New Food Tanker Driver

Topic 24284 | Page 2

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Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

You're getting such pushback from experienced drivers because tankers definitely are a whole different thing. You said you been driving a year and a half so I believe you'd have at least a bare minimum of safe driving practices. Members here care for seeing others be successful that's why they recommend staying away from tankers. Alot more things can go wrong on the road with a tanker. Truth is the same, or more money can be made pulling other types of freight/trailer that involve alot less risk. If you're overall happy with driving for dr pepper is there any way of switching over to a shuttle/linehaul position with them? Some people really love the idea of pulling a tank but others want to do it only because they THINK it pays more. If you decide to go that route I'd love to hear about your experiences.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.
Cwc's Comment
member avatar

I've been pulling a food grade tanker for a little over a year now. Before that I had two dragging a dry van around. You know how fast is to fast around a corner for a garbage truck but not a semi. But in a garbage truck you can just smack the brakes and be fine, not the case in a tanker. I like Bretts idea. Reconsider your choice of first time class A job as if your life and others depend on it. If this happens to fall on deaf ears good luck. And if you've never driven anything with a Jake brake before don't start using it now.

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.
Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Though not food grade, I did gasoline tankers for two years. I wouldn't recommend it at all. This is way above your skill level at this time.

I would recommend LTL. Pays the same if not better, home daily.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier
TheSchmeltz's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

I want to let you all know that I am not going into this blind

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So then you've considered the fact that you're taking the lives of innocent families into your own inexperienced hands and accepting a job you do not yet have the experience or skill set to handle safely?

If you received a phone call today saying a family member was killed by an inexperienced truck driver who decided to take a job they weren't yet prepared to handle, how would you feel about that? Wouldn't the obvious thought be, "Why would he do that?? Why wouldn't he have gotten a little experience first instead of putting other people's lives at risk?"

It's a fair question.

There are plenty of safer job opportunities out there that pay just as well and can get you home on the same schedule. I think you should reconsider your choice.

I take this into consideration every time I get behind the wheel of not only my work truck but also my personal vehicle. And to say I don’t hold the experience or skill set to perform this job is wrong. How do you know what skills I have? Have been in a truck with me? I’ve driven in snow and ice conditions, I do it every day! Ive been behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle for 3+ years. Yes, you’re right, not pulling a tanker, but that is where training comes in. I wouldn’t put myself in a situation that I can’t handle or don’t feel comfortable in. Safety is always top priority and I will not jeopardize that for innocent drivers, or myself.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
I’m looking for any and all advice you might be able to offer up!

Well, we had high hopes that you were serious about the above statement, but instead you've turned defensive. You've got several people with actual experience doing this job encouraging you to get additional tractor/trailer experience before jumping into this. Over confidence in this business is really dangerous, but most of us insist on learning that on our own.

Each of us volunteer many hours each week to help folks with this career, but when they ask for advice and then get defensive we stand back and let them figure it out. You're not making a good start here, and I've a sinking feeling in my stomach you're in for a big wake up call.

We always teach an incremental approach to any safety sensitive hobby or career. We recommend you do some OTR work in dry van or reefer first. Even flatbed work would be a great incremental step toward full bore tanker work. There's no rush. One more year of gaining experience can only improve your chances at success.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

TheSchmeltz's Comment
member avatar

I do apologize for becoming defensive. Itjust seems that I’m being made out to be fresh out of school and never being behind the wheel. I will take all of the comments of this post into consideration and I value all of your opinions. Perhaps I may have taken on more than I can chew. Again, thank you all for your advice.

Cwc's Comment
member avatar

Sorry I didn't see that you had tractor trailer experience of any kind. That makes more sense. Otherwise it sounded kinda like me saying since I have a drivers license I can drive a formula 1 car.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

I do apologize for becoming defensive. Itjust seems that I’m being made out to be fresh out of school and never being behind the wheel. I will take all of the comments of this post into consideration and I value all of your opinions. Perhaps I may have taken on more than I can chew. Again, thank you all for your advice.

CWC is the only person who didn’t realize you had experience. I’d carefully review everything written; still valid, still applicable and still worth your serious consideration.

Safe travels!

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
I hauled garbage for 2 years ( class b ) and most recently have been working for Dr Pepper delivering out of a 28’ pup trailer.

Unfortunately those trucks do not come close to what you're going to face in an 80,000 pound smooth bore tanker. You're talking 50,000 pounds of sloshing liquid, 80,000 pounds gross, and 65 feet long. That's a huge difference even from the pup trailer. I'd still rather see you get some Class A in something else and pull 80,000 pounds around for a while before jumping to food grade tanker. It's ultimately your decision. Weigh the risk versus the reward and remember that one mistake could be life changing for a lot of people.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Perhaps I may have taken on more than I can chew. Again, thank you all for your advice.

CWC is the only person who didn’t realize you had experience. I’d carefully review everything written; still valid, still applicable and still worth your serious consideration.

Safe travels!

Sorry G-town, tongue and cheek comments are pretty hard to convey I suppose. Yes I fully agree he should reconsider. If I recall correctly from conversation with a Caledonia driver they haul a lot of Glycerin. Probably not the easiest to haul.

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