It takes some special skills to be a specialty freight driver. Within this category, it includes the movement of frac sand. Drivers who have chosen this as their career are not just restricted to men. Many women are very successful in this type of haulage.
Truckers who are specializing in this find it to be a challenging but rewarding job. They also realize that the oil and gas industry is a strong one and will provide them with the work they need to make a good living. The Permian Basin is a classic example of this. It is comprised of an 86.000 square mile area and is considered to be near the top of the list for the most extensive area producing gas and oil. It can produce 35% of the crude oil and 17% of natural gas production for the US.
One of the aspects that have made the Permian basin so successful in its oil and gas production in the fracking process. Estimates have been given that indicate this area will put out 7.3 million barrels of oil per day by 2024. The role that the frac sand haulers play in this process is crucial to its success. A large well can demand up to 50 million pounds of sand.
Great Career Choice
For at least one female trucker, her decision to answer an ad for drivers in the Permian Basin was a career changer. Although she had some experience under her belt as a truck driver, moving frac sand would be a new experience. What she immediately discovered was the high level of enthusiasm that existed among the other drivers. They were pumped at the opportunities present for them to make a lot of money hauling this type of goods. The positive attitude among the drivers becomes contagious and creates an excellent working environment.
The special skills requirement lies mostly within the attitude of whoare sometimes called “sand pushers.” Aside from top-notch driving skills, they have to handle on average twelve-hour days and six days a week in some cases. Shifts are comprised of both day and night.
Any type of trucking can be dangerous because truckers have to rely on their own driving skills and other drivers on the roads. For frac truckers, they face additional risks. Their driving is often carried out on backroads that are not in the best shape and poorly lit. In a busy area like the Permian basin with so much haulage taking place, these small two-lane roads can become too congested. Often the smaller trucks start weaving in and out of the big semi-trucks creating a potentially dangerous situation.
In summary, most frac truck drivers believe that the many benefits that this type of driving affords them dramatically outweigh the risks.