Oil delivery drivers, also known as tanker truck drivers, operate heavy duty vehicles. They transport oil and petroleum products locally and over long distances. They maintain the vehicle and ensure cargo safety. Client service skills, driving ability and the willingness to transport hazardous materials are key traits in this transportation profession.
Oil delivery drivers transport oil and other fuel products from petroleum refineries to airports, gas stations, factories, mills, shops and other facilities. Oil delivery drivers ensure that oil drums and fuel products are secured to the truck cab and trailer.
Oil delivery drivers perform routine maintenance and safety checks on the truck and load before, during and after scheduled runs.
A high school diploma is necessary. Courses in diesel mechanics, electronics, hazardous materials and pneumatic systems are helpful. A Commercial Driver's License, also known as a CDL, is required. A special endorsement with the CDL license is mandatory to transport hazardous materials such as oil and petroleum. Most employers require random alcohol and illegal drug monitoring. Truck drivers undergo criminal and driving background investigations.
Truck drivers need stamina to sit for hours behind the wheel of very large vehicles. They need good vision and depth perception, calm nerves to deal with traffic and a constant regard for safety. Interpersonal skills are integral to dealing with a variety of customers.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean hourly wage for heavy duty drivers was £12.10 as of May 2008. The mean annual salary was £25,168. They earned yearly salaries of £15,723 to £36,595.
Future employment opportunities are favourable for truck drivers. According to a projection made by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2010, the growth rate will be 13 per cent from 2008 to 2018. This figure represents a rate that is approximately as fast as average compared with other occupations. Factors that will spur growth are the increased need to transport oil and other commodities by truck.
At its website, the Professional Truck Driver Institute emphasises the need for supervised training: "Formal training is the most reliable way to learn the many special skills required for safe truck driving. The more skills that are learnt in supervised training, the fewer that need to be learnt on the job."
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- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2008: Truck Drivers, Heavy and Tractor-Trailer
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010 - 2011 Edition: Truck Drivers and Driver/Sales Workers
- PTDI - The Professional Truck Driver Institute: Checklist for Quality Courses in Tractor-Trailer Driver Training