If you’re looking for a unique driving opportunity that provides higher pay (Schneider tanker drivers can earn up to about $75,000 annually) and more hands-on work, then a tanker truck driving role at Schneider might be a good fit for you.
Check out the below question and answer with long-time Schneider Tanker Training Engineer Wesley Buck about what his life is like as a tanker truck driver (also called a bulk truck driver).
What it’s like being a tanker truck driver – Q&A with Wesley Buck
1. How long have you been a truck driver?
“All together, 24 years. I drove van for 21 years and the rest of the time I’ve been in the Schneider Bulk Division.”
2. Why did you decide to switch to tanker truck driving?
“I was looking for something a little more challenging and exciting. And this job has been really rewarding.”
3. What do you do as a tanker driver?
“A typical day would be waking up, doing a pre-trip inspection on the truck and trailer and driving to your destination. If you’re doing a pick-up, you drive to your destination to pick up the load. When you get to the customer, you get the product loaded after you checked in and then you go to the next customer to deliver and unload it. Delivery could be the next day or day after, so you might find a truck stop, park and call it a night.”
4. Is the bulk unloading process difficult?
“When you’re unloading a tanker truck, sometimes it can take up to 100 feet of hose in five 20-foot sections. Stretching them out and hooking them up to the pump can be challenging.”
5. What's one thing people should know about driving a tanker truck?
“When you stop the truck, you still have the product in the tank going forward, so it pushes you. It’s called liquid surge. And even when you park the truck, the product is still surging, and you’ll feel the truck rocking back and forth. It’s kind of like a rocking chair.”
6. Describe a time when you had to think on your feet as a tanker truck driver.
“One time I was at a customer and another driver was using a compartment trailer and he loaded the wrong compartment. I had to figure out the rest of the weight in order to keep us legal and tell the customer how much product could go into the other three compartments of the trailer.”
7. What is the most rewarding thing about your job?
“The most rewarding thing about being a tanker driver is getting the job done and seeing everyone satisfied.”
8. What is the most challenging thing about being a tanker truck driver?
“Some of the challenges are: discrepancies that you might find with the load and equipment, getting the job done and taking the initiative to do what has to be done to keep the customer satisfied.”
9. What's your favorite thing about your job?
“My favorite thing is the freedom of when I get behind the wheel, and I put on my tunes and just go with no one telling me what to do. As long as you’re watching what you’re doing, looking out your mirrors and being cautious of what’s around you, being a tanker truck driver is really nice.”
Want to know more about Wesley Buck?
Check out this spotlight of Wesley to find out more about what he does as a tanker truck driver: