Getting Into Fuel Hauling?

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CM59's Comment
member avatar

Hey there. Just hit a year with my first company. I’m extremely happy with them in everything but the mileage. Dispatch is very understanding and receptive, and despite reaching out things have still been hit or miss. I make 0.515 for 7500-8000 miles a month. This month on the low end.

It’s been the same for my mentor and other drivers I’ve ran into. I was at the terminal recently and they said they’re having a serious issue keeping any drivers on our route. Dedicated paper hauling, getting many undesirable loads now. At the start of the year ~9000 was average.

I put out some feelers a few months back and got interest from a major fuel hauler in town once I hit one year. Local route. They advertised averages of 67-72k a year. I’m not hesitant about driving a tanker. Just wondering if the workflow is stressful due to very tight scheduling, delays, etc.

I’m almost never late to a delivery from my own accord and I do short hauls on regional. They used to have me running rampant and I loved it, but now I sit waiting. Maybe I shouldn’t complain about net 800 but life is throwing curveball after next.

I’m not particularly interested switching dry van carriers.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

Hey there. Just hit a year with my first company. I’m extremely happy with them in everything but the mileage. Dispatch is very understanding and receptive, and despite reaching out things have still been hit or miss. I make 0.515 for 7500-8000 miles a month. This month on the low end.

It’s been the same for my mentor and other drivers I’ve ran into. I was at the terminal recently and they said they’re having a serious issue keeping any drivers on our route. Dedicated paper hauling, getting many undesirable loads now. At the start of the year ~9000 was average.

I put out some feelers a few months back and got interest from a major fuel hauler in town once I hit one year. Local route. They advertised averages of 67-72k a year. I’m not hesitant about driving a tanker. Just wondering if the workflow is stressful due to very tight scheduling, delays, etc.

I’m almost never late to a delivery from my own accord and I do short hauls on regional. They used to have me running rampant and I loved it, but now I sit waiting. Maybe I shouldn’t complain about net 800 but life is throwing curveball after next.

I’m not particularly interested switching dry van carriers.

Haya, CM!

I remember ya ..... I'm one of the FEW 'nite wifes' on the forum. That sounds like a REALLY impeccable record, of on times etc! Have you followed the 'bs' stuff with the ports?! Freight is 'weird' right now, sadly. I really wish YOUR company would do more to 'sustain' you . . . and maybe they will??

Re; Fuel hauling & tanks: PJ (moderator & awesome pal!) pulls tanks...but NOT fuel. Read some of HIS posts. Tanks are great, if you have confidence & experience, imho! Fuel, otoh ... um.. well... up to you. GAWSH somebody help! Who's the guy that just went to hauling petrol?

Daniel B., who put TT's 'PreTrip Guide' together, is one of Brett's earliest members and moderators. He even became a trainer with Prime . . . extraordinaire!

He then (at some point, details behoove me...) went INTO fuel hauling. He has SO MANY descriptive threads/post about it .. please feel free to search by member name, because I'd run out of the 5k character count, haha!

He's now pulling doubles for Old Dominion, and happily....so he posts. The 'fuel' days were .... WELL... just read his postings!

Wish you the best. When I had my permit, I pulled tanks w/ my other half .. ASPHALT. Intrastate , local, regional. He had time under his belt, so... easy peasy job to get. He would, after MANY YEARS driving . . . not consider fuel nor petroleum. Risks outweigh the pay, and I agree.

Have you 'looked into' LTL/linehaul? The numbers exceed what you're striving for. We made that, pulling asphalt. Non Haz.

Look up Daniel B in the search queue..... wish you well!

Just me,

~ Anne ~

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

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

Intrastate:

The act of purchasers and sellers transacting business while keeping all transactions in a single state, without crossing state lines to do so.

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.

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

CM59's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for all the info! I don’t know, something is alluring about it for some reason. I read somewhere if you’re crazy enough to get into it…

Chip trucks I see some work for near me. That attracts me to ‘cause I love the paper mills I’m at all the time. I never wash this new Cascadia cause it’ll be dirty by the end of the week haha.

Yeah, I see a lot about the ports. I’m in the southeast and hit one a month at least. Stuff I have goes to be shipped out usually but they’re having staffing problems on top of space constraints. An empty port warehouse I drop pulp fiber in is brim full of plywood now.

I hope they do get it ironed out but it’s been 6 months now. I think we are on bad terms with our broker. They sent a message out about it sometime ago. I’ve had to go spot some trucks for my company to know if they could tow them, and the safety guy at my terminal is doing truck recoveries all week. Abandoned property

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Suicide Jockey's Comment
member avatar

Every company and area will be different, so just keep that in mind, but I started working for a local fuel hauler back in May, and I'll answer any questions you have the best I can.

67-72k would be easily attainable at my location. Mostly depends on the driver. We have drivers making less, and we have drivers making 100k+.

Very few of our loads have scheduled delivery times. The loads will be dispatched in an expected order of completion, but specified delivery times are rare. Just getting your loads done safely is all that counts. This may vary by company and customer...

The time of the year or other circumstances (such as a pipeline shutdown) will usually dictate how heavy a workload I have. During the summer, 14 hour nights were common. Many nights I've driven around 600 miles while also loading the truck 3-4 times and making 4-6 deliveries. During slower times I may only have 2 easy loads and only turn 350ish miles.

Delays can really mess up your shift. I work nights so I don't often have long lines at the loading racks. I've heard some of the day drivers complain about sitting in line for hours sometimes. The most important thing is to not let the delays get you in a rush, That is how mistakes are made, and even minor mistakes become major when your handling 9k gallons of fuel. I have been stuck under a loading rack for 4 hours because their system malfunctioned while I was loading, leaving me with a bad blend of fuel in my tanker. Had to wait for them to repair their system and correct the fuel blend. It happens...

Sometimes I may have to call up dispatch and let them know I wont be able to complete my last load. As long as you have a valid reason they have absolutely no problem with it. They appreciate you letting them know as early as possible so they can get someone else on it asap.

What they don't appreciate is Just kicking back a load because you don't like the load, or you want to go home early. We recently had a guy get fired for that.

Scouting out delivery locations with google maps / street view is important. Know where the customers drop points are and have a plan to approach them before you even arrive on location. That alone can save you a ton of time and frustration.

SAP:

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.

CM59's Comment
member avatar

That’s great information, thank you. I work the clock out every day on regional. That’s sort of what I was expecting. I enjoy being busy, but I could see myself buckling under some of that with a commute and family.

Is a 14 hour day common or is it generally something like 12? If so, are your shifts the same time the next day?

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Suicide Jockey's Comment
member avatar

I and one other driver are assigned the same truck. He works days, and I work nights. On the days we both work, dispatch typically puts about 12hrs of work on me, so not to need up the other driver. On the days when the other driver is off, they'll typically load a full 14hr day on me.

If I'm getting back early and don't have to hand the truck off to him, I'll call dispatch and tell them how many hours I have remaining, and request a load to fill up that time.

I and the other driver keep in contact and will start our shift as soon as the other guy gets back with the truck. Our official shifts may be 4-4, but in reality the manager just leaves me and the other guy to manage ourselves. We keep their new 2022 Mack productive, and management leaves us alone to do our thing.

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

Every company and area will be different, so just keep that in mind, but I started working for a local fuel hauler back in May, and I'll answer any questions you have the best I can.

67-72k would be easily attainable at my location. Mostly depends on the driver. We have drivers making less, and we have drivers making 100k+.

Very few of our loads have scheduled delivery times. The loads will be dispatched in an expected order of completion, but specified delivery times are rare. Just getting your loads done safely is all that counts. This may vary by company and customer...

The time of the year or other circumstances (such as a pipeline shutdown) will usually dictate how heavy a workload I have. During the summer, 14 hour nights were common. Many nights I've driven around 600 miles while also loading the truck 3-4 times and making 4-6 deliveries. During slower times I may only have 2 easy loads and only turn 350ish miles.

Delays can really mess up your shift. I work nights so I don't often have long lines at the loading racks. I've heard some of the day drivers complain about sitting in line for hours sometimes. The most important thing is to not let the delays get you in a rush, That is how mistakes are made, and even minor mistakes become major when your handling 9k gallons of fuel. I have been stuck under a loading rack for 4 hours because their system malfunctioned while I was loading, leaving me with a bad blend of fuel in my tanker. Had to wait for them to repair their system and correct the fuel blend. It happens...

Sometimes I may have to call up dispatch and let them know I wont be able to complete my last load. As long as you have a valid reason they have absolutely no problem with it. They appreciate you letting them know as early as possible so they can get someone else on it asap.

What they don't appreciate is Just kicking back a load because you don't like the load, or you want to go home early. We recently had a guy get fired for that.

Scouting out delivery locations with google maps / street view is important. Know where the customers drop points are and have a plan to approach them before you even arrive on location. That alone can save you a ton of time and frustration.

I and one other driver are assigned the same truck. He works days, and I work nights. On the days we both work, dispatch typically puts about 12hrs of work on me, so not to need up the other driver. On the days when the other driver is off, they'll typically load a full 14hr day on me.

If I'm getting back early and don't have to hand the truck off to him, I'll call dispatch and tell them how many hours I have remaining, and request a load to fill up that time.

I and the other driver keep in contact and will start our shift as soon as the other guy gets back with the truck. Our official shifts may be 4-4, but in reality the manager just leaves me and the other guy to manage ourselves. We keep their new 2022 Mack productive, and management leaves us alone to do our thing.

AND~!!....................... drumroll PLEASE, haha!

The 'elusive' Plan B shows up! This is who I was referring to, CM. . . . dang 'name changers!' LoLoL!

When Tom & I pulled asphalt (of course, in tanks.. 6122 and 3257 placarded; hot not HZ .. look it up, lol!) The tar & chip guys WERE IN THE RANGE... but when season stalled, we pulled flatbeds (hated it) for United PreCast in Marengo ... and kept the same (or more?) pay scale. Jersey barriers, lennils, et al. When they 'said' the load on the flat / tripod was secure, HA! Post for another day & thread. Not SURE what THOSE guys did offseason, working for 'local' pavers, but the ODOT boys went to snow plows at the drop of the dime.

Y'all two keep in touch; glad to be a 'catalyst!' haha!!! See, Plan B .... you knew I meant YOU, hahaha!

Be safe, y'all. Personal choices....and risks. We ALL take'em out here!! (Yes, even us wives... !)

~ Anne ~

SAP:

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

I and one other driver are assigned the same truck. He works days, and I work nights. On the days we both work, dispatch typically puts about 12hrs of work on me, so not to need up the other driver. On the days when the other driver is off, they'll typically load a full 14hr day on me.

If I'm getting back early and don't have to hand the truck off to him, I'll call dispatch and tell them how many hours I have remaining, and request a load to fill up that time.

I and the other driver keep in contact and will start our shift as soon as the other guy gets back with the truck. Our official shifts may be 4-4, but in reality the manager just leaves me and the other guy to manage ourselves. We keep their new 2022 Mack productive, and management leaves us alone to do our thing.

These dang 2022 Mack Pinnacles ARE PURTY, I'll give you that! Tom just got one. . . end of last week! I did the 'climb in' and walk around, and .. dayum, just WOW. Agreed. LOVE me some 'Pedigreed Bulldogs,' hahaha!

>!>Behind PJ's Pete/HOOD, of course. (We drove << those, pulling the 'phalt..dang sweet days!)

Be safe, no matter . . . CM, and PLAN B !!! (Don't like the s/j name.. that's why it 'eluded' me!) G'nite all; hubby is home!

~ Anne ~

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
andhe78's Comment
member avatar

Hey there. Just hit a year with my first company. I’m extremely happy with them in everything but the mileage. Dispatch is very understanding and receptive, and despite reaching out things have still been hit or miss. I make 0.515 for 7500-8000 miles a month. This month on the low end.

It’s been the same for my mentor and other drivers I’ve ran into. I was at the terminal recently and they said they’re having a serious issue keeping any drivers on our route. Dedicated paper hauling, getting many undesirable loads now. At the start of the year ~9000 was average.

I put out some feelers a few months back and got interest from a major fuel hauler in town once I hit one year. Local route. They advertised averages of 67-72k a year. I’m not hesitant about driving a tanker. Just wondering if the workflow is stressful due to very tight scheduling, delays, etc.

I’m almost never late to a delivery from my own accord and I do short hauls on regional. They used to have me running rampant and I loved it, but now I sit waiting. Maybe I shouldn’t complain about net 800 but life is throwing curveball after next.

I’m not particularly interested switching dry van carriers.

Go for it. I've been hauling fuel for over two years now and have no desire to haul anything else. It's a fantastic enough job, that I'll probably stay till retirement. Suicide jockey hit the high points, but I'll just throw in how my outfit works also. Every new (to fuel hauling, we require two years experience driving) driver starts nights, it's just the nature of the beast with every single outfit in the area. That being said, I love the night shift and have turned down several day positions. No waiting at the racks, no fighting with four wheelers to get in and out of stations, no dealing with customers, I literally have the run of the city at night. It can honestly be relaxing. We do slip seat several different ways, because we're pretty flexible with hours worked. Some guys do eights and share a truck with two other guys, some guys do twelves and share with one other guy, and some do fourteens (me) and the truck only gets shared on days we're off. We're also very flexible on days worked, it's 24/7, so it's not too difficult to get the days off you want (although new guys are going to work at least one weekend day.) So by my own choice, I work 4/14's, over nights, with the option to pick up any of my days off to finish my seventy-the only requirement is to make sure we get our 36 in (we cross the border regularly.) Pay is fantastic, I'm over 90k for this year, and that's only putting in an extra ten hours a couple times a month. Workflow is not stressful at all, I haven't had an appointment since I started the gig. Dispatch knows how long all the runs take, so I get fourteen hours worth of work at the start of the shift and just work my way down through the list. They're actually quite conservative on their times, so it's not hard to finish in twelve and ask for another load. If I do get hung up somewhere, it's no problem getting a load knocked off. What gets drivers in trouble is not the driving but the loading/unloading, you've really got to pay attention to what your doing, so the company would actually prefer you take a little longer and get it right, than hurry and put 12k gallons in the wrong tank-that can get expensive. Our equipment is awesome, my terminal has no trailers over four years old (we run three and four axle tanks at 107k and 117k lbs), and we would have had all new tractors by last year, but they are literally just this week starting to trickle in (new manual pete's, anne, they're pretty, will have to get some pics when the shop is done kitting them out.) I've also never worked for a company that is so easy to replace equipment with-need a new hose, etc., just got to stop into our main terminal and they'll actually run right out and switch in whatever new equipment you need, no questions asked. Gas work does slow down for us right around February every year but we are pretty diversified in what petroleum products we haul, so I've never not had my full shift, I just might be hauling lp, or asphalt, or oil, or wax, etc. instead of gas. The wintertime can actually be fun, because I'm hauling something different every night. One thing that did take a bit of getting used to with this company, is there is very little interstate driving, I've done over 500 miles in a night and none of it was on anything more than a two lane road-you want to have your driving skills down pat. Also, one thing that I like is the fuel hauling community here is small, we all know each other, and most guys, even from other company will go out of their way to help another tank out.

Anyway, enough bragging about my job, I'd definitely look into it if you're interested. There are some bad outfits, and you will hear a lot of "pessimism" about the work, but if you do your research and find the right outfit, it can really turn into a dream job. If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask, I don't frequent this site much, but I'll keep an eye on this post.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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