Rookie fuel hauler advice?

Discussion in 'Tanker, Bulk and Dump Trucking Forum' started by lual, Jun 7, 2021.

  1. lual

    lual Bobtail Member

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    Oct 22, 2020
    SW Georgia
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    Greetings!

    I start orientation and training for fuel hauling in a couple of weeks from now.

    Was curious if anyone would offer any advice for what to take (besides the obvious) to orientation--and general (or specific) advice for starting/training in the world of fuel hauling.

    Are their any YouTube (or similar) videos I should watch, maybe....that would help flatten the learning curve?

    Most of the feedback I've seen on this forum about fuel hauling seems to be generally positive.

    For the moment, I'm looking forward to it.

    Thanks in advance for any info you can offer!....:)
     
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  3. RockinChair

    RockinChair Road Train Member

    Congratulations on the new job. Who will you be driving for and what area will you be covering?

    The main things that you're going to need are a good attitude, willingness to take it slow, and above all, attention to detail.

    There is a lot to learn when it comes to fuel hauling, so you're definitely going to need a notebook and a pen. And also get one of those little notebooks that will fit in the pocket of your shirt. It's real handy to write down stick readings and tank numbers at the drop, and compartment numbers and product type & gallons at the loading rack. Plus you'll probably need to write down customer numbers and account numbers.

    When it comes to driving the truck in and out of the stations where you'll be delivering, you're going to need some patience too. Four-wheelers are stupid on the road, but they're 10 times stupider in the gas station parking lot.
     
    91B20H8 Thanks this.
  4. TNSquire

    TNSquire Light Load Member

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    Oct 13, 2016
    Decatur, TN
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    @lual
    Build yourself a routine, start to finish.
    Be consistent with it.
    Always stick the tanks and write it down.
    This will help you avoid getting stuck to the ground.
    Pull the Veeder root if available, before and after.
    Validate the before and after against your bol... it'll catch a cross drop before it becomes a problem.
    Keep extra hose gaskets. I like 3 or 4 of each size i use most on hand, in the passenger side door pocket.
    Get a flat head screw driver with long shaft, and bend the last 2 inches to 90 degrees for opening covers easily.
    A fellow driver made me a tool like that, that's 3 feet long so I don't have to bend over to pop covers or caps.
    Keep a 16 oz soda bottle on board... you'll find flooded drop holes after heavy rains, and need to bail them out to drop safely.
    Always check for water in the tank.
    Set up your diesel drop first.
    Diesel and gas don't mix, and are expensive to pump out and dispose of.
    Beware of distractions. Distractions cause cross drops.
    If you get distracted, stop. Validate everything before pulling that handle to drop.
    If you get stuck to the ground, meaning product tank is full, hose is full, and compartment still isn't empty... close the handle, wait a few seconds, then Crack the hose at the trailer side, just enough to break the seal and allow air into the hose.... usually, it'll allow the product in the hose to flow into the tank, preventing a spill.
    Spills suck. Avoid them at all costs.
    Keep extra diapers in the cab. A 6 inch stack is what I keep handy. Better to have them available than not having them when you need them right the hell now.
    Use your compartment dial indicators religiously.
    I document my preplan loading by compartment, with loading codes, product (reg, prem, dzl, red dzl, rec90, etc) and quantities.
    I save these so that when I have allocation issues, I can refer back for the loading codes if I need them. It's saved me many times from having to change racks to load.
    Smooth is fast, fast is smooth.
    Put the correct product in the correct hole, every time. If you're not absolutely sure, don't pull the handle.
    Above all, stay safe.
    You're playing with highly flammable liquid and vapor. Don't short cut, don't take risks needlessly.
     
  5. Optimistic_Murphy

    Optimistic_Murphy Bobtail Member

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    Nov 2, 2015
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    I am also starting a new job in 2 weeks delivering fuel for a company called Douglass Distributing out of Sherman, TX. Been OTR for 20 years and now it’s time to be home with my wife and 2 little girls. They pay by the load and starting at 25% since I’ve always been a door swinger before this. I hope it’s not too late in life to adapt to a new gig like this, I’m 58 and hoping this is the start of a better chapter in my career.
     
    meechyaboy Thanks this.
  6. RockinChair

    RockinChair Road Train Member

    @TNSquire Why not just open the fill bucket drains and let them do their job?

    I would be afraid that bailing fluid out of the fill bucket and leaving it on the ground could be considered a spill.
     
    homeskillet Thanks this.
  7. Speed_Drums

    Speed_Drums Medium Load Member

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    Dec 26, 2014
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  8. TNSquire

    TNSquire Light Load Member

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    Oct 13, 2016
    Decatur, TN
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    Not sure what a fill bucket drain is, but whenever I have to bail out the hole to get below the fill head, I bail onto a diaper to catch whatever petroleum might be there.
    It's pretty easy to tell when there's more petroleum product in the hole than the diaper can catch, in which case i call it in, and they divert the load until the customer remedies the issue.
    Never takes long, as most of "those" customers play a pretty tight line on deliveries... they usually have less than a days worth in the ground.
     
  9. lual

    lual Bobtail Member

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    Oct 22, 2020
    SW Georgia
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    Thanks very much for the feedback above--Everyone!

    I was asked above with what carrier I will be driving--I'd prefer to on-board with them first, and get a few paychecks under my belt, before I go there (I'll count my chickens AFTER they've hatched).

    Hopefully, later I can post a somewhat detailed (positive) review of this company in the appropriate forum location here, from the training period...forward.
     
  10. meechyaboy

    meechyaboy Heavy Load Member

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    Oct 4, 2018
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    Wow I’m late but what everyone else said was spot on start slow speed comes later.
    Double check everything that Goes for your>
    Orders, your truck/trailer on pretrip, make sure everything has gaskets get 5 hose gaskets and 5 hog nose gaskets especially if you’re gonna be truck hopping. Before you leave a station tap your tanks with a stick to verify that they are hollow. As mentioned above you can be distracted or just having a bad day and pull a handle with out opening a fire valve-this is a last check to make sure you are empty. Also drain down everytime you pull into the rack- even though you just tapped your tank at the station Cya for the cameras in the event something happens/ first load out if slip seating your codriver may not have drained down. If you can’t drain down first load cut the compartments back>its you that get locked out if anything happens.
    Get a veeder root and triple check the address.. we got multiple stations with variations of the same name in different cities. Double check the order before you leave the address should be on the building and on the veeder root.
    Make sure it fits before you pull the handle.
    dispatch may say things like “it should fit” or “it’s what they ordered” or we’re getting a bad reading. That’s what the veeder root is for , your company should supply a tank chart book. If not ask some drivers at the rack if they have some tank chart books. Talk to other drivers 99% of them are pretty cool, if anything ever comes up they’ll let you know about it
    Another thing that can speed up the learning curve is getting all the other drivers numbers and calling them everyday until you have the main stations down. You can look at google maps but this is earth . Unless you’ve been there the other drivers know things you wouldn’t have thought of and what to watch for>we have stations that have multiple entrances on google maps only for them to have the second entrance closed off now so you have to pull in setting up to back out onto the street. As well as here we have frost law routes in the spring that they live ticketing for but don’t want to put out maps for.

    Lastly cone up and speak up. If you don’t want civilians walking or driving by it... cone it off. If you don’t cone it off they will do the stupid thing that you didn’t want them to do 100% of the time. And Speak up be proactive. You saw that guy pull in with the cigarette in his lips parking and he has to walk past your fills to get to the store. Give him a second to get out but if he walks forward let him know because “he forgot” “his bad, he don’t know what he was thinking”, and my all time favorite especially in tiny stations “I didn’t see the gas truck”
    When you get good at doing stations and know all your fills park to protect yourself.if you can pull in to always face to inside of the station do it that way therefore you can see any potential threat and that you’re always on camera. We get a lot of idiots that fly into the parking lot doing 20-30 mph. If you can turn your truck at the last second instead of lining up straight do it for example>>
     

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  11. REO6205

    REO6205 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

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    Feb 15, 2014
    California
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    Well said. There's a ton of good advice in this thread.
    To simplify it...when I started out an old timer told me "Just get the right amount of the right stuff in the right hole, and don't spill anything."
    Taking your time is key. Your company won't expect you to be as fast as the older drivers. They will however expect you to do the same quality of work.
     
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