Semi-trucks are absolutely essential to our nation’s economy and transport a wide variety of goods and materials. One example is gasoline. Without trucks, gas stations in the United States would exhaust their supply within 2-3 days. Because of high demand and the additional responsibilities involved with transporting gasoline, driving a fuel truck can be a high-paying career.
Here is what you will typically need to operate a fuel tanker:
Commercial Driver’s License
The large trucks that transport gasoline are regulated by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). You must have a class A commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate one. In order to earn your CDL, you will need to pass a written exam as well as a skills test that includes on-the-road driving. Although it is possible to study for the CDL test on your own, attending a truck driving school can help you prepare for your career. Additionally, many employers prefer to hire CDL school graduates.
To drive a fuel truck, you will need the X endorsement on your CDL. This is not actually one endorsement but is a combination of the tanker and hazmat endorsements.
The FMCSA requires that any driver who operates a tank vehicle have a tanker (N) endorsement on their CDL. The agency defines a tank vehicle as any commercial motor vehicle that uses one or multiple tanks to transport liquid or gaseous materials. To fit the definition, the tank(s) must have an individual rated capacity of more than 119 gallons. They also need to have an aggregate rated capacity of 1,000 gallons or more. The tank(s) can be permanently or temporarily attached to the vehicle. An empty storage container that is temporarily attached to a flatbed truck does not qualify as a tank vehicle.
Fuel trucks fit these requirements and are considered tank vehicles by the FMCSA. This means that you need your N endorsement to transport gasoline. You earn this by passing the tanker portion of the CDL test. This includes 20-30 questions about safety considerations related to tank trucks.
Any substance that has the potential to cause harm to the environment, animals, or humans falls under the definition of hazardous materials (hazmat). There are 9 different classes of hazmat. Gasoline is considered a Class 3 hazardous substance. This category includes flammable liquids. In order to transport gasoline or other types of potentially dangerous materials, you must have the hazmat (H) endorsement.
To earn your H endorsement, you will need to pass the written section of the CDL test that covers information related to safely hauling hazmat. In addition, you will need to undergo a Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) background check.
Earn Your CDL and X Endorsement With Us
At Phoenix Truck Driving School, you can earn your CDL along with hazmat and tanker endorsements. This means you can consider a career hauling gasoline after graduation.