Here Is What It's Like Pulling A Tanker

Topic 24299 | Page 2

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∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
member avatar

Hahaha, at least it's better than swinging a couple doors, and the random trailer sweep out!

I might one day consider driving a solids tanker, but for now I love my flatbed. I may have the right amount of insanity to pull flatbed, but i Definitely don't have the liquid tanker insanity level.

I guess nobody else really mentioned that we actually get to unload. I like getting out of the truck and working for the most part.😁 And flatbedders are going to groan that I said hooking up a few hoses is work but hey.. It gets me out of the seat and I'm not about to tarp anything.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
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I’ll say it again, really good stuff CWC, & all. Enjoyed reading it.

Cwc's Comment
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I’ll say it again, really good stuff CWC, & all. Enjoyed reading it.

Thanks G-town! We needed a little more than XXX Don't do it!!XXX That always made me want to do something even more as a kid.

And Danielsahn pulling liquid ranks right up there with holding four corners of a parachute... or a tarp as you call it. It the wind.

Amish country's Comment
member avatar

You kinda get used to the long sleeves but the summers do get warm. Long sleeve, pants and steal toes every day. Except for the quarrys I can pull the sleeves up a little. You also dont realize how much heat a safety vest can hold in until you take it off.

I do mostly feed mills, chicken farms and waste to energy plants. The smell can really get you on those warm days. Chicken farms are one of the worst and the flies are insane. I cant leave without having at least 3 in my truck just from opening the door twice.

Kind of like flatbed it takes a certain person to actually enjoy the work. Were our here getting dirty and in the weather every day too.

You can keep your tarps though. I'll just watch as you guys do your thing.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

You kinda get used to the long sleeves but the summers do get warm. Long sleeve, pants and steal toes every day. Except for the quarrys I can pull the sleeves up a little. You also dont realize how much heat a safety vest can hold in until you take it off.

I do mostly feed mills, chicken farms and waste to energy plants. The smell can really get you on those warm days. Chicken farms are one of the worst and the flies are insane. I cant leave without having at least 3 in my truck just from opening the door twice.

Kind of like flatbed it takes a certain person to actually enjoy the work. Were our here getting dirty and in the weather every day too.

You can keep your tarps though. I'll just watch as you guys do your thing.

I go to a Tyson chicken plant in Arkansas so... I know what you mean. And when they kick on those fans to blow out the coops... Well I was hungry a few minutes ago but not so much anymore.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I can add my two cents about the milk hauling. What I do is almost entirely farm pick up of raw milk.

Our trucks are purpose built for this. We have a power-take-off pump and a 30' hose for loading. The trailers are doubles and are built to comply with the bridge laws and carry the maximum legal weight, 105,500 lbs. There is no adjusting of fifth wheels or axles, just fill the front trailer and put 28,500 or so in the rear trailer. There are charts and gauges at every farm to show us how much weight we are picking up. It is possible to overload the rear trailer. The milk can't simply be put back in the farm tank either. It has to be pumped into another trailer. This would take hours to arrange and might have the driver looking for a job at the end of it. I did some math wrong and put an extra 8000 lbs on once. I dodged the scales, made the delivery and apologized/explained myself to my boss before he heard about it from anyone else.

At the farm, the driver is responsible for several things that are minor but closely monitored by the state agricultural inspectors; nothing that can't be learned in a week of training. We have to pick up at the farm within a narrow time frame. The milk tanks have to be washed (usually daily) and that means they need to be emptied. Since they can't turn off the cow, we have to empty the storage tank to make room. Because we have double trailers, we can do a u-turn in a very small space, less than our overall length (about 80'). The farmers know this and expect us to pretty much do it the same way every time. It was a strange feeling the first time I looked out the passenger window at my own tail lights. However, that's the only way it can be done; as long as I'm not making any new ruts in the mud I'm fine.

At the creameries it's a similar situation. Each is unique as to their own procedures but those procedures rarely change. So what I did last year at Creamery X is the same thing I'll do next week and next year at Creamery X. Just as at the farm, there is a narrow time frame for delivery. Most plants will have us unloaded within an hour. If we are washing the tanks that's another hour.

With two trailers, the surge isn't as bad as a long single trailer. When loaded to 105,000 lbs the front trailer is full (no surge) and the rear trailer is about 2/3 full. So while it is sloshing around, the full front trailer dampens the effect quite a bit.

Something I haven't seen mentioned is transmissions. We have mostly 10 speeds. I think that because of the surge we could never have automatics as they would be constantly shifting back and forth. I'm not sure about this though. Does anyone with a smooth bore tank have an automatic? I know that baffled fuel tankers can use automatics.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

That is a misconception about chemicals. Yes some are very nasty and require the full chem suit, but ALOT of what I do doesn’t require it. Same goes for haz mat. I get maybe 2 -3 loads a month that are haz. They have asked me to consider running a dedicated route. Dedicated trailer and customer. I’m considering it, and on that one its not haz and I don’t even unload it... I’ve only had to break the suit out once, and of course that time was in august... Hot as H*ll.

Dedicated Route:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

Rob S.'s Comment
member avatar

Some other details of local milk hauling;

We are required to chain up when necessary. Parking and waiting out the weather isn't an option. My company pays hourly though so that takes some sting out of it.

We use different log book rules than when I was OTR. The 11, 14 and 70 clocks are the same but we use the local option that lets us do 12 hours with no 30 minute break and up to one 16 hour shift per week. It took me awhile to get used to it but since most days are the same it doesn't take a lot of study.

A typical week for me is five days starting at 0300 and returning to the yard about 1430. Then three days off. Lather, rinse and repeat. Last year's gross pay was about $60k.

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.

Cwc's Comment
member avatar

Yeah Rob I'm not sure I'd wanna pull a tank with an auto. And thanks for the write up... Two birds with one stone. I've always wanted to know more about food grade doubles. I've seen fuel and food on twins but never really seen anyone talk about it. And it makes sense that the full forwars trailer would dampen it alot.

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.

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