Opinion On Driving A Fuel Tanker Truck Right Out Of Cdl School?

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Turtle's Comment
member avatar

To Bret- yes that's correct. My only driving experience is at cdl school. 160 hours. And 80 of those hours were me just standing around waiting for my turn to drive. Thanks for the video.

To Old School- No, I didn't ignore the advice. I heard and understood the advice given. But just because the people giving the advice have experience and I don't, doesn't mean I should or have to do as they tell me.

I get why you moderators are upset. But, this company will train me. They have hired another rookie about 2 years ago. From the same school.

I guess I should stop posting on this forum until I can say I have a year or two of driving under my belt, so I don't **** any more people off.

Thanks.

James, the very title of your post is asking for opinions, so don't get upset just because those opinions aren't the ones you wanted or expected to hear.

Whatever you do, I wish you nothing but the best of luck.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Patrick C.'s Comment
member avatar

James, I have held back from posting, but maybe I can get a light bulb to click. I too want to drive tanker. Not chemical, but food grade. Nearly every reputable tanker company I have looked into wants 2 years worth of experience before they will even consider you. One of the few that don't is Prime.

As far as starting out with a tanker truck pulling a tanker wagon... Daniel does that. He said your crazy for considering it. Pete is a rookie pulling a regular chemical tank trailer with a tractor. He said it is very demanding and stressful. I personally have not experienced the surge. The closest I can possibly liken anything close to it is pulling a half load of paper rolls. They a centered in the trailer on "non skid mats". For some reason som shippers believe these mats are enough. They aren't. I was hauling one of these half loads when a situation arose that I had to brake quickly and aggressively. The shipper had not strapped the front of the rolls. They broke loose. I came to a stop, then I got picked up and thrown 20 feet forward. When the rolls slid to the front of the trailer. I nearly peed myself. Luckily the reason I had to brake was no longer in my path. That was with only 25k lbs. of a load. Now imagine a lot mor weight than that and constantly being pushed, pulled, and hurled in every direction.

In case you ask, what happened in my incident was as we , the car that cut me off and I, approached a intersection. The car decided to cut in front of me to make the right hand turn. Slammed his brakes than made the turn. The force literally launched me across the intersection. Luckily there was a few second pause as the rolls were sliding forward before they hit the front of the trailer and launched me. That few seconds allowed the car to get out of my way before my nearly 60k lbs wrecking ball was launched 20 feet forward.

In short what you are preparing to do is play a very dangerous and explosive game of Russian Roulette. I urge you to reconsider.

Drive Safe and God Speed.

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.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

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

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

I waited to respond, hoping Daniel would chime in, knowing he knew the driver who perished in the video. Disturbing... Very disturbing.

Wake up! James of all the opinions that truely have significant impact here, it's Daniel. I hope you heed his warnings and understand that "trying" matters not. Makes zero difference. There are no gold stars or adda-boys for "trying" when pulling gasoline doubles. The slightest, most innocent mistake can kill you and others around you. Experience matters a lot, and you have none of it.

I am 100% in agreement with everything said here, especially Daniel! I would NOT drive for a company that hires entry level drivers to run a doubles gasoline tanker. It's totally and completely irresponsible, lacking any and all concern for public safety and the well being of a totally naive' and unsuspecting newbie driver.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
I would NOT drive for a company that hires entry level drivers to run a doubles gasoline tanker

There's no chance on Earth this company is being honest with their insurance company. No one in North America would insure a driver straight out of school to haul a gasoline tanker.

It's also really scary that a brand new driver who is getting ready to drive around in a bomb asked our opinion and then threw a hissy fit when it wasn't what he wanted to hear. He tells us he doesn't have to listen to what we suggest and storms out. That is definitely not someone who is interested in learning anything. That's someone who either thinks they know it all or is too insecure to admit they don't. Either way, if he won't take our advice he likely won't take anyone else's either.

Unfortunately there's a possibility he'll end up on the National News. And for what? There's a million other jobs out there. There's nothing special about this one.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

Dm:

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.
Pete B.'s Comment
member avatar

I've been wondering what the safety score of this company is; and something that got lost in all of this is that somewhere out there, there is an idiot DOT examiner advising brand new drivers to take jobs that he must know they're not qualified for, putting themselves and the public in harm's way. He ought to have his license revoked.

Wasn't there a girl in the news not long ago, who was prosecuted for texting or emailing her boyfriend messages, that allegedly led to his committing suicide? I don't see much of a difference here.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

James O.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

I would NOT drive for a company that hires entry level drivers to run a doubles gasoline tanker

double-quotes-end.png

There's no chance on Earth this company is being honest with their insurance company. No one in North America would insure a driver straight out of school to haul a gasoline tanker.

It's also really scary that a brand new driver who is getting ready to drive around in a bomb asked our opinion and then threw a hissy fit when it wasn't what he wanted to hear. He tells us he doesn't have to listen to what we suggest and storms out. That is definitely not someone who is interested in learning anything. That's someone who either thinks they know it all or is too insecure to admit they don't. Either way, if he won't take our advice he likely won't take anyone else's either.

Unfortunately there's a possibility he'll end up on the National News. And for what? There's a million other jobs out there. There's nothing special about this one.

You got me all wrong man... as I stated earlier I appreciated the advice. It definitely gave me a lot to think about. And that's what the intent of my post was for. And as far as throwing a hissy fit and leaving: I didn't throw a hissy fit, I just realized that this is a very touchy subject and that I might be better off keeping this information to myself rather than telling all of you guys and upsetting you. And Bret, I sent you a pm on your Facebook yesterday. I wasn't able to find a pm thing on this forum. Anyway. Thanks again for your input and wake-up call.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

Dm:

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar

James, I couldn't even stop thinking about this whole conversation yesterday. It was on my mind so heavily that I took the time to write a short article concerning The Lack of Prudence in Rookie Drivers.

I'm hoping folks will read it and understand where we're coming from with our arguments. There are well established ways to get a trucking career started, and it's generally best to approach this whole thing in a way that best produces the desired results.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

James, you cannot "upset" the regular members of this forum. We are all dedicated to providing quality input for any situation that gets posted here. There's no "hate" involved.

To put it frankly, we all have our own jobs and lives, you have yours. We are simply offering each of our best opinions to help you get along. As with all advice given everywhere, it's then up to you to accept and use the advice. That is something we have no control over.

I believe if it seems we are upset, it's more that you may be ignoring our experience (that you don't have yet) and following a path most of us disagree with.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm definitely not upset at you. To be accepted into a tanker job must make you feel great and it may be difficult for you to decline.

However, upset is a nice way to describe my feelings towards the company. They are who I am upset at. You don't know any better with no experience, you don't know what you don't know. But they should know better.

They are so desperate for drivers they are willing to forsake public safety just to put someone behind the wheel. I had almost 5 years of experience when I joined my tanker company and I was a young, blind pup compared to most of them. Dozens and dozens of drivers there had been driving for 30+ years.

I'm wholeheartedly not a fan of gas tankers so you'll rarely see me recommend it to an experienced driver, and never a rookie. Which is why I moved on.

Lorie J. (Brite Eyes)'s Comment
member avatar

Hi James O. I just wanted to add a few more cents to the mix here. First off - CONGRATS on getting your CDL!

As a lady trucker (company driver, Owner/Operator, Small fleet owner) since the 1980's, what you are starting will not be easy. I am happy to read in your post that the company plans to train you and run you local, not just put you in a big truck with haz doubles and turn you loose on America. I hope the company is better than one I experienced. After my first 4 years of driving (yep, flatbed OTR) I looked for local work and got hired with a Propane company. I told them I wanted a trainer for at least 3 weeks...maybe more depending on my comfort level (research STATIC issues). They agreed. After running team one day and chasing my trainer for 2 days loading and unloading propane at transfer stations (2 to 3 times a day) around Ohio, I was told I had to run to PA alone. After refusing the load, I got some serious harassment/coercion from Dispatch (she called me a bunch of unkind names). Truck/keys and tanker trailer were parked at their terminal and I quit.

With that said, I will ask you to please exercise the same common sense should this company that hired you not provide enough training so you are comfortable by yourself. Please do not see it as a failure or lack of ability to ask for another week or 2 of additional training time. No company should refuse. Only YOU know when YOU will be safe to operate solo. Be honest with yourself. The hardest thing to live with is a fatality when you survive, are at fault, and those that are deceased are families, kids, babies.

Understand that CDL school doesn't prepare you for the Roadside Inspection or crossing scales in the Weigh Stations or portables set up on the little roads that truckers use (some to go around OPEN stations). Take your time. Follow directions. Let the officer know you are a new driver. Go online to FMCSA website and review this company's safety record at https://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov/CompanySnapshot.aspx Enter their DOT #, scroll down and read - info including # of trucks, drivers, Inspections, Crashes and Hazmat issues. In the upper right corner box you will see a link to SMS Results. Click the link and it will take you to the Safety Management System. Top Center Box will show you the company's Vehicle/Driver/Hazmat Out of Service percentages and comparison to National Averages. Companies that exceed National Average percentages in 3 categories are deemed Unsafe and get a federal audit.

Scroll down you will see the 7 Basic categories. As you scroll you will notice 4 boxes on the left that are fixed. Click the top box with the truck icon. The page will refresh and, scroll down, you will see Violation History section and then Roadside Inspection section. Check out how often trucks are placed Out of Service due to mechanical issues. That will give you an idea of how often/how well the equipment you will operate is maintained.

Lastly, companies with higher than National Average % are inspected more often. There is what is called the ISS (Inspection Selection System). Ask your company what their score is or ask to see it. When you pass a law enforcement officer or cross a scale, they will input the company DOT # in their computer. Scores: 1-49 = GREEN and PASS; 50 - 74 = YELLOW and OPTIONAL; 75-100 = RED and INSPECT. Law enforcement officials will see a big color bar on their screens. RED or YELLOW (when closer to 74 than 50) get pulled in/pulled over often. Expect to get inspected because your company has a poor safety record.

Know that your CDL will now record every violation you get in a CMV. When you take unsafe equipment, get pulled over and issued a citation or put out of service (OOS) until repairs are complete, that info will attach to your CDL. PSP (Pre-Employment Screening Program) reports are required by law to be pulled by companies to check a new hire's safety history. Get stopped often with issues founds and you will find it difficult to change jobs in a year or two. Crashes follow you for 5 years, Roadside Inspection issues for 3 years.

We are heading into snow season and your training was during summer...there are a lot of new feelings, vibrations, noises, senses, habits etc you learned/acquired in summer that will change in winter. How and When to apply brakes is a big one. Please take it slow and be careful. Re-train yourself on the new feelings, vibrations, noises, senses, etc. Watch videos online of Winter Driving Techniques to help you get acquainted with some changes (others you just have to experience).

Take care, be safe, and Good Luck out there! Lorie

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

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

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.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

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