Transporting an Oil Tanker
Not all truck driving jobs in the oil and gas industry require the operator to handle tanker trucks.
It’s true that a lot of the work involves tankered materials such as liquid chemicals and petroleum products but it’s far from all the trucking jobs that are available in this industry. Semi-tractor truck drivers are always in demand, of course, with drivers needed to transport equipment and supplies to and from the job sites. Many of the loads are oversized and may require long travel distances as some of the destinations are quite remote in oil and gas exploration areas. Some of the materials that need to be transported may also be flammable or volatile and so a specialized training program such as HazMat may be required before you’re allowed to safely transport these loads.
Some truck driving jobs require the driver to actually transport the oil drilling rigs to the designated positions in the oil field. The driver is responsible for assisting with the teardown, transport and reassembly of the drilling rig and its components. This type of driving position usually requires a lot of long-distance driving into and out of remote areas. Water truck drivers deliver potable water to camps and remote drilling sites for the oil companies. Sometimes requires the driver to locate sources of water before delivering the water to the drilling areas. Personnel who are assigned to transport water are usually also the workers who maintain the ice roads and bridges, ensuring that the ice stays a consistent thickness to support vehicle traffic. In summer, the water truck driver wets down gravel roads to keep dust to a minimum during heavier traffic.
Other oilfield jobs with ties to the trucking industry can include:
- Gravel Truck Driver – transporting gravel and rock to the jobsite for lining the pipeline corridor
- String Truck Driver – responsible for loading and transporting pipe to the work site
- Supply Truck Driver – loads and transports food and supplies to the job or campsite with a covered transport
- Vacuum Truck Driver – loads and transports waste materials and hazardous waste from job or campsites
- Explosives Delivery Driver – responsible for loading, transporting, and storing of explosives for the jobsites
- Fuel Truck Driver – transports various fuels to the jobsites, refilling storage tanks and vehicles as necessary
- Swamper – travels with the transport as a helper assisting the driver as necessary. Makes sure that the loads are fastened down and secured for travel, helps with any maintenance and cleans the vehicle when not transporting materials.
Because of the varied nature of these trucking jobs, the salaries are all over the board with a Swamper being at the lower end of the pay scale and explosives delivery driver being fairly near to the top (based on the special handling and danger involved). As you can see, workers who want to have a truck driving career in the oil and gas industry have a wide range of choices and depending on the type of driving you want to do, you can earn a very good living in this industry. With exceptional benefits and bonus packages available, many companies in this industry take very good care of their employees. They know that it’s much easier to keep an existing employee happy, rather than try to find new ones all the time.