Life As An Oil Rig Driver!

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Max E.'s Comment
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What an exciting time for trucking truth! 3 people on this forum are all starting their new careers next week. Me, Mountain Girl, and 6 strings are all about to start this new chapter in our life. They both choose LTL options and I had originally decided on an OTR gig with Roehl Transport. However after submitting applications for kicks and giggles and lets see if someone calls me back on one of those high paying oil rig jobs, I revived a call this last week with a job offer to work on the oil fields in Williamsport, PA. So this coming Monday i fly out and start my new job. I will be hauling sand for the rigs up there. I hope to give you all some insight on this side of the trucking world and help someone out who maybe looking at this as an option. It is 4 weeks on 1 week off. However i plan on sticking there for 6 weeks or more this first time around to get the hang of it. It is weird.. because i will be living in my truck like an OTR driver but i will most likely be sticking in 100 mile radius of Wialliamsport. Im excited to share my experiences with you all and hope someone learns something.

CDL:

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.

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

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.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Max E.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Items im bringing with me:

Steal toe boots

Normal shoes and flip flops for showering

4 pairs of jeans

underwear, socks

Normal toiletries

Towel

Shirts (Good working shirts carhartt brand.)

sweatshirt.. just in case. dont hate im from AZ.

Gloves

sleeping bag

pillow

sheets

Cell phone

laptop w/ hard drive full of downloaded movies/shows. (Are they legal downloads? no comment.)

Kindle paper white (If you love to read this is the best purchase you will EVER make.)

All the cords needed to Charge that crap via a truck.

And just because Guyjax was so set on all drivers needing this item.. BABY WIPES!!

Rand Mcnally trucker GPS

The year old version of the Mcnally trucker atlas.. 20 bucks verse 70. ill live with a year old version.

Pens, scratch paper and a log book. im sure my company will provide a log book.. but you never know. would hate for them to throw me the keys then have to go buy a log book before i do anything.

O.. im also bringing a fork knife and spoon.

I think this is all im bringing.. hopefully i can survive. hahaha

Max E.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Well.. here I am sitting in a company truck at a TA off of exit #173 on highway 80 east of Pittsburgh. Let me explain how I got here.

Well yesterday the 28th of july I hopped on a plane for pitsburgh, PA. Arrived in PA at 5 that evening where someone from the company was waiting for me. They put me in a hotel for the night. Actually wasn't a half bad hotel. Anyways he told me to be ready at 10am the next day and he would pick me up and take me to my truck. So he picked me up but we had to run around for an hour or 2. No big deal. We eventually went to a store so I could get some things the oil riggs require you to wear. Hard hat a whatever fire suit a gas mask and so on. After this it was probably an hour long drive to get to where my truck was. We picked up the truck and I Bob tailed about 150 miles to get to this TA. So i guess they trust me enough as a brand new driver to let me run solo for a bit. Let's just say I'm glad the weigh station let me through. Because I had no idea what was going on. I just followed the guy in front of me. Hahahaha

Anyways tomorrow is when the real training begins. There training goes like this: I have my own truck but I just follow the guys truck who is training me. Which I'm fine with. I actually might like that better than having him in the seat next to me. I also like it because I will get paid like a normal driver. Not a training rate.

I wasn't going to tell you all my pay... but o well. I think I should just to let you all know what tots like out here. If I am avalible to run I get 250 dollars a day rather I get a load or not (Sand). For every load I run I get 75 plus that. So if I run 3 loads. I would get paid 475 bucks for that day.

Problem with sand is its never consistent. I could sit for 2 days without a load or I could get 25 loads in a week. The nice thing is that if I'm available I get a minimum of 250 a day.

Max E.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

My day thus far: 4am woke up. Breakfast, clothes, bathroom.. all that good stuff. (Since PA is 3 hours ahead of my home state AZ it was really like waking up at 1am for me.)

430 pre trip and fuel 5am hit road. 7am arrive at loading location. 815am leave loading location. 915am arrive at oil rig site. After about 45min finally get the ok to go up the hill. It's narrow dirt roads all the way up and back down. So they can only send trucks in one direction. 11ish? (Sorry time just gets jumbled) I get up the hill and back in to unload. Me and my trainer get seperated. So I'm left all alone never having unloaded a sand truck. Let the guy who was directing know that me and my trainer got seperated so I don't know what I'm doing. He basically gives me a look that says "screw you" and walks away.

So I'm left with having no idea how to unload this truck. There are like 10 different valves to move so I was totally lost. So i went to the driver next to me said I was new and had no idea what to do. I must have had God watching over me today because this guy was more then happy to help me out. He showed me how to do it how to monitor gauges how to open the valves when to open the next valve and so on. He kept on checking up on me to! He would check his truck then come back over and check my truck. So if by chance the man driving a blue truck on July 30th who helped a poor young bearded kid who had no idea. I thank you with all my heart. It was a good 45 min before my trainer got up there so I would have probably stood there and acted busy if I didn't get it figured out.

Which brings me to my next point.. why are some people so stupid? Like clearly I didn't know what I was doing and the first guy just stared at me and walked away. It's his job to move trucks in and out. You would think he would help me but nope.. he didnt. O well.

This is definitely going to help me in the future. Instead of basicly saying screw you to a fellow truck driver especially if they are a rookie. I will go out of my way to help them out. I was literally lost until that fellow driver came by and helped me. Maybe it's just because I was born a helper. But hey.. I'm getting the hang of it now guys :)

Max E.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

By the way.. I meant the 6am to 6pm shift not 6am to 6am. Stupid auto correct.

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

Awesome! I saw the title on your thread, and before I clicked on it, I was hoping you were going to document your life as an oil rig driver. You're probably the first on this website, and there's not much info on this topic on the web.

I always wondered if I'd get a job as a trucker in PA. I day-dreamed about meandering through the Appalachians while hauling lumber or something. I'll be excited to hear about your job Max. Williamsport - you're about a little less than a 2 hour drive from me. If you're going to keep your company anonymous, mind sending me a PM w/ the name of your company? I'm curious. Ever been to PA before?

Best wishes to you!

Weatherman's Comment
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Best of luck to you Max! You can add one more to the list of people starting next week. I am headed to Ellenwood Ga tomorrow to hopefully begin a great career with Roehl. :)good-luck.gif

Max E.'s Comment
member avatar

Awesome! I saw the title on your thread, and before I clicked on it, I was hoping you were going to document your life as an oil rig driver. You're probably the first on this website, and there's not much info on this topic on the web.

I always wondered if I'd get a job as a trucker in PA. I day-dreamed about meandering through the Appalachians while hauling lumber or something. I'll be excited to hear about your job Max. Williamsport - you're about a little less than a 2 hour drive from me. If you're going to keep your company anonymous, mind sending me a PM w/ the name of your company? I'm curious. Ever been to PA before?

Best wishes to you!

I dont mind sharing my company name.. the company is called Badlands trucking. There is not a lot of info on them out there. They only run 30ish trucks. They moved there operation form the fields in ND to Pennsylvania within the last 3 months. PA is just starting out now so the pay is ridiculous right now. Dont know how long this bubble will last in PA so im trying to jump on it now before it pops. Or it could never pop. Both Texas and ND are holding out strong. so who knows.

The way i got hooked up with this gig is a long time family friend runs a couple of trucks for this company. So i told him i submitted an application and more than likely he made sure the correct eyes reviewed my application. Their adds on craigslist say you need a year experience but you see the oil rigs is really more about who you know instead of what you know. Especially as a new driver. If you have a year or more experience basically if you show up you have the job. Thats really the problem these companies have. They have dozens of people call them every week asking if they are hiring but no one shows up. So if you can show up you have the job.

So moral of the story even if the company says you need experience apply anyways. They need drivers in these trucks. There is way to much money there for a truck to sit there and wait for someone who "has the year experience." So if you can show up you will have the job. As a new driver you can haul sand and water. They wont let you haul the oil for obvious reasons.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

Max E.'s Comment
member avatar

Best of luck to you Max! You can add one more to the list of people starting next week. I am headed to Ellenwood Ga tomorrow to hopefully begin a great career with Roehl. :)good-luck.gif

O man! Congrats. I was so close to working for Roehl until this came along. but trust me if this dosnt work out my application will be into Roehl the next day.

Freightdog (Shaun)'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Best of luck to you Max! You can add one more to the list of people starting next week. I am headed to Ellenwood Ga tomorrow to hopefully begin a great career with Roehl. :)good-luck.gif

double-quotes-end.png

O man! Congrats. I was so close to working for Roehl until this came along. but trust me if this dosnt work out my application will be into Roehl the next day.

Man, that's awesome...congrats! Looking forward to reading your updates as you're able to post them.

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

Max, do you have your tank and hazmat endorsements? Did your company require them for the job? With water, I'd imagine you'd have to have at least the tank endorsement.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

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

Max E.'s Comment
member avatar

Max, do you have your tank and hazmat endorsements? Did your company require them for the job? With water, I'd imagine you'd have to have at least the tank endorsement.

I have a tanker.. my company is hauling just sand. Most companies stick to hauling one thing. I had planed on getting my HAZMAT but i just never did it. I plan on getting it soon but its not a must need at this point.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

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

Jolie R.'s Comment
member avatar

Best of luck to you Max! You can add one more to the list of people starting next week. I am headed to Ellenwood Ga tomorrow to hopefully begin a great career with Roehl. :)good-luck.gif

Weatherman, I look forward to hear how you like Roehl as I am seriously considering them once I finish CDL school. Good luck and let us know how things are going!

CDL:

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.
Chris D.'s Comment
member avatar

Max what is the starting pay out there for a new driver?

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