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6 Things To Consider Before Hauling Hazardous Materials In Tankers

6 Things To Consider Before Hauling Hazardous Materials In Tankers

Hauling a chemical tanker is dangerous, as you would expect, but it also has quite a few other challenges you wouldn’t expect and need to consider. Before getting behind the wheel and pulling a chemical tanker here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about hauling hazardous material.

  1. Does chemical tanker pay more than other types of trucking?

Hauling chemical tankers may pay a little bit more per mile than most other types of freight, but you may find that you don’t get quite as many miles as you can in other types of freight. In the end, pulling a hazardous tanker really isn’t going to pay more than most other types of freight. Some believe that the people who really understand the idiosyncrasies of this industry – and how to get more done, see more money being made.

  1. How dangerous is it pulling a Hazardous tanker?

Obviously, you’re dealing with dangerous chemicals – and the chemical plants themselves can be quite dangerous. In order to be protected from hazards, many companies require the driver to wear extra personal protective equipment whenever they’re outside of the truck. Some truck drivers don’t like this component because they have experienced dehydration and heat exhaustion while wearing all the extra protective gear.

  1. What is the difference between hauling chemical tankers and food grade tankers?

The biggest difference between hauling hazardous chemicals and food grade tankers are:

  • You have to deal with dangerous chemicals instead of harmless foods.
  • You’re going to get more scrutiny from the DOT because of the Hazardous chemicals you’re hauling.
  • You have to be more careful about your routing choices.
  • You’ll have to be very careful about where and when you drop your trailer.
  • You have to have a Hazmat endorsementto haul chemicals and you often have to get your tanker washed out at a tank wash after unloading. Sitting around at a tank wash could be wearying.
  1. Is there a lot of manual labor involved with hauling hazardous materials?

There is some additional manual labor involved when pulling any type of tanker. You’re often going to have to use hoses to unload the product from the tank, and sometimes that will involve operating the pump which is attached to the back of your trailer. You will also have to climb up onto the tank in order to open the hatch for loading the tank, etc.

  1. What is the lifestyle of a chemical tanker driver?

There’s more stress when you’re hauling dangerous chemicals, but the stress is doubled by the fact that you’re hauling liquids in a tanker. They each have their own set of serious challenges, so putting them together means you have one of the most stressful jobs in all of trucking. You’re also spending a lot of time in chemical plants which can be very dull and dirty places.

  1. Which CDL endorsements apply to hauling a chemical tanker?

In order to pull a chemical tanker you’re going to need the tanker endorsement and the Hazmat endorsement.

Pulling a chemical tanker is a very complex and stressful job. You’re under a lot of scrutiny and you have a lot of rules and regulations to follow. It’s not recommended for a brand new driver, even if it is offered.  It can prove to be far too stressful and dangerous for someone with limited experience.


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