Questions for oilfield drivers

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by smarttowers, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. smarttowers

    smarttowers Light Load Member

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    Jul 6, 2011
    New Mexico
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    I'm located in Roswell,NM and looking at getting my CDL via WIA funds. I traveled to Artesia,NM and they have a lot of companies there doing oilfield work. I've been trying to find out as much as I can about the different jobs but mostly the threads have been stating that its good money to be made not much about the life besides long hours.

    So a few questions off the top of my head for any experienced drivers I'm hoping some can answer.


    1. Do most frac sand haulers usually end up on site for days or is that the rarity?
    2. Are most of the tractors day cabs or are there sleeper units usually also?
    3. Do the frac haulers usually drive sleepers? I would hate to get stuck for 3 days in a day cab.
    4. What advice can you offer to a first timer working in the oilfields?
    5. Can you give me an idea of what the average day would be like for the different driving jobs?
    6. What kind of questions should I ask prospective employers that are specific to the oilfield industry?
    7. Any horror stories you can tell me that might give me an idea of worst case scenario is for the jobs?
    8. Do the units usually have working A/C and do the companies allow you to idle or have a APU? I imagine in the desert heat the cabs can get down right thermal nuclear.
    Would appreciate any input from current or former oilfield drivers. Any information is appreciated.
     
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  3. Okieron

    Okieron Crusty Okie

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    well lets start with
    1. its not a rarity but its not every time either it happens a lot.
    2. some are day cabs and if you are stuck they usually take you to a hotel nearby.
    3 usually sleepers depends on company
    4. patience! I was an OTR driver used to drop the load grab the next. not in the fields its hurry up and wait at both ends of a load.
    5. hauling sand is just what it sounds like like. you blow it off go the sand plant load and go blow it off again,
    6. what kind of trucks what kind of money and anything else you want. remember like any other trucking job "you wont be home every night or every weekend"
    7. been pulled into sites by grader because it was too muddy to drive in.
    8. again depends on the company. remember like any job there are good companies and bad ones.

    it is good money, but it ain't for sissies its tough work. they run the wells no matter what the weather or the holiday is.
     
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  4. smarttowers

    smarttowers Light Load Member

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    Jul 6, 2011
    New Mexico
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    Thanks for the reply. I currently have no family life and actually am hoping for frac if they end up on location many times. I plan on getting a cellular internet plan and bring a laptop with me. I don't mind the idea of being stuck on site for a few days as long as I have a sleeper and A/C in this climate it would blow to be stuck in the desert at 100+ heat and no where to cool off.

    Long hours-no problem, actually good more money
    Driving over challenging terrain-sounds fun
    Waiting-no problem as long as I have something to occupy myself
    Hard work-good maybe will help me get in better shape

    So far the majority of the issues I have read about the oilfield trucking industry I consider not to be a problem and possibly a benefit. That said, its easy to say that sitting behind a computer not on site.
     
  5. BigJohn54

    BigJohn54 Gone, but NEVER forgotten

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    I've been looking into this too. It's a lot of reading but if you want to know about oilfield work you should read everyone of these threads:

    http://www.thetruckersreport.com/truckingindustryforum/trucking-jobs/87919-jobs-in-nd-oil-patch.html

    http://www.thetruckersreport.com/truckingindustryforum/trucking-jobs/38092-great-jobs-in-texas.html

    http://www.thetruckersreport.com/truckingindustryforum/trucking-jobs/118320-so-you-want-haul-crude-oil.html

    http://www.thetruckersreport.com/truckingindustryforum/trucking-jobs/147750-why-so-hard-get-out-state.html


    They will answer every question you have and many you didn't know you had. These are for the most part local jobs so you need local housing. One of these threads covers this.
     
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  6. Okieron

    Okieron Crusty Okie

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    hauling sand at least in my case pay was based on what the truck made. I made 23% of what the truck did. so anytime your onsite your getting paid detention or should be anyway.
     
  7. GasHauler

    GasHauler Master FMCSA Interpreter

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    I knew a lot of drivers that came from the company "Oil Fields" and they switched over to haul gasoline. 100% of them said the same thing. Gasoline is much cleaner, the trucks are in better shape" the pay is alot higher,the companies treat the driver better, and they'd never go back. But I also know that every one of them got their experience to haul gasoline from the fields.
     
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  8. BigJohn54

    BigJohn54 Gone, but NEVER forgotten

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    Thanks GasHauler. Your posts are always informative and I am never disappointed reading them.

    I had not considered an oilfield job as a steeping stone to hauling fuels. That is definately something to weigh into the decision process.
     
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  9. Hammer166

    Hammer166 Crusty Information Officer

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    I'll take it further-- the oilfield is a good stepping stone to ANY trucking job. The extreme conditions a newer driver will encounter in a few years of oilfield work will help them develop a skill set that drivers who run only on-road may never develop. Tight, dark, and muddy will teach you more about truck control and situational awareness than many moons of superslab running. And you'll learn to be both self-reliant and a team player.

    The hours sucked, the work hard, and the pay just ok. But the experience was well worth the blood, sweat, and tears!
     
  10. smarttowers

    smarttowers Light Load Member

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    Jul 6, 2011
    New Mexico
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    Thanks for the links I hadn't run across them in my reading on here. One thing I've noticed from reading the entire first 2 threads is that not much info about frac, specifically sand. I would like to know what's involved.

    Also anyone who could help me to know what type of wells are in artesia/loco hills new mexico would be helpful. When I drove out it seemed like mostly crude but wondering which as obviously it will effect which jobs are available to me.
     
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  11. Hanzerik

    Hanzerik Light Load Member

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    Hehe, I have run into all of that in less then a month of driving water tankers in the Oilfield here. It can be fun when you have a load of water on and you pull onto location and it's a mud hole...you steer one way and you keep going straight LOL. Have to go slow, but keep moving, and find that speed where your steers will grab, but you don't get stuck. Backing up to frac trailers alongside other trucks in the mud/dark is fun. It can be very dark out in the middle of nowhere, and when your trailers work lights don't work, best thing I have found is to stick a flashlight on top of the frac tank that you want to back up to. Just have to get out and look once you start getting close, luckily you have some distance leeway when you are working with hoses. The roads you drive on are narrow and usually not in the best shape. The oilfield lease roads were in poor shape when we started filling frac tanks a couple weeks ago, but are now in bad shape after all the rain/trucks/sun/trucks/rain/trucks/sun/trucks cycles. It's nothing but one long rutted-pothole now.

    But I enjoy it.
     
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