Veteran Drivers that made the change to tankers later in life: in here plz

Discussion in 'Tanker, Bulk and Dump Trucking Forum' started by superpet39, Feb 10, 2020.

  1. superpet39

    superpet39 Road Train Member

    Jan 27, 2013
    Bay Area California
    Whether it was dry van, flatbed, etc .....when you finally decided to switch to tankers: did you have any doubts/concerns/butterflies

    was it just the “unknown” ?

    Im looking to hear from Drivers that made that change later in life.

    I’ve searched, and have found isolated stories about rookie mistakes, but I’m interested in the veteran driver that made that plunge, how he “survived” (and hopefully “flourished”) with his new job, and overcame any “butterflies” he might’ve had.
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  3. x1Heavy

    x1Heavy Road Train Member

    Mar 5, 2016
    White County, Arkansas
    Hell no.

    I did tankers for bulk cement. They are a little tippy now and then on those little two lane roads in the woods. Big deal.

    Not too long after other kinds of trucking I hauled milk. That year in milk taught me all I needed to deal with tankers.

    Two decades later they hand me another bulk tanker and told me go. I went. Was unloaded in about a hour. No one needed to refresh anything.

    You wont catch me hauling fuel, gasoline etc. We have warstories from a uncle who did that for the Red Ball in france. He was shot up when the nazis tried to cremate him on the road with all them gas cans. And had a gas tanker run away from him in the 50's to Cumberland long before there was a I-68. He quit that day.


    Tankers. Those are easy. Now I don't know much about Cyro or other really exotic tanker stuff. Hence the recent discussions in Bulk about rocks and how to get them off. Oh wait....
    mhyn, superpet39 and Puppage Thank this.
  4. G13Tomcat

    G13Tomcat Road Train Member

    Jun 7, 2011
    @slim shady ? @Cat sdp ?

    I made the switch to tankers after a good 15 years with miscellany OTR jobs, and loved every minute of it. Pulled asphalt for a small O/O company intrastate mostly, and no major mishaps. Besides the jeans and Carharrts ruined by asphalt, all went well!

    Problem only being, asphalt being seasonal, I pulled flats in the winter. THAT was more of a learning curve for me, over tanks!

    Best of luck, sir. I'm in my 50's.
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  5. slim shady

    slim shady Road Train Member

    Sep 14, 2011
    Chicago, Il.
    I made the switch to tankers @ 49 yrs. Old, I had pulled containers in the mid 80s, Did regional and ltl up til 94 ish.
    When I hung up the keys, Until 2011 when I came back to trucking Did a yr. Of regional dry van again and applied to QC took they took like 4 months to get back to me, But got hired on and still tanking 7+ yrs now. Had I got into tankers in the beginning 1983 I might have never quit in 94.
    Tanker work is not hard, Driving is just a little slower, I probably spend 90% of my time in the right lane, I'm paid well enough to take it easy
  6. jdimes

    jdimes Medium Load Member

    Apr 22, 2011
    somewhere, usa
    I made the switch at 60 after doing dry van general freight and then ltl, 1st week by myself I changed my depends several times once I got used to the surge and how to control it a little bit everything has been good. Can’t say I wouldn’t go back to doing ltl(miss the exercise) but right now I enjoy tanking
    G13Tomcat, rachi and superpet39 Thank this.
  7. kemosabi49

    kemosabi49 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    Jan 13, 2013
    SW Arkansas
    I was 59 when I went to tanks. Was at the end of 2008 and I was lucky to be at the right place at the right time, considering the state of the economy at the time. Like a lot of other people, I later wondered why I didn't change earlier. Best move I ever made.
  8. Cat sdp

    Cat sdp . .

    Apr 8, 2012
    Orion's Belt
    Did it as a kid......i’m no help :-/
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  9. tscottme

    tscottme Road Train Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Nashville, TN
    I had 20 something years pulling 53ft dry vans OTR and regional. I ALMOST backed out of switching to tankers because of worries about surge in liquid tankers. The corporate trainer spent 90% of our classroom training seemingly trying to convince new-hires that death or grievous injury was n our future. I was 52 when I started pulling tankers.

    I wish I had switched to tankers years ago. I hate wearing the HazMat suit so I may someday switch to non-HazMat. I'm glad I had 18 years of backing 53ft trailers 3-12 times per day before I got into tankers. Many of the tanker customer facilities were built before Columbus discovered America. Tanker trailers are much easier to see behind and to back. There is a significant number of blind-side backing. MOST tanker customers are better than all but the best dry van customers.
  10. mustang190

    mustang190 Road Train Member

    Jan 18, 2011
    Florida Panhandle
    Went from pulling refers to hazmat tankers 17 years ago and haven’t looked back.
    No lumpers, no “need to be there yesterday” stuff, most receivers are glad to see you.
    Never worried about the surge scare. Just learn to shift with it, thus the reason automatic trannys don’t work well for tankers.
    tscottme and G13Tomcat Thank this.
  11. jdimes

    jdimes Medium Load Member

    Apr 22, 2011
    somewhere, usa
    True that really not a fan of the automatic tranny had a snow storm blow thru up here in Pa the other morning man that truck was not responsive to the weather conditions at all~I’d rather be in control than the computer was not a gun ride
    tscottme and G13Tomcat Thank this.
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