My Update From The Prime Inc Tanker Division

Topic 20347 | Page 1

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icecold24k's Comment
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So as I stated in a previous post after several months of doing flatbed with Prime I realized and made the decision that flatbed just was not for me. I simply am not cut out for it. So I made the move over to our tanker division about a month and a half ago. So after doing the tanker for a little bit now I wanted to stop in and give a quick update and review of our tanker division.

We haul 100% foodgrade products such as different kinds of oils, chocolate, cocoa butter, lots of different things. This means we drive smooth bore tanks so the surge is very real. I had to adjust to being able to shift with the timing of the surge to minimize the impact I felt with each shift and have learned to stop and start very smoothly. I take a lot more caution now and I am the guy you will see taking the exit ramps at 10mph haha. We do run a lot of Northeast and very seldom get west even though I have already had loads to Kansas and Texas. Our primary area though is a big triangle from Newark Nj, Savannah Ga, and Chicago Il. This is where you will spend the majority of your time in this division.

One of my concerns switching over was not being able to run as many miles as I did with flatbed because I had heard our tanker drivers only average 2000-2200 miles a week. However my last few weeks have been 2469, 2897, 3105, and 2655 so the miles and the freight are definitely here so I am not sure what kind of problems the other drivers have been having that I talked to before switching over were having. I am actually making more money than I did in flatbed so that makes really happy. I have a super amazing FM who keeps me loaded and running and I am almost always pre-planned on other loads way before I get empty on my current one.

Here in tanker we do have a little more down time and a little more waiting at shipper and receivers than I did in flatbed however it hasn't been anything too excessive. My longest wait time to get loaded was 8 hours at a cocoa processor in Delaware but the people were super friendly and explained they had an issue inside with equipment that slowed them down and the detention pay I got plus the nap i took was a nice little bonus to that wait. Also we go into some very tight places. Everywhere I have been so far with the exception on one customer has been pretty tight so it is definitely refining my close quarter maneuvering and my backing skills for sure.

I am honestly very happy with my decision to move to the tanker side and I have really fell in love with this. I really do not ever seeing myself doing anything other than tanker. If anyone has any questions about this division here I will be more than glad to help and answer what i can.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Jonathan T.'s Comment
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Yeah man, I've got a question for you. I ran reefer with prime and am currently doing flatbed. One of my big reasons for making the switch to flatbed was because it's all daytime work. I love that I can sleep every night. What are the operating hours of a tank driver? I wouldn't mind pulling one of our tankers down the road one day so I'd like to know what the life is like.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Turtle's Comment
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Thanks for the update ice. I may someday make the jump over to tanker. It's nice to hear what's involved.

icecold24k's Comment
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Yeah man, I've got a question for you. I ran reefer with prime and am currently doing flatbed. One of my big reasons for making the switch to flatbed was because it's all daytime work. I love that I can sleep every night. What are the operating hours of a tank driver? I wouldn't mind pulling one of our tankers down the road one day so I'd like to know what the life is like.

Honestly the hours don't vary much from flatbed so far. Yes sometimes we may have a weird appointment time but it don't happen much. I typically run during the day and shut down at night. Also the weekends are kind of the same. I get a load Friday to carry me until Monday. Or I will deliver somewhere Friday and take a 34 and reload on Sunday.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Patrick C.'s Comment
member avatar

How heavy are the hoses? I ask because I would love to do tanker. However I do have a bad back. I can handle moderate amount of activity with it. An example would be I can handle 'throwing' boxes of bananas but not potatoes. 40-50 lbs not much of a problem, but anything over 50 lbs and I really risk doing more damage to it.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

icecold24k's Comment
member avatar

How heavy are the hoses? I ask because I would love to do tanker. However I do have a bad back. I can handle moderate amount of activity with it. An example would be I can handle 'throwing' boxes of bananas but not potatoes. 40-50 lbs not much of a problem, but anything over 50 lbs and I really risk doing more damage to it.

Patrick they actually aren't that heavy. Definitely less than 50 pounds. I do more dragging than picking them up since they are so long. I have done tanker here about 6 weeks now and only had to actually pump off myself two times. Most of the customers I have been too it seems I back in and they do everything. At our major customers too it's always a drop and hook.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

How heavy are the hoses? I ask because I would love to do tanker. However I do have a bad back. I can handle moderate amount of activity with it. An example would be I can handle 'throwing' boxes of bananas but not potatoes. 40-50 lbs not much of a problem, but anything over 50 lbs and I really risk doing more damage to it.

It really depends on the terrain for my job. If you're unloading Diesel using your 20+ft hose uphill then it can be brutal. Usually its not too bad though.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Pete B.'s Comment
member avatar

Ditto on the customer unloads... in 2 mos., only used my hoses twice... increasingly customers are performing the unloads, mainly due to liability issues. I would wager your workout securing your loads are way more strenuous than what I'm doing.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Pete B.'s Comment
member avatar

Sorry, that last comment was for Patrick.

Patrick C.'s Comment
member avatar

I run dry van. Most of our customers seal the loads on us. I don't have to worry about putting up straps very often. The worse it gets for me is having to block pallets. Even then, most of the time the shipper just uses a nail gun after I set all the blocking wood in place. I do get stuck using a crowbar to peel up all the bracing.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.
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