More information about tanker hauling
Tanker equipment is designed for hauling various types of liquids and gases ranging from water to gasoline to hydrogen or other chemicals. Tankers include trailer used exclusively for the purpose of hauling liquids and flatbed trailers with tanks secured to the trailer. Tanker drivers are often hired by gasoline or other fuel companies as well as chemical companies. Less hazardous materials hauled in tanker equipment may include water or milk.
As many tankers carry hazardous or flammable materials, the level of liability for carriers hauling tanker equipment is high. Likewise, offloading the liquids or gases hauled requires special skills. With those factors in mind, individual companies producing products hauled in tankers will own a fleet of equipment and hire drivers well-trained in the skills needed.
A tanker driver must accept an extremely high level of responsibility and exercise equally extreme caution when hauling and offloading liquids or gases. Some chemical hauled in tankers can be environmentally hazardous if released, and other may be deadly - sometime for a considerable distance and requiring evacuations of neighborhoods or business districts. The liability a driver and employer hold when hauling and offloading hazardous materials requires high levels of insurance as well as high premiums. Tanker drivers are not going to be hired if inexperienced or with records of questionable driving behavior.
Tanker drivers must also be detailed in record-keeping. Reading gauges as materials is loaded, hauled, and offloading is important to know how much of a tank’s capacity is delivered to what locations and if gauges indicate leaks. Hazardous material transportation laws can be very strict and it is up to the driver to ensure compliance at all times.
Tanker drivers are required to hold the (N) Tanker endorsement, and it is advised to obtain the (H) Hazardous Materials endorsement or (X) Hazardous Material-Tanker combination endorsement. With the endorsement tanker drivers will be limited in the liquids they can haul.
While tanker drivers may be paid by the mile or salaried, they command some of the highest wages in the trucking industry due to the level of responsibility and personal danger involved with their work.
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A commercial driver's license (CDL) is a driver's license required to operate large, heavy, or hazardous material vehicles in the US. The “class” of CDL a truck driver needs depends on the type of commercial motor vehicle operated. A truck driver may hold a CDL in one of three classes: Class A, Class B, and Class C.
For a detailed explanation of the different classes of CDLs, visit Truck Driving Job Resources.
Driver Type refers to the employment arrangement a driver operates. The most common truck driver arrangements include:
- Company Driver: Drivers employed by a specific carrier with its own fleet of trucks. “Companies” can be carriers that contract to transport other individuals' or companies' freight, or companies that carry their own freight.
- Lease-Purchase: Drivers hired by carriers where the truck is leased to the individual driver.
- Owner Operator (OO): Drivers who own the truck and operate as an independent business (also referred to as an "independent contractor").
- Team Driver: Drivers operating with a partner who shares driving duties.
For a detailed explanation of Driver Types, visit Truck Driving Job Resources.
Hauling Type (or trailer type, or equipment type) refers to the type of cargo being hauled. Different types of cargo materials require different types of trailers, and each type of trailer requires unique driver experience.
For a detailed explanation of Hauling Types, visit Truck Driving Job Resources.
Endorsements are required certifications for CDL holders hauling various types of equipment and freight. The most common endorsements for long haul truck drivers include:
- Doubles/Triples: required for drivers hauling double or triple trailers.
- HazMat: required for transporting hazardous materials.
- Tanker: required for operating a vehicles designed with a permanent or temporary tank attached.
For a detailed explanation of the different types of endorsements, visit Truck Driving Job Resources.
Finding the right diesel mechanic job requires careful consideration of various factors. Research potential employers’ reputation and culture, evaluate compensation packages, and confirm that long-term growth and advancement opportunities fit with your career goals. Other factors to consider include: your own level of experience, skill and industry specialization vs the job requirements; CDL license requirements; tool requirements; location; training and professional development opportunity; work schedule, flexibility and work-life balance. For key considerations for finding a job as a heavy-duty truck diesel mechanic or technician, visit our Diesel Mechanic Job Resources.
Diesel mechanic certifications represent an industry recognized level of knowledge and expertise in a particular area of diesel engine diagnosis, repair or maintenance. These advanced certifications are offered by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and enhance a mechanic’s skill set and positively impact their qualifications and salary. Certifications may be obtained in specific areas such as gasoline and diesel engines, drive trains, brakes, suspension and steering, electronics, HVAC and preventative maintenance. For a listing of ASE certifications available specifically for heavy-duty truck mechanics, visit our Diesel Mechanic Job Resources.
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