80 Hour Tanker Class

Topic 23710 | Page 1

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Daniel C.'s Comment
member avatar

The community college that I got my cdl from is now offering an 80 hour non baffled tanker class. They require a year driving experience before the class. Is there really that much to learn on a tanker? They said it is filled with 50 gallons of water for training.

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.

Baffle:

A partition or separator within a liquid tank, used to inhibit the flow of fluids within the tank. During acceleration, turning, and braking, a large liquid-filled tank may produce unexpected forces on the vehicle due to the inertia of liquids.
Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

I would think there is. Maybe some of our tanker yankers will chime in here.

Bill F.'s Comment
member avatar

50 gallons of water is a little over 400 pounds. Not much of a training load. We had an 6000 gallon tank half full of water at a little over 25000 pounds in our class. It would really slap you around.

Does your company want you to drive a tanker or are you just interested in getting the endorsement? Any of the big companies that run a tanker fleet will have their own training program and you would be paid to attend it as an experienced driver. I would not pay to attend a tanker program.

Bird-one's Comment
member avatar

Both Schneider and Prime have great entry level programs for tanker.

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

50 gallons of water is a little over 400 pounds. Not much of a training load. We had an 6000 gallon tank half full of water at a little over 25000 pounds in our class. It would really slap you around.

Does your company want you to drive a tanker or are you just interested in getting the endorsement? Any of the big companies that run a tanker fleet will have their own training program and you would be paid to attend it as an experienced driver. I would not pay to attend a tanker program.

I didn't need anything to get the endorsement on my permit. Not sure if it will eventually transfer to my license or not. I just took the test and passed.

Bill F.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

50 gallons of water is a little over 400 pounds. Not much of a training load. We had an 6000 gallon tank half full of water at a little over 25000 pounds in our class. It would really slap you around.

Does your company want you to drive a tanker or are you just interested in getting the endorsement? Any of the big companies that run a tanker fleet will have their own training program and you would be paid to attend it as an experienced driver. I would not pay to attend a tanker program.

double-quotes-end.png

I didn't need anything to get the endorsement on my permit. Not sure if it will eventually transfer to my license or not. I just took the test and passed.

All you need to get the tanker endorsement is to pass the test. You don't need to attend a tanker school to do so. Some companies with tanker fleets run their own training programs. Some just require you to have X years of experience driving.

Rob S.'s Comment
member avatar

I pull double tanks. I doubt I would notice 400 pounds. Companies that hire right out of school seem like a better way to get the proper training.

Cwc's Comment
member avatar

You've probably got more in the fuel tanks than in the trailer. Companies that take on new tanker drivers will have some sort of training to go with it. Mine was a few videos, a test or two and then a couple training loads of wax (doesn't move around a lot) where I drove alone to the receiver and my trainer met me and showed me how to off load.

If you've got some significant time behind the wheel just find a company that will take you on. They'll do the rest.

Pete B.'s Comment
member avatar

The class is going to be 99% theory; you will not notice 50 gal of water in the tanker. There cannot be training on unloading the tanker, because each company's trailers are slightly different. With chemical tankers there are several ways to unload the tanker: air pressure, pump, pump w/air assist, and gravity. Food grade and dry bulk have their own methods. Of the two weeks we spent at the training facility before our over-the-road training, at least four days were devoted to unloading. So this class isn't really going to teach anything worthwhile. All tanker companies will train you on their methods of unloading, and if it's a company like mine (Schneider) that hires new CDL grads, will train you on how to drive a fully loaded tanker [with water]. The community college must be offering it to look good on paper and to use in marketing, and bring in more tuition money.

To answer your question, yes, there really is a lot to learn on tankers, but this community college course is not the way to learn it. Furthermore, as holds true with driving all manners of trucks, once you get on the road solo you will continue to learn, twice as much, as what you were taught in training. I'm still learning.

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.

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.

Robert D. (Raptor)'s Comment
member avatar

Food grade and most Chemical tankers are not baffled, fuel tankers are, with bulkheads that separate compartments. So, the "Slosh" is real! Don't think you can stop on a dime and not be pushed into an intersection. But with a due respect of the tanker you are driving and with professionalism you can make a good living doing this. Dry van , refrigerated or flatbed is not the only way to be a trucker. Cleaner maybe, but not the only way.

But all of the tanker companies are going to give you the best training that they can. It's up to you to have an open mind to the extra responsibility that goes with being a tanker driver of any commodity.

Good Luck and remember that is a lot of liquid that you are hauling!

Baffle:

A partition or separator within a liquid tank, used to inhibit the flow of fluids within the tank. During acceleration, turning, and braking, a large liquid-filled tank may produce unexpected forces on the vehicle due to the inertia of liquids.

Bulkhead:

A strong wall-like structure placed at the front of a flatbed trailer (or on the rear of the tractor) used to protect the driver against shifting cargo during a front-end collision. May also refer to any separator within a dry or liquid trailer (also called a baffle for liquid trailers) used to partition the load.

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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