Schneider National OTR: Tanker Or Truck

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Pamela C.'s Comment
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Hi Tom W, I am new to this forum but I am also looking for direction about driving Tanker for Schneider. I have about 3 years OTR Refrigerated experience in, but its been 10 years! Lol.....I am also looking on this website for anyone who knows about refresher courses and a company who will train for Tanker. Have you had any luck finding anything out yet? Thanks to anyone who can post any info about these topics :)

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.

Tom W.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi Tom W, I am new to this forum but I am also looking for direction about driving Tanker for Schneider. I have about 3 years OTR Refrigerated experience in, but its been 10 years! Lol.....I am also looking on this website for anyone who knows about refresher courses and a company who will train for Tanker. Have you had any luck finding anything out yet? Thanks to anyone who can post any info about these topics :)

Welcome to the forum, Pamela. Although I don't know anything about refresher courses, I have looked into driving tanker for Schneider. Schneider and CTL Transportation, Comcar Industries' Tanker division, are the only two companies I know of for sure that will take rookies into their tanker division. Now you might have more companies to choose from being that you are no rookie but others might be able to advise you better about that point than me. Before getting to Schneider, let me say that Comcar impresses me for a few reasons but the main thing to mention is all the areas in which a rookie can get started. Tanker, flatbed, reefer , and dry van are all available possibilities. They have a couple of other divisions too but they are specialized and might not be available without experience.

Well, on to your question about Schneider and their Tanker division. I have had two phone interviews with them and received a pre-hire letter from them yesterday. Unlike any other company that has given me a pre-hire, I appreciate Schneider taking significant time talking with me, finding out if I might be what they are looking for, and giving me the opportunity to find out if they are right for me. I might be the only one who thinks this way, but that goes in the "positive" column for Schneider.

To give you some details, Schneider's Tanker division offers both OTR and Regional opportunities (at least where I live). It pays 37 cpm for OTR and 32 cpm for Regional after training is complete. They increase it to 42.5 cpm after 6 months for OTR and to 35 cpm for Regional. They say about 15% of your total pay will come from accessorial pay items such as loading ($25), unloading ($35), cleaning the tanker out ($20), etc. for OTR and about 25% for Regional (they pay a higher $ amt for some of these duties for Regional to make up for the lower miles). The average miles for OTR Tanker is around 1900 miles/wk and about 1500/wk for Regional.

About 2/3 of the loads are non-hazmat. Yes, a hazmat endorsement in needed but you do not need it before getting hired. You will also need a TWIC card but it too is not needed before hire. You will need your Tanker endorsement before you show up to orientation however.

OTR will require you to be on the road for a couple of weeks at a time but you can select your 6 days off each month. Really, though, they restrict this to going home only two times a month (one 6-day home time if you so choose). Regional Tanker will get you home every 5-6 days plus 1 or 2 other times during that week (at least in my area).

A few other details that are specific to Tanker include the clothing. You must wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts when outside the truck. I believe steel-toed boots or shoes will also be required. Drivers must be clean-shaven at all times since a breathing apparatus will sometimes be necessary. I realize this is not pertinent to you as a female but if other drivers are reading this, they might want to know.

Training for Schneider's Tanker division takes place in either Houston, TX or Coraopolis, PA just outside of Pittsburgh. I will attend the one in Coraopolis if I choose Schneider. Training (including orientation) will last 30 days. This includes approximately 2 weeks at the training facility doing paperwork, taking a physical test, drug testing, etc. and then much time training. Then it's 10 days on the road with a trainer followed by 3 more days back at the training facility. Then you go home for 3-5 days to see family and get things ready to hit the road in your own truck!

I know I've rattled off several details and hope it helps you. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. I would be happy to try to answer them and I know others here will be too. I wish you the best.

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

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

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.

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.

Pre-hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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.

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.

Charles L.'s Comment
member avatar

Mark everything posted above is correct. And Daniel was correct when he said I'd hop on here soon as I saw the title!

Until very recently I was a Schneider Tanker driver. I left on good terms, and have had no issues with Schneider.

You are in an awesome area for liquid chemical bulk, as I am sure you know.

If you are a tanker OTR driver, you will do all 48 and Canada. It does depend on how much home time you want though. I was based out of the Keasbey, NJ terminal and I was home every 10-12 days, came home Thursday night, went back out Monday morning. Most Mondays I left NJ with a load down to Houston or New Orleans, then got something to Alabama or Mississippi, then maybe something up to Wisconsin or Ohio, then back to NJ to go home. So I ran mostly east of the Mississippi but that was because I chose to go home every 10 days. I went to Canada once and I went to California once. And that was because I chose to stay out for 17 days that time.

There is a driver from my orientation class at Schneider at the same terminal as I am, and he's been from NJ to California several times while I have only been once. And that is because he stays on the road for 4 weeks at a time, while I stay on the road for 1.5 weeks at a time.

You will get amazing training at Schneider Bulk. There are a few drivers from Trucking Truth that have went to Schneider Bulk and a few to Schneider Dry Van... and they all agree that the training is simply awesome.

So... after much rambling, my answer to you is:

Yes you will get to see the whole country. And you will not regret driving for Schneider Bulk.

Feel free to send me a Private Message if you have specific questions. I'd be happy to help you out any way I can.

Can u tell me more about the Schneider bulk division?

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
John S.'s Comment
member avatar

Any updates on fall protection at schneider ? considering heading to tankers (was my plan when I was in school)

I had to leave Melton's orientation due to the fact that they dont enforce fall protection when its not available... ie. they expect you to tarp no matter what. im 39 yrs old and started my path into trucking with the hopes of retiring in one piece. it only take a careless forklift driver, gust of wind or some ice and your taking the quick way to the ground. I am afraid of heights but if I am on a tether or have rails I can get the job done. its more of a lack of safety that scares the heck out of me than getting up there. day 2 they had up climb on top of the flatbed then a box then onto a container ... crawling. not a prob passed that. but on day 6 I watched a guy on top of this mountain of clutter tarp it ... he was on his knees inches from the edge shaking the tarp. I thought I was going to witness the mans end. the money is not worth a horrible accident and potential death. life is too precious to allow big companies to expect us to put ourselves in harms way like this in 2021. there is safety solutions out there and it needs to be enforced. If i wanted to play with death I would have just become a police officer instead.

also any tanker vets out there with tips would be greatly appreciated.

Greg M.'s Comment
member avatar

Why don't you just go dry van or reefer?

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
I watched a guy on top of this mountain of clutter tarp it ... he was on his knees inches from the edge shaking the tarp. I thought I was going to witness the mans end. the money is not worth a horrible accident and potential death. life is too precious to allow big companies to expect us to put ourselves in harms way like this in 2021. there is safety solutions out there and it needs to be enforced. If i wanted to play with death I would have just become a police officer instead.

Welcome to our forum John!

As a 61 year old flatbed driver, I must say you confuse me. You are concerned that the rigors of tarping are too dangerous for your liking. Then you want to drive a tanker? Have you ever thought about the consequences of a serious crash in a tanker filled with flammable liquid? What safety solution do you think is in place for your safety in that event?

I am not trying to be snarky. I am genuinely confused by the way you are thinking about this job. We never recommend a new driver start out driving a tanker. We would probably have reservations with new drivers starting out as flatbed, but it is more reasonable than starting with tanks. Try your hand at something that reduces your risks. Those tanker jobs aren't going anywhere. They will be available when you are capable of handling them better.

It is no problem that you don't like the idea of climbing up on top of loads. I guess you know you will climb up on top of a tank each time it is being unloaded, You will have to open the vent so the tank doesn't collapse from the vacuum formed by the escaping fluids. You will also be exposed to potentially dangerous chemicals and be wearing really hot protective gear and gas masks. All those things are required because of the potential dangers of pulling tanks. It is one of the most dangerous trucking jobs. All jobs have their risks. You can certainly minimize them by making a better choice as a new driver.

You didn't really tell us your experience level. I am assuming you are a new driver.

Prudence Is Sometimes Lacking In Rookie Drivers

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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