Fuel trucks, as the name suggests, are specialized trucks that are used to transport fuel by road. Essentially, they are described as trucks that contain a special tanker. This tanker is placed in the same space where a normal truck would load its cargo trailer.
Liquefied fuel is carried inside these tankers, across locations. These fuels include the likes of petrol and diesel that can be transported in fuel trucks. Depending upon the size of the truck, different quantities of fuel can be carried in them. For instance, some trucks can accommodate one tanker, while some bigger vehicles can take as many as 5 tankers of fuel.
This leads to the different types of fuel trucks available, based on different features. For instance, larger trucks are mainly used for transporting heavy-duty loads. An example would be large fuel trucks carrying huge volumes of fuel to petrol stations.
On the other hand, the smaller trucks are put to use to transport lighter fuels like liquefied petroleum gas, in smaller quantities. Now, based on the capacity, the material for the trucks also varies. Some of the popular materials in this regard would include aluminum, stainless steel, or reinforced plastic.
Difference Between a Fuel Truck And a Normal Cargo Truck
The one feature that distinguishes a fuel truck from a normal cargo truck is the presence of a tanker truck. This is where all the fuel is stored and placed on the truck. More often than not, these tanks are segregated into compartments or segments that can store the fuel.
The reason for this compartmentalization is two-fold. Firstly, this sort of arrangement provides more space since individual pockets together can carry more fuel as compared to one large tanker. Secondly, this concept provides the necessary stability to the truck. Since the vehicle can travel up the slopes, the positioning of the compartments ensures that the weight of the fuel does not prove to overburden the truck’s axle.
How To Become A Fuel Truck Driver
The job of a fuel truck driver could be challenging, but it also comes packed with a lot of adventure and thrill. And this job is not restricted to driving the truck and delivering fuel alone. There are some additional responsibilities attached. These include:
- Checking delivery schedules, special instructions, and travel to the delivery site
- Supervising the fuel loading and unloading procedures, including tasks like connecting hose pipes of pumps
- Conducting safety checks before starting the journey
- Managing paperwork and monitoring necessary signatures for delivery
- Keeping a record of driving hours and activities
The first requirement of a fuel truck driver is the possession of a Large Goods Vehicle license. To back your abilities, it is recommended to have 2 to 3 years of experience in driving trucks. Along with that, the other requirement states that the driver should have a Certificate of Professional Competence of Driver CPC. In addition, often an ADR driver training certificate also comes in handy, These three factors can highly improve your chances of being a professional fuel truck driver.
What happens if you do not have any of these licenses or certifications in the beginning? The best solution would be to start as a crew member. This means you would be accompanying the driver while they are on duty. This is a good way to train yourself in this field of work. However, discipline, physical fitness, and time management are important attributes to being a fuel truck driver.
How much does a fuel truck driver make? The national average salary for a fuel truck driver in the United States is approximately $70,000. However, this value changes from one location to another. However, given the demand for good fuel truck drivers, the experience and qualifications, you could earn as much as $80,000 a year.
Dangers Of Being A Fuel Truck Driver
Driving a fuel truck driver can prove to be a little dangerous. Because the vehicles carry dangerous or hazardous fuels, it could be a little risky.
First and foremost, the long hours on the road proves to be a danger for the truckers. They are often driving non-stop and are not well-rested. This leads to a lot of stress. Sometimes, reaching the destination becomes difficult and the driver has to keep driving unnecessarily as well. All of these leads to frustration and this is where the driver needs to be patient and handle everything with a calm mind.
One pertinent danger here is the concept of the explosion. There is no doubt that the contents of the fuel truck are inflammable. Thus, accidents of the explosion are not very uncommon. This could put to risk the lives of the truck driver and the others around.
In addition, another dangerous aspect of being a truck driver is the fact that the tankers can get faulty sometimes, leading to a fuel spill on the road. Not only is this a loss off the fuel being transported, but this can also pose environmental hazards. Also, this could endanger the lives of the people around the spillage spot. The situation is made worse if the truck is near a river or a similar water body when the fuel spill or leak happens. And because the truck driver is usually alone or accompanied by a crew member at most, managing the situation could get a little difficult.
Managing A Fuel Spill Or Explosion
What should a driver do in case of an oil spill or explosion? Every fuel truck driver should be well prepared mentally and with supplies to face these situations. The first step would be to notify the local officials and emergency agencies if there is a major leak or accident.
The next course of action should revolve around cleaning the spill or preventing further damage. Using the stocked up cleaning materials with absorbent fabric would be the best idea here. Another useful method would be to stop operations and segregate the areas so that the residents do not travel that way.
For spills on land, getting rid of the contaminated soil proves to be a good idea. These basic measures can go a long way in reducing the consequences of the accident.