What All Tank Trailer Drivers Need to Know

Jan 30, 2020 Miscellaneous By ___

Driving a tanker is a little different from driving your standard semi truck. You’ll need to take extra precautions when behind the wheel, especially if you’re working with a harmful chemical or flammable material. That’s why Trailers Of Texas has provided a list of essential information that every tanker truck driver needs to know. If you need additional tips, or if you’d like to check out some of the models we have available right now, stop by our location in Houston, Texas, serving Katy and The Woodlands.

Training and Education

Before you can start driving, you need formal training. This is true for any semi truck driver. Because the work requires special skills, you can’t use the license you got for your standard commuter vehicle. At the very least, you’ll need to get a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).

While finding truck driving training programs isn’t exactly difficult, tanker drivers require hyper-specialized training that other semi drivers don’t. Plus, if you want to be able to transport hazardous waste, that requires its own kind of training. These programs are a little harder to find. If you’re serious about the work, you might be able to find a company willing to sponsor your training.

Once you’ve gone through the program, you’ll need to pass the tanker truck/vehicle examination before receiving your license.

Inspections Are Vital

You’ll probably go over this plenty in your training, but tank trailers require lots of thorough inspections. This is particularly important if you’re transporting hazardous materials. You’ll probably end up spending more time than other truckers inspecting your vehicles, but it’s an essential part of the job and you’ll want to quickly make it a habit.

Driving Tips

We’ve already touched on this in another article, but we want to reiterate the importance of caution. Give yourself plenty of space between yourself and other commuters so you have time to stop and adjust to changing traffic patterns.

Also, consider how driving might change depending on whether the tank is empty or full. This can affect how much time you have to stop and how easy it is to get up to speed or maintain traction.

The Pay

Of course, the paycheck is the thing on everyone’s mind whenever they consider taking a job. In general, trucking positions pay pretty well, and tank trailer drivers can make even more because they’re a specially-trained group. However, as with any position, pay varies depending on how often you’re hauling and for how long, how experienced you are, and where you live.

On average, across the country, tanker truck drivers can make over $70K a year, though you shouldn’t expect to start out at this rate. Pay your dues and karma will be kind to you.

Maintenance and Cleaning

This responsibility might be left up to the fleet owner, but on the off chance you need to take care of it, you’ll want to approach different parts of the truck differently. Of course, the cab can be cared for like you would any other semi truck. Things like cleaning and basic maintenance are probably things you can handle, while more specific repairs will probably require a professional.

When it comes to the tank, we highly recommend letting a professional both service and clean it. No matter what the tanks are transporting, they require specific skills and tools to be properly cared for. You’ll want to clean out the tank after every haul to avoid cross-contamination, but this requires specialized gear and a specific strategy. That’s why you’ll want a professional washing service to take over.

Understanding what’s in store can help you plan for your future career as a trucker. The industry is always in need of tank trailer drivers, so if you decide to take the first steps, you probably won’t be hurting for work. If you need additional tips or if you’d like to check out our trucks for sale, then stop by your local semi trailer dealer, Trailers Of Texas, and let us know how we can assist you. You’ll find us in Houston, Texas, near Katy and The Woodlands.