How is oilfield trucking different than regular OTR trucking?

Discussion in 'Oilfield Trucking Forum' started by expedite_it, Dec 8, 2021.

  1. expedite_it

    expedite_it Medium Load Member

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    I have tanker endorsement. I have 7 years of OTR trucking experience, but I have never pulled a tanker trailer. I have only pulled dry van trailers and reefers. I am considering relocating to North Dakota and going into oilfield trucking.


    I used to be a team driver, and one of my former teammates went into LTL trucking and failed his road test. This former teammate of mine is a very good driver. He was better with lane positioning than I was when he drove with me. He would drive on roads with lanes that were only about a foot wider than the trailer, and I never saw him hit the paint. But in LTL trucking, all the driving was at night, and he got tired and drifted onto the rumble strip several times when he was driving. He failed his road test largely due to lane positioning. His trainer wouldn't let him pull over to take a 2-hour nap like he wanted to, and there was no sleeper berth anyway as he was in a daycab. This scared me away from LTL trucking. I don't mind driving at night sometimes, but I don't want a trucking job in which almost all the driving is at night like in LTL trucking.

    Is the vast majority of oilfield trucking done at night (like LTL trucking)?

    If whether or not the majority of the driving is at night depends on what type of freight one hauls in oilfield trucking, what types of freight run predominantly at night, and what type of freight runs predominantly during the daytime?

    For instance, is it the case that most loads of sand are hauled at night, but most loads of water are hauled during the daytime?

    In oil field trucking, do most trucks have sleeper berths (like in OTR trucking), or are most trucks daycabs (like in LTL trucking)?

    How does the pay in oilfield trucking compare to the pay in solo OTR trucking?

    What are any pithy statements that you can make to me about the nature of oilfield trucking?
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2021
    austinmike and truckaholic28 Thank this.
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  3. 0ppenheimer

    0ppenheimer Bobtail Member

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    Pay is there, but consider actually living there. Been researching a lot about this lately. The cost of living was outrageous during the boom but appears to have leveled out somewhat now from my searches.
     
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  4. expedite_it

    expedite_it Medium Load Member

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    I would just live in the truck 90% of the time if I did it. If I wanted some time off, I would take time off in the truck or perhaps rent a motel room. I would not rent an apartment or buy or rent a house in ND. So that does not matter to me.

    "Pay is there"----Well, could you be more specific? I'm assuming that oil field truckers generally make more money than regular OTR truckers. Do oilfield truckers typically make twice as much as regular OTR or 1.5 times as much as regular OTR or what?
     
  5. 0ppenheimer

    0ppenheimer Bobtail Member

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    Don't take my word for it, go to indeed, search "oil field" in Williston, ND
     
  6. Lazer

    Lazer Heavy Load Member

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    Generally the oilfield is 24/7/365. Slows down a bit between Thanksgiving and shortly after New Years. That’s because most drillers have fullfilled their contracts for the year.
    Out here in the Permian Basin, the days of truckers getting 100+ hours a week are mostly a thing of the past. The major producers won’t even consider doing business with those type of outfits these days.
    Depending on the company, you may have a ‘rolling schedule’. 10 hours off duty, then back on the clock 1 minute past 10 hrs. You may work 14, then off 10, or they cut you at 8 hrs. But you will back in 10 hrs 1 min. Some company have set start times, just all depends. Just be prepared for dust(lots of it), mud, noise.
     
  7. FFL Trucker

    FFL Trucker Light Load Member

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    There's no night or day freight for oilfields, oilfield is a 24 hr operation, when you're new you will more than likely start at night and if you think driving at night as a pavement princess is bad wait till you're driving in pitch black darkness trying to find a lease road that no gps will take you to while driving in ND of all places. Hope you got plenty of changing and winter driving experience.

    I started my oilfield career in Texas, which is easy mode as far as oilfield is concerned. Moved up to work in Alaska driving ice roads and ended my oilfield career in Wyoming which is by far the worst place I've ever driven in, worst than ND.

    The only difference in the freight you haul in the oilfield is where you will be going. Working Frac via Frac sand or whatever? You may only work one well site which might last you a month so you'll get familiar with it but ideally you'll get sent to several Wells so you have more work. Oil and water will get you sent to 4 different locations which you being green will mean you getting lost constantly and getting into all sorts of trouble unless someone helps you to find these places, hell most of the guys I worked with had years of oilfield experience and they still got lost. If you get a dedicated lact then you'll get a cake job but a lot of guys like that type of work because it's easy.

    Driving on dirt is a lot different than driving on pavement, you gotta be really good at navigating without a gps. Most guys I worked with sucked at directions, and these are guys that had years of oilfield experience.
     
  8. expedite_it

    expedite_it Medium Load Member

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    .

    Plenty of experience changing what? Changing clothes?

    When you're new, will you typically drive a truck with a sleeper berth?
     
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  9. FFL Trucker

    FFL Trucker Light Load Member

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    Chaining, putting chains on tires, it's not an actual word so autocorrect changes it. But yeah changing clothes too, as your clothes will be covered in mud and snow all the time from having to be on the ground while getting your chains on. I know the guys I worked with complained cause I left the inside of the cab and seats covered in mud and snow, yeah that's because I actually put chains on unlike you lazy sobs that refuse to chain up and claim the weather is too bad to be out working. You can do that yourself but don't expect to get paid or to be an asset to the company that you work for.


    Not necessarily, I started in a sleeper truck but didn't mind it, still don't. It means that truck is tied to you, so you'll get more work that way since everyone wants a truck working 24/7. Also means you'll have to play around with logs a lot more and work more hours.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2021
  10. expedite_it

    expedite_it Medium Load Member

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    How much more money did you make in oilfield trucking than in OTR trucking?
     
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