity, these can only haul one thing, in loose bulk. So, these drivers can only carry one thing at a time. And the cost to clean the tank out after a haul is usually built-in to the pricing.

2. Loading Using Gravity

Loading in the freight is aided by gravity. Once the truck arrives for pickup, the driver pulls up to the chute and then the load drops into the tank and gravity does most of the work. The driver then needs to be sure the tops are secure, and the load is settled. Then they can get moving on their way down the road. Instead of loading and a balancing an entire trailer full of pallets or containers, this can save some time in any trucker’s day.

3. Consistent Home Time for Most Positions

Many of these runs are regional and can result in more home time for the trucker. Though it’s a pretty tall order to guarantee a steady 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM schedule, drivers might be able to get pretty close to that with this type of trucking job.

We talked to Vincent, a Dry Bulk Truck Driver for Transport Elz, and he shared his feedback:

vincent dry bulk tank driver

Vincent, Dry Bulk Tank Driver

“I’ve been doing this job for about 6 months. We transport cement powder. These are a very nice transport. In addition, we are hardly ever dirty except if we stop for some reason. The only weak point in my opinion is that there are no schedules. We often start at night but never at the same time.”

For drivers that enjoy work-life balance with home time every week, driving a dry bulk tanker might be a good choice.

Cons

1. Expensive Equipment

When compared to a dry van trailer, a dry bulk tank trailer can be quite expensive. Due to the nature of the cargo being hauled, the systems in place on the trailers to load in and load out the materials add to the complexity of the equipment. These hoses, blowers, vacuums, and siphons make for a much higher price tag due to the specialization needed.

2. Loads Can Shift

These tankers have high centers of gravity, and while driving, the loads can shift. So extra care must be taken when driving this type of freight. For a newer driver, this takes some practice and skill-building for the long haul.

3. Cleaning Requirements

Since the materials hauled in these trailers are not in any protective packaging, there is a need to completely clean everything out between runs. If you’re hauling pellets, sand, or some other type of loose material, residue on the inside of the trailer can be a big problem with the new load. Imagine hauling white plastic pellets for a job, but somehow that load got contaminated with something blue from the last load. In the eyes of the customer, the entire load might be unusable.

Advice from the Road

We talked to Eno Inc., a dry bulk family-owned transportation company providing services to the construction industry in both Florida and Illinois. They shared,

eno inc dry bulk tanker truck

Eno Inc.

“Honestly I think the biggest con [of dry bulk] is the hours. What we do isn’t hard, but the hours are long. We run everything within DOT regulations, but the hours are still get to the guys. I think we’ve had more turnover because of the hours than any other issue.”

If you’re a new driver determining the best route to take in your trucking career, this should give you enough information about driving dry bulk tanks to get you started. If you do decide this is the type of driving you’d like to do, we can help you find a great opportunity.

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Envirotech truck

Today’s Job of the Day comes to us from EnviroTech Services, Inc.

Come join the EnviroTech Services Team! Under the direct supervision of the Order & Delivery Supervisor, the Driver/Applicator will safely transport and apply material while providing outstanding customer service. This position will be responsible for the following: DOT Class A operation of truck and truck tractor equipment; operation of product application equipment, plant loading and unloading equipment; plant blending and mixing equipment; shop equipment; and railcar unloading equipment when required.

envirotech-services-incCurrently, EnviroTech is seeking a CDL A Regional Tanker/Applicator Driver in Randolph, MN and a CDL A Regional Tanker/Applicator Driver in West Jordan, UT.

Compensation:

  • Average annual pay (MN): 55k-70k per year
    • $23.00 – $28.00 per hour, depending on experience
  • Average annual pay (UT): 55k-70k per year
    • $21.00 – $25.00 per hour, depending on experience
  • Drivers are guaranteed 40 hours a week, and work on average 50 hours per
  • Full Time Hourly OT eligible position

Benefits & Perks:

  • Great company benefits starting 45 days of hire
    • Medical, Dental, and Vision Insurance
    • Health Savings Account (company will contribution to your HSA per month)
    • Flexible Spending AccountLife Insurance
    • 401K with 6% company match
    • 8 Paid Company Holidays
    • Start earning PTO immediately 15 days per year
  • Tuition and Certification Reimbursement Program
  • Gym membership reimbursement
  • Slip Seating: No

Home Time, Route, & Schedule:

  • Home 2-3 days
  • Some OTR work required, 1-2 nights per week company paid hotel and per diem
  • Mon-Fri schedule (days) with some weekend work during peak seasons
  • Level of Touch: Load and unload

Equipment

  • 18 speed manuals (some automatic)
  • 2012 -2020 Kenworth and Peterbilt with sleepers
  • Spray houses on the back of the tanker

Qualifications:

  • High School Diploma or GED
  • Minimum age 18
  • Endorsements: Tanker and Air Brakes must be willing to get doubles/triples within 90 days of hire. Will reimburse.
  • 1-year operating manual 18 speed transmission
  • 1-year operating a DOT vehicle in winter conditions
  • Knowledge applying tire chains to a DOT vehicle
  • Must be able to pass DOT testing requirements for drivers
  • Valid Driver’s License and acceptable Motor Vehicle Record MVR (no more than 3 minor violations and/or accidents in past 3 years)
  • May be required to work overtime and weekends or holidays and may be required to work on-call activities.
  • MN Hiring Radius: Drivers must live within 70 miles of Randolph, MN
  • UT Hiring Radius: Drivers must live within 70 miles of West Jordan or Salt Lake City, UT

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • DOT Class A driving of truck and truck tractor combinations.  Safe driving certification and strict adherence to all applicable agencies and governing laws.
  • Operation of on-board computerized application equipment.  Calculation of application rates, ratio blending, and customer change orders.  Trouble-shoot and train others on application equipment usage.
  • Operation of on-board ELD (electronic logging device) in full compliance with DOT rules and regulations.
  • Perform minor repairs and maintenance functions for trucking and tank equipment.
  • Fill out load (BOL’s) paperwork accurately, neatly and completely.
  • Must be comfortable working in adverse weather conditions in a safe manner to deliver product as needed per contract requirements.  This includes high terrain, mountain areas where chain laws may be required.
  • Be proficient in the safe operation of plant blending, loading and metering equipment.
  • Load and unload internal and external trucks, railcars, tanks, and other shipping containers including liquid, dry, equipment, and packaged products.
  • Update MSHA training and Mine Site training annually
  • Perform and administrate scheduled and unscheduled maintenance functions on plant equipment as required including pumps, tanks, meters, plumbing, trucks, shop equipment, and other plant related items.
  • Communicate proactively to dispatcher, area supervisor and/or operations manager any truck needs, maintenance issues, problems, or potential enhancement opportunities.
  • Perform rail site operation activities including railcar administration, site and equipment maintenance, and equipment operation.
  • Strictly follow all quality control initiatives identified by corporate objectives and quality control coordinator.
  • Provide exceptional customer service and communicate customer concerns to dispatcher, area supervisor and/or operations manager.

Working Conditions:

  • Maybe required to drive in mountains and in snowy conditions.
  • May frequently lift and/or move up to 50 pounds.
  • Drivers may be occasionally exposed to confined spaces, wet and/or humid conditions, high precarious places, fumes or airborne particles, toxic or caustic chemicals.
  • May frequently be exposed to outside weather conditions and risk of electrical shock.
  • May be frequently be exposed to loud noises in work environment.

Envirotech driver

Interested in applying?

EnviroTech is seeking a CDL A Regional Tanker/Applicator Driver in Randolph, MN and in West Jordan, UT. Drivers have great pay, home time and benefits!

MN Regional Driver UT Regional Driver

Ergon Trucking

Today’s job of the day comes from Ergon Trucking

Ergon Trucking is a company that works. We’re family owned and operated, brought together more than six decades ago in the petroleum industry’s service sectors. Driven by the values of hard work, customer service, reliable supply, and quality products, we’ve grown steadily and strategically over the years to become a well-diversified organization.

We specialize in the transport of products with rigorous handling requirements, sensitive temperature requirements, critical delivery timing, and crucial safety precautions. The company transports a diversity of products, including crude oil; lube oils; asphalt and emulsions; as well as specialty oils, caustics, and chemicals. Must have valid CDL with Tank and Hazmat endorsements to qualify.

We are a liquid tank carrier looking for OTR Hazmat/Tanker company drivers and independent contractors in multiple locations across the United States.

Company drivers are being hired in Houston, TX | Pittsburgh, PA | Baton Rouge, LA | Shreveport, LA | Marietta, OH | Sulphur, LA | Vicksburg, MS

Perks and Highlights:

  • 401(k) and profit sharing
  • Paid holiday & vacation time (two weeks after first year)
  • Health and dental care
  • Uniforms provided

We offer excellent pay and benefits that include:

  • 24% of load pay (75K – 90K annually)
  • Direct Deposit
  • $3,500 sign-on bonus ($1,500 at sign-on, $1,000 after 90 days, $1,000 after 6 months)
  • Safety bonus up to $2,000 per year
  • Home time – Out and back freight so we try to get you home weekly if possible but no guarantee depending on freight movement and time of year.
  • Late model Peterbilt and Kenworth with manual transmissions

Independent Contractors are being hired in Newell, WV | Vicksburg, MS | Shreveport, LA

Perks and Highlights:

  • 100% of fuel surcharge
  • Fuel discounts with various vendors
  • Free truck washes
  • Frequent home time, don’t require multiple weeks on the road
  • Electronic logging at no cost
  • Paid tolls and EZ Pass
  • Roadside assistance
  • Most loads are out and back with flexible schedules

We offer excellent pay and benefits that include:

  • $5,000 sign-on bonus ($2500 at sign-on, $1250 after 90 days, $1250 after 6 months)
  • Up to $6,600 in Safety/Operations bonuses
  • Average 200-300k gross yearly
  • 65% of load pay
  • 85% of demurrage pay (paid weekly with loads)
  • Permits paid
  • Offer insurance options if needed

Interested in applying?

Learn more about the job requirements, benefits, pay and more.

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Dennis Bradley trucking

Today’s Job of the Day is from Dennis Bradley Trucking

Dennis Bradley Trucking is seeking CDL A Local/Regional Tanker Drivers in Jacksonville, FL.

Dennis Bradley Trucking is looking for CDL A Local/Regional Tanker Drivers. Come join our team and start enjoying competitive pay and great benefits.

Compensation

  • Average weekly pay: $1,100 – $1,400
    • Base $0.50 CPM with an average of 3,000 miles weekly
    • All miles paid
    • Additional Pay
    • Detention pay $25 an hour
    • $50 a night if there is an overnight
    • Paid via direct deposit every Friday
  • Bonuses include:
    • Sign on bonus of $1,000 after 90 days
    • $500 referral bonus

Benefits & Perks

  • Great company benefits starting after 90 days:
    • Fully Paid Medical, Dental, and Vision Insurance for driver, 50% for dependents
    • Life Insurance
    • 7 days paid time Off after one year
  • Will pay for TWIC and Tanker endorsements
  • Paid orientation
  • Perks: fuel card and any job related uniforms
  • Pet Rider program
  • Take your truck home options available

Home Time, Routes & Schedule

  • Regional runs mainly in the Southeast
  • Home Time: Typically, home daily with some overnights. Home Every weekend!
  • Schedule: Monday through Friday (some weekend options available if desired)
  • Level of Touch: No Touch Freight

Equipment

  • 2011 and newer Freightliner’s with sleepers
  • Manual
  • Governed speed: 70 mph

Qualifications for Company Drivers and Owner Operators

  • Must be at least 25 years years of age
  • Requires a CDL A license
  • Must have a minimum of 3 years verifiable driving experience
  • No DUI/DWI in the last 10 years
  • Tanker and TWIC endorsements required, Hazmat preferred. Will accept drivers willing to get Tanker and TWIC endorsements and will reimburse.
  • Must meet Department of Transportation (DOT) testing and physical requirements and be knowledgeable of DOT regulations
  • Must be able to pass a required pre-employment drug screen
  • Based out of Jacksonville, FL and prefer drivers within 100 mile radius. Also have a terminal in Savanah, GA and will consider drivers within 100 miles of Savanah.

Dennis Bradley Trucking driver

Join the Dennis Bradley Trucking Team!

Dennis Bradley Trucking is seeking CDL A Local/Regional Tanker Drivers in Jacksonville, FL. Drivers enjoy competitive pay and great benefits! Join their team!

Local/Regional Tanker Drivers

type of freight

When deciding what type of freight is best for you, there’s a lot to think about. As a driver, you’re probably looking for good pay, home time, and job availability. Seems simple, but there’s a lot that can go into that decision. Not all types of trucking are for everyone. Choose something that meets your needs and is a good fit for your lifestyle. Otherwise, you’re going to be looking for a new job all over again all too soon. When you think about the type of freight you want to haul, these are a few things to help make your decision.

Making the Right Decision

Your Lifestyle

One of the most important things to consider when you are trying to decide on a type of freight is your lifestyle. Choose a job that fits YOU. That includes pay. If a job doesn’t pay well enough to support you and your family, you probably won’t stay very long. Home time is another “must-have” for most drivers. Some drivers are die-hard OTR fans and like nothing better than weeks on the road. Other drivers need home time every night to tuck their kids into bed. 

There are jobs out there for every type of trucker, so decide what works best for you, and look for jobs that meet your bottom line expectations.

The final lifestyle question has to do with how you spend your time on the job. Do you want to be driving most of the time or have a variety of non-driving related tasks mixed in? There are jobs out there for every type of trucker, so decide what works best for you.

Company Type

Once you make some big decisions about lifestyle and narrow down your list, consider company type. Do you want to work for a large carrier or a small carrier? Small carriers are more likely to give you that “family feel,” but freight may be less consistent depending on their specialty. On the other hand, large companies usually have higher freight volumes, but you might not feel as personally connected to your team.

Along with company size, consider haul type. Would you prefer a company that always carries the same thing or do you like a little variety in your life? Similarly, do you want to always work with the same customers? Consider looking for a dedicated route. Also, there are some local routes where you can get to know your customers the same way. 

Experience and Endorsements

At the end of the day, there’s a job for every driver, but not every driver is a good fit for every job. Experience and endorsements are two big deciding factors. Some jobs typically go to drivers with more experience. For example, most drivers who haul over-dimensional loads have at least 10 years of experience under their belt. 

Endorsements can also make a big difference. Some jobs “require” specific endorsements while others “prefer” them. Endorsements verify your training in a specific area, but they are also a sign to the employer that you were willing to invest in yourself to take on new responsibilities. If you identify a type of freight that is a great fit for you, find out if you have the right endorsements. If not, consider whether it’s worth getting additional training right now. 

A few of the most common endorsements for CDL A and CDL B drivers are:

Types of Freight to Consider 

1. Dry Van

dry van truckMany truck drivers start out learning to drive Dry Van. Dry Van drivers usually carry dry goods and a wide variety of non-perishable freight in 53’ trailers. Many Dry Van positions are over the road or regional. Drivers who want to drive Dry Van will have a wide range of companies to choose from. With so many companies to choose from, read job descriptions carefully to make sure the job fits your pay and home time needs.

Endorsements: Many Dry Van positions do not require endorsements, but some specialized loads may require Hazmat or Doubles and Triples endorsements.

Lifestyle Fit: Hauling Dry Van is a popular choice for many drivers. It’s great for new drivers because there aren’t as many special considerations as for some other types of freight. Many experienced drivers stick with Dry Van for similar reasonsthere’s often lots of variety in the type of freight drivers haul and it has a refreshing level of simplicity.

2. Refrigerated Freight

refrigerated truck driverRefrigerated trucking, more commonly known as Reefer trucking, is particularly good for drivers who have some experience already and pride themselves on their close attention to detail. Reefer drivers most commonly haul food, which gives drivers a lot of job security. If you are a Refrigerated Freight owner operator and do have a hard time getting a load, you can also haul Dry Van freight in a Reefer truck. 

Endorsements: Most Reefer positions do not require endorsements. 

Lifestyle Fit: Reefer trucking is hard work but is also compensated well. Most people consider hauling refrigerated freight after they have a few years of experience and are looking to diversify. Most of these jobs are regional or OTR, and you will have a lot of companies to choose from. Reefer drivers tend to work odd hours and will find themselves regularly loading and driving during nighttime hours.

3. Flatbed

oversized flatbed loadFlatbed drivers are in high demand and, as a result, pay is typically more competitive than some other driving jobs. Unlike Dry Van or Reefer jobs, Flatbed jobs often require more physical work to safely secure the loads with tarps. Some flatbed drivers will have a Conestoga trailer with a sliding tarp system instead of a traditional flatbed trailer. That often makes loading, unloading, and securing much more convenient for the driver. 

Endorsements: Typically, Flatbed drivers do not need additional endorsements

Lifestyle Fit: Flatbed trucking is often considered one of the more challenging types of trucking jobs. If you don’t mind a little extra physical work and are up for an adventure, the higher pay and regular job demand make Flatbed a great choice for many drivers.

4. Tanker

tanker trucks getting filledDriving a Tanker truck can mean hauling either liquids or dry bulk. If you see a Tanker truck position available, it could be for anything from gasoline or water (liquids) to food or materials like sand (Dry bulk). Often, Tanker truck drivers have a few years of experience, and as the name says, you’ll need your Tanker endorsement. 

Endorsements: Tanker endorsement required. For some jobs, you will also need a Hazmat endorsement to haul hazardous materials. 

Lifestyle Fit: Tanker drivers earn a good wage and usually have strong benefits. In addition, many Tanker jobs are regional or local, so drivers are home frequently. Unlike Dry Van and Reefer, loading and unloading a Tanker can go quickly. You could be in and out in under 20 minutes! Drivers wear protective gear to reduce that risk during the loading and unloading process. 

5. Specialty Loads

If you want to haul a specific type of freight, chances are someone will pay you to do it. In addition to the more common haul types we mentioned earlier, there are many types of specialty loads out there. Here are just a few examples:

  • Over-Dimensional Loads: Anything bigger than typical dimensions. Usually, drivers need to have some flatbed experience first.
  • Autohauler: These drivers haul cars. It’s highly specialized and valuable freight, so drivers need a lot of skill and are paid well. 
  • Intermodal: Any freight that uses at least two types of transportation is intermodal freight (ex. Train and truck). Most drivers work close to a railroad or shipping hub.
  • Livestock: Frequently Livestock drivers usually haul chickens, pigs, horses, or cows. Drivers need a certification for the specific type of livestock they haul. It’s hard work, and drivers are compensated well for their extra efforts.

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Want to Get Your CDL License? Here's What to Know

Getting your Commerical Driving License (CDL) is a big deal. It’s an exciting step toward a career as a professional driver, and we hear from lots of veteran drivers that it’s the best job out there. Earning your CDL license isn’t an overnight process, but it’s worth it. Take the time to prepare yourself for each of the steps, and you’ll be on the road before you know it. Here are a few things you should know before you get started.

Types of CDL Licenses

There are three main types of commercial driving license: A, B, and C. They all allow you to operate large motor vehicles, but each is designed for a specific purpose. A CDL A license is considered the most universal because it allows you to also drive most CDL B and CDL C jobs. Here are the distinctions between each type of license

  • CDL A: Allows drivers to operate vehicles with a gross combination weight rating (GVWR) of 26,000 pounds with a towed vehicle of more than 10,000 pounds. This license lets you drive tractor-trailers (also known as semi-trucks, big rigs, etc.) as well as most Class B and Class C vehicles. 
  • CDL B: Permits drivers to operate a vehicle with a GVWR of 26,000 pounds with a towed vehicle of less than 10,000 pounds. This license (sometimes with endorsements) allows you to drive most straight trucks, buses, box trucks, dump trucks, and most Class C vehicles. 
  • CDL C: Allows drivers to operate a commercial vehicle with a GVWR that is less than 26,000 pounds and transports hazardous materials or 16+ passengers. This license is typically used for passenger vans and small HazMat vehicles.

With any of these license types, you may need to supplement with endorsements. Not all trucking jobs require them, so consider what you’re interested in before you commit to adding them. The standard endorsements are (H) Hazardous Materials, (N) Tank Vehicles, (P) Passenger Vehicles, (S) School Buses, and (T) Double and Triple Trailers.

Eligibility

From a Federal perspective, the eligibility requirements to be a truck driver are pretty straight forward. If you can satisfy these requirements, you’re off to a good start.

  1. You must be 18+ for trucking in the same state (intrastate trucking)
  2. You must be 21+ for trucking between states (interstate trucking) or carrying hazardous materials
  3. Don’t have any criminal offenses on your record that disqualify you from earning your CDL

Once you’ve confirmed eligibility at a federal level, look into the specific requirements for the state that will be issuing the license. Every state is a little bit different, but there are several common things you will likely be asked for. 

  • Proof of ID
  • A release of your driving record for the past 10 years
  • Demonstration of medical health
  • Pass a written and skills test
  • A road test fee (usually $50 – $200)
  • Verification that you’ve completed a professional training course

You can only have a CDL License from one state at a time. If you move (or have another reason to transfer your license), make sure you review the CDL license requirements for your new state. 

Choosing a Driving School

Once you have decided what type of CDL License is right for you, it’s time to pick a driving school. There are pros and cons to all programs, so research carefully. Technically, you’re not required to get your license through a driving school and could self-study for your tests. That said, many companies will only hire if they see the driver has gone through a verified driving school. You can also get your license through a company-sponsored program. There are benefits and drawbacks to this, but it’s a good option for many drivers. We recommend that future drivers get their license through some type of verified program. 

As you look for programs, look for the following as signs of credibility: 

  • Is the school/program accredited? (Approved by the Department of Education)
  • Is the school program certified? (Approved by the Department of Transportation)
  • Is the school/program licensed? (The instructors and curriculum meet state guidelines)
  • Is the school/program listed with the Better Business Bureau? Use these ratings to compare programs
  • What’s included in the price of tuition? Quality programs usually offer all the necessary supplies, classroom and over-the-road training, and extra help if requested. 

If you can’t find answers to any of these questions, make sure you get in touch. The driving school or program should be able to answer any questions you have before you get started. Most programs have a similar curriculum and are a mix of classroom and on-the-road instruction. You can expect to cover things like operating a truck, use of electronic logs and other industry tools, and safety procedures among other essentials

Time and Cost

Getting a CDL License is an investment in your future. Like any training program, there is a cost in both time and money. The total cost varies by state, but you can expect to spend about $3,0000 – $7,000 on a training program. As a rule of thumb, the more training time required for your license type and endorsements, the higher the cost of the program. A full-time driving program usually takes around 7 weeks, though it can take longer. Deciding to obtain a CDL License is a big commitment, but it will pay for itself quickly through your new career.

Passing the Test

After you have completed a certified driving program, you must have your Commercial Learning Permit (CLP) for two weeks. Then, it’s time to take your CDL test.

The exam has written and practical components. For the written exam, the test is multiple choice and typically taken on a computer. An 80% passing rate is required for the written exam. For the road test, you must not have more than 30 points deducted from your score.

The examiners will be watching for your ability to maneuver the vehicle, your behavior during the test, and your ability to handle pressure or stressful situations. Reviewing your state CDL training manual and spending practice time in a rig are great ways to prepare. 

You passed! Time to get hired

Now that you have your CDL license, it’s time to start looking for a job. This might sound intimidating, but many driving schools offer resources and connections to their students. That’s a great place to start. You can also use driver-friendly platforms to search for jobs that match your lifestyle and job preferences. As you are offered opportunities, make sure the position is a good fit for you. Ask the recruiter the essential questions about pay, home time, operations, and equipment to get as much information on the job as possible. Soon enough, you’ll be ready to hit the road!

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When someone says they’re a truck driver, some people might think that’s all there is to it. But if you’re a driver, no matter if you’re in your first year or a seasoned veteran, you know that there are many types of driving jobs. Today’s spotlight is on being a tanker truck driver. What do drivers love about hauling tanker trucks? What would they change? Here’s what you need to know if you’re thinking about becoming a tanker truck driver.

The Pros

1. Good pay for the industry

Tanker truck drivers average $20.32/hour across the United States. That’s higher than the average hourly wage for many other driving positions. As with any job, pay increases with endorsements and experience.

Some tanker truck drivers may have longer hours. The good news is that most of these jobs are also hourly. If you have a long run, you’ll get paid for your time. 

The pay also depends on the material you haul. Hazmat driving typically earns more because of the experience required and extra job risks. 

2. Good benefits

Not all tankers drive Hazmat, but many do. Because being a tanker truck driver is considered slightly more dangerous than other types of CDL driving, the benefits are also better. Good health insurance, life insurance, and vacation days are all standard for tanker drivers

3. Typically short load/unload times

Loading and unloading a tanker truck is done with a big hose. While you might wait for hours to get your dry van or reefer unloaded, you’re usually in and out in 15 – 20 minutes when unloading a tanker. Getting loaded usually takes around 45 minutes. 

4. Many drivers are home every night

Tanker truck jobs are typically regional or local hauls. Frequent home time is a huge perk of being a tanker truck driver. You get to spend more time with your family and stay closer to home while doing a job you love.

If home time is a priority for you, becoming a tanker truck driver might be a great way to be home every night or nearly every night. 

5. Can be no touch freight

As a Hazmat driver, you’re often no touch. Frequently, your clients will take care of loading and unloading, so you don’t have to worry about heavy loads or the liability of handling freight. You may still be hooking up hoses, but you won’t have to tarp a load on a windy day.

The Cons:

1. Driving takes some adjustment time

When driving a tanker truck that isn’t full to the top, there is room for your load to move when you start and stop. This is called “surge.” Basically, if you slow down too quickly, the liquid in your load will be a little bit behind. A moment later, you might feel the liquid slam into the front of the tank. The force can be enough to slide your whole truck forward several feet! It’s challenging at first, but most drivers say they adapt quickly and use safe driving habits.

2. Can be more dangerous than other hauls

If you’re a tanker truck driver, there’s a good chance you’re hauling Hazmat. Whether that’s chemicals, hot oil, gasoline, or something else, it does increase your risk.

Normal activities like checking your load and your driving time can be more dangerous.

Even if you’re hauling food grade or other non-hazardous materials, climbing on top of a tanker truck in icy conditions can be dangerous.

DOT officer

3. Draws more attention from DOT 

While there aren’t any studies that officially confirm this, some drivers report that Hazmat drivers tend to draw more attention from DOT. This also may depend on the reputation of the company you’re driving for and the region you’re driving in.

4. Safety equipment

If you’re a hazmat driver, you will have a few extra safety requirements. A big one is the uniform you wear. If you’re a tanker driver, you typically wear fire resistant coveralls and an H2 monitor as protection from toxic fumes.

If you live in a hot part of the country, it’s not always comfortable, but it’s a small price to pay to keep yourself a little safer.

During load and unload times, you will also wear safety glasses and a helmet with a face shield to reduce your risk. 

The Take Away

As with any job, there are pros and cons to being a tanker truck driver. If home time and good pay are a high priority, this might be the perfect job for you. There are extra risks for tanker truck drivers, but there are also specific rules to help drivers stay safe. Overall, most drivers who haul tanker trucks say they love it and are never going back!

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Apollos Water

Today’s Job of the Day comes from Apollos Water

Apollos Water is a family owned business located in Battle Ground, IN. Apollos offers bulk liquid waste removal for hazardous and non-hazardous waste transportation: 6,000 vac tanker, +500 CFM and +600 vacuum pump, box truck, roll-off, vac boxes, flatbed for totes and or drum removal, pneumatic tanker, etc.

We are seeking an immediate full time CDL A OTR Tanker Driver in Battle Ground, IN to make deliveries over the road Indiana statewide area and some out of state runs. Works Mon-Fri  and will pick up liquid waste products. Materials include used oils and waters. We provide the truck/tanker. You are able to store it at your location. We are looking for an energetic, dependable driver ready to join our team!

Job Highlights:

  • Hiring 100 miles around Battle Ground, IN
  • Medical, Dental, and Vision Benefits available immediately
  • Simple IRA once employee qualifies
  • Employer paid $25K Life Insurance Policy
  • Salary: $70,000-75,000
    • Pay is bi-weekly via direct deposit
    • Now offering a bonus of $1,000 upon 90 day review following good safety standards and performance
  • Fuel card provided
  • Trucks are manual and automatics with sleepers
  • Home every weekend!

Job Requirements:

  • CDL Class A License with Tanker/Hazardous Endorsement
  • 2 Years of CDLA driving experience but tanker driving experience is preferred with clean MVR
  • MUST Pass DOT background check & DOT drug screens
  • Medical Certificate Required
  • DUI/DWI in the last 3 years not permitted
  • EDI Logs Kept
  • Must be able to read, write and speak English
  • Must be at least 21 years of age
  • Job requires you to hook-up and unhook hoses to the tankers. Some climbing required.

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Today’s Job of the Day comes from Ullman Oil Company

For 50 years, the Ullman family worked tirelessly to serve their customers and the community. In 1965 Bob Ullman left his job as a District Manager with Sinclair Oil to purchase a small heating oil distributor in Chagrin Falls. A true ‘Mom & Pop’ business, Bob ran the operation and drove the truck while his wife Marilyn answered the phone and kept the books. From a small two truck heating oil company, they now supply commercial fuels for on-road and off-road equipment. In addition, they service over 35 retail fuel stations and sell lubricants to commercial and industrial customers. They proudly represent industry premier brands, Chevron, BP and Marathon.

Currently, Ullman Oil is hiring full-time CDL A Local Fuel Drivers in Chagrin Falls, OH.

Some of the perks of these positions include:

  • Home Every Day
  • Great Pay: Avg $18/hr – $20/hr+
  • Health/Dental/Vision/Life insurance
  • 401K with a company match up to 4% – FREE $$$!
  • Stable, growing company with caring environment
  • Professional team treats people with respect

Ullman doesn’t provide gimmicks or fine print to get you in the door. Ullman Oil Company pays and treats drivers well because they want to attract the best people.

In addition, Ullman requires that drivers are over the age of 25, have their CDL A with verifiable experience & Tanker/Hazmat endorsements. Also, they ask that drivers have a clean driving & safety record and prefer 1 year of Tanker/Tank Wagon experience.

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