HazMat Trucking: How To Become A Fuel Transportation Driver

April 17, 2018

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As a truck driver, you have a lot of choices when it comes to which industry you’d like to join. From being a commercial driver to a HazMat driver, each will offer you a different career. However, the specialized field of HazMat trucking and fuel transportation can offer big benefits. Becoming a fuel transportation driver is not for the faint of heart. Due to the nature of the job, becoming a Class A CDL driver that hauls hazardous materials requires a special certification known as a HazMat endorsement. Learn more about what it takes to be a HazMat driver, and find out if it could be the right career move for you.

What are the Benefits of Becoming a Fuel Transportation Driver?

Opportunity to Earn Higher Compensation

Due to the immense skill and responsibility that comes with being a liquid HazMat driver, fuel transportation drivers for Solar Transport enjoy respect in the industry and generally higher compensation than other freight carriers. In fact, fuel transportation drivers hold one of the most lucrative careers in the trucking industry.

You Could Be Home More Often

While other blue-collar jobs have diminished due to automation and globalization,trucking careers have remained prevalent and secure throughout the United States. With more than 40 locations in 19 states across the U.S., Solar Transport drivers enjoy the added benefit of being home every day and an excellent work/life balance.

How To Acquire Your HazMat Endorsement

Obtaining a HazMat endorsement involves submitting and passing a background security check completed by Homeland Security, as well as passing a written test at the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

In addition to a HazMat endorsement, drivers also need to obtain a tanker endorsement on their commercial drivers license (CDL) before they can become a driver for fuel transportation companies like Solar Transport. Since there is a much greater safety risk transporting hazardous materials than transporting regular retail goods, salary caps are typically higher for CDL drivers with a HazMat endorsement. Learn more about what it takes to join the elite field of HazMat trucking and how it can benefit your trucking career.

According to the DMV, below is a list of what you can expect when applying for a Class H endorsement:

  • First and foremost you must have a valid (not currently suspended or revoked) commercial drivers licence for the state in which you are applying.
  • Your CDL cannot possess a lot of serious road violations.
  • You will be required to supply proof of your full legal name and proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent legal presence.
  • Provide proof of identity and date of birth
  • Show proof of your Social Security number
  • Present a valid medical examiner’s certificate (DOT medical card)
  • Present a medical waiver (if applicable)
  • Pass the Hazardous Materials Endorsement Knowledge Test
  • Pass a vision screening test
  • Pass a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) criminal background check
    • Note: Some criminal background checks can take up to 60 days. You will be required to submit fingerprints. Most background checks range from $80 - $110.
  • Pay all applicable test and endorsement fees
    • Note: Solar Transport does not reimburse directly for endorsement, but endorsement is required to be hired and receive a compensation package.

A tanker endorsement is also required to become a truck driver for Solar Transport. This is based on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) new regulations to keep the roads safe.

You are responsible for obtaining a tanker endorsement on your CDL if:

  • Your cargo includes liquid or gaseous individual containers larger than 119 gallon capacity
  • The containers are loaded and not empty
  • The total combined volume in those containers exceeds 1,000 gallons

Once all requirements are met and a job offer is made, Solar Transport provides a full training program involving how to properly load, haul and deliver refined petroleum products safely.

Tips For A Successful HazMat Truck Driving Career

To excel in the liquid HazMat truck driving industry, success lies within the learning process and then in upgrading skills.

First, know the laws, regulations and safety risks that come with being a fuel transportation driver. Roads can be just as dangerous as the fuel you’re transporting, so being fully aware of the task at hand is key.

From there, it’s all about your dedication to the job.

Keeping trucking laws and regulations top of mind, as well as an eagerness to continuously learn and engage in safe-driving practices, driving for Solar Transport can be a very rewarding and fruitful career.

Become a HazMat Truck Driver

By now you should have a more in depth understanding of the skill and commitment that comes with being a fuel transportation driver.

If you’re ready to take the next step in your trucking career, take a look atour open positions and join a rewarding industry today.