Minimum age to get into a HM/Tanker job?

Discussion in 'Hazmat Trucking Forum' started by EurekaSevven, Jun 6, 2023.

  1. EurekaSevven

    EurekaSevven Bobtail Member

    Apr 30, 2022
    Question for all the Hazmat guys older than me...which is probably 99% if not 100% of you guys...

    I recently got my HM and Tanker endorsements on my license and have a good clean year of OTR experience (went out from the EC to the WC and back with produce, it was a reefer job). Well I'm 22 currently and sent in a few applications to a few outfits and haven't heard a thing back yet. Come to find out the one application I did check on was declined, and the only reason I can come up with as to why is because they want someone at least 23 years old...which is about 3 months out for me still.

    Anyone ever had that experience before? Or know why? I'm assuming it's an insurance thing, or maybe it was just something else, but can't really think of anything it could be...worst thing on my record is a really minor fender-bender on a bobtail in a truck stop, no tow aways or anything like that. Ideas?
    Flat Earth Trucker Thanks this.
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  3. RockinChair

    RockinChair Road Train Member

    Feb 19, 2012
    CC, TX
    Congratulations on getting your endorsements. You're correct that the 23 YO requirement is an insurance thing. The fender bender doesn't help, but even so I bet you'll have more opportunities as soon as your birthday rolls around.
  4. lual

    lual Road Train Member

    Oct 22, 2020
    SW Georgia
    It just depends...on the company in question.

    Some want a minimum age of 23. Some have a minimum age that's even older.

    Most of the better hazmat tanker gigs want at least 2 years previous experience, from elsewhere.

    Suggestion: when/after you turn age 23...apply for a driver position at some food-grade tanker companies, first.

    Put in AT LEAST a year doing food-grade tanker. THEN try for that hazmat job.

    Your responses then will probably be A LOT warmer.

    -- Lual
  5. TNSquire

    TNSquire Medium Load Member

    Oct 13, 2016
    Decatur, TN
    Good on you for getting your endorsements.
    You’re untouchable until you’re 23 for hazmat, per the law.
    Your second block is experience.
    Often, tanker companies want to see 2 plus years of solid experience, commonly more than two.
    I know my company will hire graduates from accredited schools, but right now we’re on a freeze. It’s possible to get hired for dry bulk or chemical, but not for gas hauling.
    Personally, younger drivers don’t have the mindset generally to be safe and smart in the seat. Few do, but the odds are against it.
    They generally don’t have the seat time to develop their mental game, and when you’re pulling a sloppy load, you really don’t have much margin for error.
    One ramp too fast, turn too quickly, and you’re tipping over.
    Tanker is very unforgiving in that respect. Especially smooth bore tanker. No baffles to slow the slosh from knocking your fillings out.
    I hope you’re able to find a company to hire on with that will give you a shot.
    Personally, I’ll never pull anything else.
    I like the challenge, the variety of loads, and the money is excellent most of the time.
  6. Anywhichwaybutloose

    Anywhichwaybutloose Light Load Member

    Jun 24, 2017
    Minimum age for hazmat is 21.
    tscottme Thanks this.
  7. tscottme

    tscottme Road Train Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Nashville, TN
    Your question should have been what is the minimum age to get a HazMat job or what is the minimum age to get the HM endorsement. 21 is the legal minimum age to get the endorsement. Maybe there are special circumstances for agriculture or govt driving.

    Not getting hired by one company doesn't mean you cannot get hired at another company.
  8. REO6205

    REO6205 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    Feb 15, 2014
    Well said. Our insurance company won't cover anyone under twenty five, regardless of their experience level.
    wis bang and tscottme Thank this.
  9. TNSquire

    TNSquire Medium Load Member

    Oct 13, 2016
    Decatur, TN
    Well, I stand corrected…
    That said, I know the company I roll with won’t touch anyone under 23, preferably older, for insurance reasons.
    Get some seat time, get your yayas out, before pulling the dangerous stuff.
    I want you to have a long and prosperous career in trucking…instead of a scorch mark on the asphalt.
  10. EurekaSevven

    EurekaSevven Bobtail Member

    Apr 30, 2022
    Makes sense. The position I actually applied for was a regional chemical hauling job (the company does a lot of chemicals but also does fuel, and as far as I can tell has the same requirements for both). I was actually talking to someone who works there for a bit online and he didn't think to factor in my age, which I'm assuming was the bigger issue there because every other qualification I meet. I'm thinking when I turn 23 I'll try a shot at applying again just to see if I actually hear something back and hopefully go somewhere with it.

    I appreciate all the answers so far. Worst comes to worst I'll have to do reefer for another year. But I've always wanted to yank tankers around ever since getting my CDL so I'm determined to get into the racket.
  11. CAXPT

    CAXPT Road Train Member

    Feb 10, 2008
    Look, if you're really determined to do some tanker yanking, then you're going to have to swim in the cesspool, to get started. :)
    I'm not going to lie, Quality Carriers is not necessarily the best, nor the worst, as far as I can tell. My bad experience with them came from a local affilliate and their lack of vehicle/tank maintenance back when the CSA scores were starting up, and the affilliate didn't take it as serious as I did. So, you will have to watch your back, but other than that, Corporate seemed to actually give a darn, because as I found out later, they busted the mehanic that was not only not caring for the trucks, but also faking the tank inspections and repairs...(hence the watch your back advice).
    Their age requirement is 22. I don't know where you're located or the terminal options for you so take this with a grain of salt, but give them a jingle and an application so you can start hauling tankers. Their training for tanker load/unload was pretty good when I took the orientation there, so pay attention and you should do good there. At least for the next year, you'll get the experience with tankers as most want 1-2 years experience with tankers at the higher end companies so you won't be wasting your time, going this route.

    Here's their driver requirements link so you can check it out and follow the links to the application area. Good luck if you choose to follow this path. :)
    Company Drivers | Truck Driver Requirements | QC
    RockinChair Thanks this.
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