Started Pulling Food Grade HazMat Tanks, Advice?

Topic 29870 | Page 1

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Purple Duck's Comment
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Hey guys I've been a member here since I started cdl truckin which seems like a life time ago but was in 2015, next month will make 6 years here actually. Anyway, started truckin doing cdl exempt work at age 18 in the military hauling tanks (the kind with guns on em), equipment, and doing recovery work. We were usually 12 to 14 foot wide and some times over 25 ft tall and weighed in around 220,000+ pounds. After I got out and did a little bit of finding myself I started cdl trucking otr with Werner I moved into reefers then made the move to a company called Monson and Sons out of Britt IA driving big Pete's with pre elog cats under the hood still doing reefer work, a company I loved dearly and would recommend to anyone.

Well, I decided I finally had enough with lumpers and the freezers making me wait all day and charging a ridiculous amount of money for the privilege and I took a job pulling tanks. I now work for a company named Ballard pulling food grade HazMat loads (truck in my pic). We specialize in hauling distilled spirits mostly for the bourbon distilleries in KY but we do haul other things like vinegar, wine, and brine.

So really I'd like to see if anyone has some advice for someone new to food grade tanks but not new to trucking.

Also feel free to ask anything.


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.


Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.


Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations


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.


A refrigerated trailer.

PJ's Comment
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Nice Pete!! Just learn to be smooth and it will make a better safer ride. Get your speed off in a straight line, and be very careful and deliberate climbing up and down. I do chemicals and love it. Welcome to the tanker world.

Purple Duck's Comment
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Nice Pete!! Just learn to be smooth and it will make a better safer ride. Get your speed off in a straight line, and be very careful and deliberate climbing up and down. I do chemicals and love it. Welcome to the tanker world.

Thanks! Yours looks nice too!

I've been very careful to slow down in a straight line and watch the speed on curves and ramps. I use to think I was a fairly smooth operator going thru the gears but I quickly learned how different reefer smooth and non baffled tank smooth is lol.


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.


A refrigerated trailer.

Bird-One's Comment
member avatar

Hey Purple duck. I started pulling food grade tankers, mostly milk, after about 8 months experience. I’m at 3 years now. I love pulling em. My experience prior was also reefer. You’ll definitely becoming a better shifter. The surge will cause you to miss some gears in the beginning but you’ll get use to it. Keep the surge in mind when approaching lights. It will push you forward alittle. But in my experience it’s actually the half loads that are trickier.

Also in the beginning take your curves/ramps/turns out extra slow until you get the hang of it which really shouldn’t take long. When I approach ramps I tend to drop to about 20 keep the truck and tanker in a straight line as long as I can and then slowly follow the curve wide.


A refrigerated trailer.

Purple Duck's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the tips Bird-One!

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