Differences between oilfield and traditional truck driving
There are significant differences between oilfield drivers and traditional truck drivers. By weighing the pros and cons of each, you can choose the career that’s best for you.
Oilfield drivers make more money than traditional truck drivers. Starting salaries can be more than double for oilfield truck drivers. These oilfield drivers have to earn it though.
Oilfield drivers are generally experienced truck drivers. It’s a more demanding job than traditional trucks due to safety regulations and the remote locations. Where a Class A or B commercial driver license can be the only criteria required to get started driving a regular freight truck, oilfield drivers may need more experience and certifications. For example, companies may require HAZMAT endorsement that shows you are knowledgeable to work with hazardous materials. You will be working with hazardous materials if you go this route. Crude oil and gases you’ll be transporting are very dangerous.
The work is significantly different. In addition to the hazardous materials, oilfield drivers typically need to be able to work in very remote areas – where oil is found. This means higher technical skills can be required for truck maintenance and for working near oil rigs. Oilfield truckers often stay in camps with other oil and gas workers. The hours will be dependent on the oil and gas production schedule. Also, there are lots of government and company regulations you will need to catch up on.
There are different types of oilfield driving jobs and these can require different truck styles. If you drive a particular style of commercial truck, there’s a good chance there’s demand for it in the oil and gas industry. If you want to drive trucks and feel the benefits of the oilfield outweigh the negatives, and you have your HAZMAT endorsement, oilfield driving can be a profitable career.