The job of a fuel delivery tanker is one only experienced and adept drivers can handle. Tanker trucks filled with flammable liquids come with very serious safety implications. This hazardous job is for brave and skilled truck drivers who follow stringent protocol. Read on to learn more about fuel delivery drivers.
What Does a Fuel Delivery Driver Do?
Fuel delivery drivers are responsible for the safe transportation of fuel from terminals to the respective gas stations. It is in these terminals that gas is processed and refined into motor gasoline/diesel fuel.
Drivers will more often than not be wearing PPE, or personal protective equipment. This could include a hardhat, a face shield, goggles, gloves, etc. After arriving at the terminal, drivers will hook up the necessary pumps and hoses to safely fill their tanker. Once the tanker is filled with the needed amount, equipment has been inspected, and client paperwork has been completed, drivers will then transport the gasoline to its respective fueling station.
These drivers occupy a largely important role in the transportation and trucking industry. Not only do they make it possible for everyday consumers to get gas for their vehicles, but they also make it possible for other truck drivers to do their job and keep the supply chain running.
Requirements of Fuel Delivery Drivers
Driving as a fuel delivery driver is a hazardous job. Not only will you need to be an experienced CDL-A driver, but you will also need specific endorsements to verify that you have the correct knowledge and skills for the job.
You will either need an X endorsement:
- X endorsements work as a combination of H (HAZMAT) and N (tanker) endorsements. This is the most common endorsement fuel delivery drivers have since it authorizes drivers to transport hazardous material like gasoline in a tanker truck.
Or you will need both an H endorsement and N endorsement:
- H endorsements allow you to transport hazardous material, such as flammable liquids. N endorsements allow you to drive a tanker truck, which is used to transport these hazardous liquids.
Either the X endorsement, or the combination of the H and N endorsements, allow you to be a fuel delivery driver.
The Process of Loading Fuel
Once they arrive at the terminals, fuel delivery drivers will often double check to ensure the fuel they are loading is the correct type for the gas station they are delivering to. Before loading, drivers must also inspect their equipment and ensure all loading components are empty.
The tanker’s engine will need to be turned off, compartment valves closed, and the meter reader must be set. Drivers will then begin filling their tanks by slowly opening the loading valves. Once the tanker is filled, drivers must make sure the valves are closed completely and that equipment is disconnected properly before departure.
The Process of Unloading Fuel
Drivers will park in the respective unloading spot. Again, the engine will need to be turned off, the truck inspected, and drivers should block off the area using cones.
Drivers should make sure the unloading hose is secured and that no leaks will be possible. Detecting any potential leaks is done by pressurizing the hose prior to unloading. Whether the defect lies in the gas station’s equipment, or in the hose’s gasket, it is imperative that leaks are detected and addressed before unloading any fuel.
If no leaks are present, drivers will slowly open valves and pump the fuel. Once the process is complete, drivers must make sure that all material is drained, all valves are closed, and everything is secured before completing paperwork and departing.
Other Responsibilities of Fuel Delivery Drivers
The processes of loading and unloading fuel is the basis for what fuel delivery drivers do. Other responsibilities of fuel delivery drivers include but are not limited to:
- Complete paperwork
- Communicate with dispatch and terminal/gas station attendants
- Connection and disconnection of equipment
- Load and unload fuel
- Safe transportation of fuel to and from terminals and gas stations
Like all trucking jobs, safety should always be prioritized when working with fuel and other hazardous material. Much of the job consists with the adherence to safety regulations. If you are interested in becoming a fuel delivery driver, the first step will be enrolling in a CDL program near you.