New Food Tanker Driver

Topic 24284 | Page 3

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G-Town's Comment
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No need for an apology CWC. Your advice is stil 100% true.

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
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I was following one home today. I can't say what level of experience he had, but he was constantly swerving onto the shoulder, and weaving in the lane.

I don't think he was drunk, and if he was falling asleep, he fought it for 3 hours.

I assumed it was liquid sloshing around inside.


Operating While Intoxicated

Pete B.'s Comment
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Schmeltz, I started my driving career pulling tankers, and from my experience I firmly believe no one should be allowed to drive them without at least one year's experience pulling dry van's, reefers, or flat beds. It's just not safe. On top of learning to drive a big truck, which you haven't done yet, you've got to learn the intricacies of driving a tanker full of liquid; it's not the side-to-side or front-to-back sloshing that poses real risk... it's the slow surge of the liquid creeping up the sides of the tanker that you don't even notice until you are well into the curve... cresting a hill and starting down... your momentum builds incredibly fast and if you haven't begun using your jakes before starting down, you're going to have a helluva time getting your speed back under control. It's not that you can't learn it, but why risk yourself and others' safety? Get a year's experience driving a big truck, then go after the tanker.

You seem pretty stubborn and set on this particular job; I don't know anything about Caledonia, how thorough their training is... but pay attention to your speed. Whatever the posted speed limit is on a curve, any curve, you need to be at least 10mph slower if not more than what the posted limit reads... when you're climbing hills in the mountains, as soon as you reach the top downshift and turn on your engine brake. It doesn't matter that you starting down incredibly slow... it's much easier to shift into a higher gear and let gravity increase your speed than to get halfway down the hill and then try to brake and downshift to slow your truck. Best of luck to 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.


A refrigerated trailer.

Navypoppop's Comment
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Pete B,

Those are some of the best words of advice on this subject. You have shown your expertise and knowledge on the hazards of liquid tanker driving. I know that your reply will go a long way to helping many drivers thinking of going into tankers to take your experience to heart and learn some great information. Great post.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Mark D.'s Comment
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Hello folks, great post, I worked for the Haulers for 3 months couple of years ago, good company deffo not the worst to work for. I just hit the solitary confinement wall when I was with them. So I came home and have done local supermarket deliveries for the past year mostly in a straight truck, and of course some warehouse work too, although as I sit and write this I am missing the road again ( most of you guys may know this feeling, the good bits not the bad bits lol) . I am edging towards tanker again, and even contemplating team which I have never done, but thinking it may cure the solitary side of things. Yes tanker driving is certainly different than van which I enjoy, mostly because there is no customer docks to bump, and usually the receiver is happier that you turned up. And I have a tendency to over think things so driving a tanker sort of suits me. I have preferred food to chemicals ( another over thinking problem I have) . Sorry for the long winded reply.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
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Mark, check out this article on teaming

The Myths of Team Training

Robert D. (Raptor)'s Comment
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Most of you know that I did chemical takers and gas tankers. So a newbie trying to do food grade is a big no no in my book. Dude you should listen to all of the people on here. You have limited time driving at all. Garbage hauling is not the same as sloshing with food grade. Let's say you are going down the highway to get to your destination, you get off the freeway, then you encounter a 20 mile an hour off ramp. Now what do you do to slow down enough to make that ramp speed after driving at freeway speeds? I'm sorry with your skills you are not prepared to handle this off ramp. You don't just have the tractor but a trailer with all the liquid sloshing around pushing you forward when you are trying to slow down.

I'm trying to keep you alive.


PJ's Comment
member avatar

As an experienced tanker driver I echo all the advice stated. This is a completly different breed of cat. Not only does it drive totally different, it unloads differently. I do not do food grade, I do chemicals and alot of nasty stuff. However the same mess will occur if something goes wrong. The company your lolking at has been around a long time, they aren’t going anywhere. I see their drivers mostly up north at the tank washes. Do yourself and your family a favor and rethink this. Looking back at my first 2 years of driving and thinking about the what if’s, it scares the crap out of me. I love pulling tanks for several reasons, but had I tried it in the beginning I would have failed. Everyone here only wants what is best for the folks that visit. No matter your ultimate decision I wish you the best.

Britton's Comment
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I was initially interested in tanker but the large amount of experienced voicing shouting NO and me still doing it would be like fighting Tyson for a debut fight while not even knowing how to put on boxing gloves.

Way I look at it, always time to learn and try something new and it's best to start on the bunny hill, or in this case, learn how to hit a punching bag.


Operating While Intoxicated

Pete B.'s Comment
member avatar

Navypoppop, thanks for the compliment, I appreciate it. Unfortunately I think we've lost this one; he's disappeared from this thread. He has used words like "researched" and "challenge," which sound familiar, because ironically enough I used those same words before I became a tanker driver, and I think at least one moderator tried to sway my opinion as well, but no amount of research or willingness to embrace new challenges can prepare you for the demands and tests of driving a tanker. I just think it's irresponsible for companies to put new drivers behind the wheel of tankers, with no prior experience of driving a big truck. Patrick B. listened; hopefully others will too.

Grump Old Man, weaving in the lane and swerving like you described will not be caused by the surge; that's distracted driving right there. You'd be well-served to stay clear of that type of behavior; make a quick pass or back off...

Patrick B., thanks for reading this thread, I'm really glad it helped you with your decision!!


Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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