Hazmat Endorsement

Topic 20856 | Page 1

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Lamar C.'s Comment
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I am in the process of taking my driver's test for my CDL. I had a cdl over 10 years ago with endorsements. I was informed that in order to be endorsed nowadays I have to be cleared federally and pay a fee. Now today I have a felony that dates back about 7 years ago for assault. Basically a fight that turned ugly. My question is it worth me going for my hazmat endorsement if they are going to deny me. Why should I pay to be denied. How much money is there in driving without hazmat endorsement. I was thinking about getting into driving tankers. This is a bummer. Nevertheless I will take the test in about 2 weeks so I just wanted some advice. I'm from California but I'll be relocating to Georgia in the next few months. Any insight and advance is appreciated in advance.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

Big T's Comment
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I don't think felony assault is a disqualifying situation, but I would check that first. To be honest you're most likely to have more trouble with employers than you are with the background check.

Pete B.'s Comment
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Lamar, go ahead and get the HAZMAT endorsement.. cost isn't really all that much. Gives you more options. Some companies do pay extra for hauling HAZMAT loads, others do not. If you go with an entry-level company pulling tankers, and I think Schneider & Prime are the only entry-level tanker companies out there, Prime hauls food-grade only, and Schneider doesn't pay extra for HAZMAT loads. But dry van companies, like Werner, do pay extra for HAZMAT loads. I'm curious, why do you want to go tankers?

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

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.
Lamar C.'s Comment
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Pete B. As far as tankers, from what I've been learning, the earning potential is greater. I just want to maximize my ability to earn the most money. I want to drive smart. I hear oil field tankers make quite a bit.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Pete B. As far as tankers, from what I've been learning, the earning potential is greater. I just want to maximize my ability to earn the most money. I want to drive smart. I hear oil field tankers make quite a bit.

Actually, that's not true about the earning potential.

Oilfield jobs pay well because they're very difficult work and often involve a lot of physical labor besides driving. And although we all want to make as much money as possible, it's not a good idea to go into your first year trying to worry about maximizing your pay. You have a ton to learn and it's going to take 6 to 12 months before you really become proficient enough with time management, street savvy, developing a great reputation, and honing your driving skills to really maximize the miles you can turn anyhow.

And very few tanker companies will hire someone straight out of school anyhow.

The first year you should just approach as a foundation year for your career. You can still make really good money, but that shouldn't be your focus. Focus on getting through that first year safely and learn all you can about your job and about this industry. By the end of that first year you'll know enough that you'll be ready to move on something that suits you better if you want to do something different.

Go through our truck drivers career guide. You learned a ton:

Truck Driver's Career Guide

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Pete B.'s Comment
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Pete B. As far as tankers, from what I've been learning, the earning potential is greater. I just want to maximize my ability to earn the most money. I want to drive smart. I hear oil field tankers make quite a bit.

I sort of figured that was the reason. I don't know much about oil field work, only what I've heard. It can be lucrative, but the hours are very, very long, and there doesn't seem to be as much security in oil field work. While the money is good, it's definitely risky.

I did the same research as you into driving tankers, thinking that as long as I'm going to be a truck driver, I'm going to earn as much as I can while doing it. And all of the propaganda says that tanker drivers earn the most. Listed CPM's are definitely higher, but you're definitely not going to drive as many miles as you would pulling dry vans, reefers, or flat beds. The loads just aren't set up the same way.

In any event, best of luck to you; whichever decision you make will be the best one. That seems to be the one constant about this industry; as long as you're smart and apply yourself, you're going to do well regardless of what's behind you.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Lamar C.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for all the input. I actually have 3 years otr experience. Im just getting reacquainted. Haven't driven in some time now. All the info is greatly appreciated and I certainly will consider the best options. I really am focused on making 60k and above. Whatever I have to do to accomplish that the smartest way is what I'm aiming for. I don't want to do alot of hard work. I saw some videos where tanking was made o look quite simple and this dude claimed to be making 2500 a week on his bad weeks and up to 4500. That's 10k and up a month.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Lamar, you have so many red flags I don't know where to start.

First of all, if you don't want to do a lot of hard work then don't expect the big bucks. No one is going to hire someone with no recent experience, who has a felony, and who doesn't want to work hard for top dollar.

You really should read all your posts as if they weren't your own and you would realize how foolish you sound.

Lamar C.'s Comment
member avatar

Again thanks for the input. I stand corrected. When I said I didn't want to work hard that was in reference to Brett's comments regarding the hard labor required for oil field work. I will bust my ass in terms of putting in the hours and driving non stop. But as far as unloading freight and alot off physical manual work. I don't look forward to that. The standard operating procedure of equipment maintenance is a given but trucking is not a sweat labor job and I don't intend to break my back doing it.

Pete B.'s Comment
member avatar

Lamar, you're putting some serious limitations on your options... as a tanker driver I see many other company's tractors at the tank washes, and the majority of them have hoses mounted on the back of their trucks; this means the drivers may be required to perform the unload, and there is a good bit of physical labor and sweat involved, especially in warm weather. We don't do the unloads all of the time; last week I did three, but last night it was done by the customer. But when I did do them, I sweat through everything I was wearing, you have to dismount and mount the hoses... If you're looking for a drop-&-hook tanker company, you're not going to find one coming off a 15-year layoff.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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