Starting new job in Ops with chemical tank co. Please help me learn what I need to know.

Discussion in 'Tanker, Bulk and Dump Trucking Forum' started by 8thnote, Mar 11, 2021.

  1. 8thnote

    8thnote Road Train Member

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    Hello. I am starting a new job in operations for a company that pulls hazmat chemical tanks in a couple of weeks. Now I am not a newbie to the trucking industry. I have 8 yrs as an OTR driver pulling reefer and dry van and I have 4 yrs experience as a fleet manager/load planner/ops specialist for a dry van company. I have also been a member of the TTR forum for many years. I have 0 experience in tanks and hazmat chems though. I need advice on the things I need to learn to be successful and to help my drivers be successful as well as making their jobs as easy as possible.

    I know that I need to learn about the trailers themselves. Types of tank trailers, names of the various parts of the trailers, loading and unloading procedures, lingo, and things of that nature. I also do not know what it is that I dont know. I am very grateful for any advice, info, anecdotes, lessons and anything else that professional chem tank drivers think that I should know in order to best facilitate my drivers in their day to day duties. Also, the company that I will be working for pulls strictly hazmat chems. No fuel and no food grade. Thank you in advance for your assistance and your expertise.
     
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  3. Dave1837

    Dave1837 Heavy Load Member

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    There's various trailers all firdifferent applications. Acid tankers are typically non-insulated, but there are acid based products (i.e. caustic) that need to be transported in an insulated trailer because they freeze below 50F. Some chemicals can't be hauled in stainless tanks, some can't be hauled in aluminum tanks. Every tank has to be able to accommodate the product's weight per gallon, and the PH level of that product.

    Generally for chemicals, a 5-5,500 gallon tank is okay to use, but for heavier materials a smaller trailer is better just for tare weight reduction and a smoother ride (less sloshing). No sense putting 3,000 gallons in a 5,500 gallon trailer when you could fit 3,300 gallons into a 4,000 gallon trailer.

    Familiarize yourself with the "no hazmat" routes so if someone asks you for directions, you can at least tell them which routes NOT to take.

    That's all I can really think of, I saw a list of chemical tankers and their DOT assigned numbers a while back, I'll see if I can find it again for you
     
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  4. 8thnote

    8thnote Road Train Member

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    So it sounds like the steepest learning curve will be knowing which tank to use for which product/customer. I have a feeling that the experienced drivers on my fleet will be my greatest asset.
     
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  5. Dave1837

    Dave1837 Heavy Load Member

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    Absolutely. They'll know what trailers go where
     
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  6. REO6205

    REO6205 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

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    Has your company defined exactly what your duties will be? They should.
    It will be easier for you to know which questions to ask when you know the scope of your job responsibilities .
    If they know in advance that your knowledge of haz-mat is limited they should bring you along gradually while you're learning.
    Haz-mat, especially liquid haz-mat, is very unforgiving. A little mistake in labeling, placarding, routing, or unloading can cost lives and huge amounts of money.
     
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  7. 8thnote

    8thnote Road Train Member

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    Thank you for that reminder about the serious consequences of mistakes. I consider myself to be a very detail oriented person and I will pay close attention.

    My main primary job will be fleet manager and load planner for about 25 trucks with a customer service aspect as well (accepting or declining loads based on available capacity and well as updates on pick ups, in transit delays, and deliveries).
     
  8. Judge

    Judge Road Train Member

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    Differences between a 407 tank and a 307 tank (How they vent)

    Most customers, if not all want a CoA, tanks need either previous product or washout slip before hitting highway.
    Stuff like that?
     
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  9. Numb

    Numb Crusty Curmudgeon

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    go do a driver training course for tanks.

    maybe even drive a heavy ,partially loaded one. tanker yankin' is a whole new ballgame.

    then you will know what you're asking your drivers to do.
     
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  10. kemosabi49

    kemosabi49 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

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    All trailers have to undergoing testing, from yearly to every five years, for different things to be able to continue to use them. Company may have a database to help keep track. Or may not. Drivers and shop have to make sure they a loading a trailer with current certification. This is in addition to the normal annual DOT inspection.
    Also there are Strapping Charts that show the innage and outage of trailers. Drivers can tell how many gallons they are loading by using a measuring stick through the dome lid. Not very often you need these but since every trailer can be a little different, most companies also have a database where they can enter the trailer numbers and print one off. Some trailers even have a chart on the side of the trailer but don't count on it.
    This may help if your guys have routing questions.
    National Hazardous Materials Route Registry - By State | FMCSA
     
  11. Boom Tube

    Boom Tube Light Load Member

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    You'll also have to make sure you assign the driver a center or rear unloader, based on the customer's needs. You need to know about different tank washing types. Most of this the customer will let you know. Oh, and learn to assign drivers 800+ mile runs with 24 hours or less to get there. :p
     
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