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How to become a tanker truck driver

How to become a tanker truck driver

Looking to start your career in an elite driving position or upgrade to more specialized work?

Become a tanker truck driver today, enjoying bigger money, hands-on work and advanced training that’ll put you a step above the rest.

Use this step-by-step guide to help you prepare for life as a tanker driver.

3 steps on how to become a tanker driver

1. Review and meet the requirements to become a truck driver.

Before you can focus your attention on tanker driving jobs specifically, you need to make sure you know how to become a truck driver generally and meet the basic requirements, which include:

  • Obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) from your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
  • Attend truck driving school, typically.
  • Be at least 21 years old for interstate driving.
  • Pass a drug and alcohol test, and undergo a physical.

2. Review and meet the specific tanker driving requirements.

Tanker driving involves several specific requirements due to the nature of the day-to-day tasks. While it may vary by specific type of driving job (e.g. hauling chemicals vs. hauling water), these are some things you may want to do:

  • Get a Tanker endorsement, which can be done at the DMV at the same time as your CDL with a separate written test and small fee, or added later. This is often a requirement before hiring on.
  • Consider getting a HazMat endorsement. While two-thirds of Schneider loads are non-hazardous, for example, we frequently require drivers to start pursuing this endorsement after joining Schneider’s Tanker division — which we can help you pay for.
  • Prepare for longer training due to the specialized nature of the work. For example, Schneider’s Tanker orientation is just under 3 weeks for experienced drivers and 5 weeks for inexperienced drivers.

3. Find a tanker driving job.

Tanker driving jobs generally pay more due to the unique nature of the work. There are a huge variety to choose from, including at least the following at Schneider, which recently celebrated 50 years of Tanker jobs:

  • Regional – drive closer to home.
  • Over-the-Road – hauling liquids long haul.
  • Dedicated – one specific customer, each with specific benefits.
  • Intermodal – tanks that go on the road and the rail (a Schneider innovation).

The best way to understand if a tanker driving job is right for you is to review specific job postings and descriptions.

Questions on how to become a tanker driver?

Schneider recruiters recently hosted a live Q&A about tanker driving. In addition to covering many of the above items in more detail, they also discussed:

  • Non-HazMat jobs.
  • Pay package details.
  • Facial hair considerations with respirators.
  • Physical components of the job, including climbing on the catwalk.
  • Tanker orientation safety protocols.

Watch the replay:

Ready to become a tanker truck driver?

Schneider is hiring tanker drivers now throughout the country. Get the process started by searching for jobs closest to you.

About the author
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Schneider Guy loves the "Big Orange." He's passionate about the trucking industry and connecting people to rewarding careers within it. He's been the eyes and ears of our company since our founding in 1935, and he's excited to interact with prospective and current Schneider associates through "A Slice of Orange."

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