View Full Version : Anyone work as a water tanker or hot oiler in the oilfields?

08-26-2011, 02:43 AM

As the title suggests, I'm looking for guidance from people working as truckers in the oilfields. I've worked in the oilfields before and I'm thinking of getting my 1A license to open up a few more doors. I'm tired of hard physical labour so right now I'm eyeing trucking, or something involving a truck (water tanker, gravel, vacpump, whatever).

I have a few questions for those in the know, namely:
How many hours do you typically average per day or per month and what is the entry-level hourly wage? I've called a few places and ~25$ seemed like a norm. Overtime is what, 1.5X?
How exactly does one start off? Do they put newbies with another driver for a little while so they see how it's done, get an idea of how to get on location (grids), operate the pump and all that? Are most tankers strictly paid per hour or do they also get a fixed income (I've met some who get a % of the ticket)? What do you recon a new hire could be taking home per month if he gets "average" hours?

Lastly, does it get tough sitting throughout the day? Is it hard on the back/ass or do you get used to it? When you're doing hard work it "looks" easy but I figure I might get bored out of my mind or dozy as fuck sitting in a truck driving around all day. Only one way to find out if it's for me though...

Thanks in advance for any info or advice!

08-26-2011, 08:36 AM
No offense, but aim higher!

08-26-2011, 10:20 AM
As in...? What would you recommend? I'm looking for a job which can give a lot of overtime and which could be found quickly. I'm also wondering if paying the 2k for the course is worth it in terms of ROI. I've chatted with some guys and one netted over 10k last month. Then again he did something like 320 hours so basically has no life and i doubt it would be healthy long-term. But I'm just curious if anyone has first-hand accounts.

08-26-2011, 12:42 PM
Just work on a rig, lease hands start at $27/hr and you get plenty of overtime on your rotation. Don't believe everything you hear from people for what they make in the patch, usually it's a load of shit.

08-26-2011, 12:52 PM
Originally posted by cosmok
Just work on a rig, lease hands start at $27/hr and you get plenty of overtime on your rotation. Don't believe everything you hear from people for what they make in the patch, usually it's a load of shit.

haha i dont know where you get your info from , leasehands get $24 hr starting oct 1st they get $27 hr

08-26-2011, 01:11 PM
Originally posted by cosmok
Just work on a rig, lease hands start at $27/hr and you get plenty of overtime on your rotation. Don't believe everything you hear from people for what they make in the patch, usually it's a load of shit.

Originally posted by bitteeinbit
I'm tired of hard physical labour

08-26-2011, 01:29 PM
Personally I would never be a vac truck driver, lowest on the totem pole for oilfield jobs pretty much, and some super skeezy guys.
If truckings what your interested in try something like sand/water/acid hauling for frac crews, I know Bexson is always hiring guys up here in GP

08-26-2011, 03:33 PM
Originally posted by thager

haha i dont know where you get your info from , leasehands get $24 hr starting oct 1st they get $27 hr
Depends who you work for, with such a shortage you'd be surprised at what some companies are offering before the new rate schedule comes out.

Originally posted by Tik-Tok

Using a scrubber brush is too much work? :dunno:

08-26-2011, 04:49 PM
I've worked on service rigs and I'm kinda tired of that shit. I know drilling pretty much always has sub which makes a BIG difference, but I'm looking at other alternatives. What about working as a tester? I've heard the pay isn't bad for what you do. Is it challenging in any way or just boring as hell? I made 27$ on the rigs and as some said, many are desperate. I'm just looking at less physical work for a while. I've never done drilling though but I;m curious to see how it compares to servicing. I would assume it's somewhat less physical but way more repetitive. But I really have no clue. Has anyone worked both and can comment?

08-26-2011, 08:27 PM
It was only in May that you were on here looking for a rig job, so to say you're "kinda tired of that shit" after 4 months makes me think you might as well pack up and head back home. I don't think you're going to make it.

08-27-2011, 03:26 PM
Well I could go on but what's the point of I don't like it so much? It's alright but I'm looking at other options at the moment. It's not "too tough" as some seem to suggest, but it's just that you have no life so I don;t see the point of pursuing it for too long. A lot of patch jobs are like that but many seem to have better work/life balances.

08-27-2011, 04:12 PM
Get a class 1. Go frac. You work for like 2 hours a day. Then you would fuel trucks. Learn to swing a hammer and make 8-10k a month

Rat Fink
08-27-2011, 09:38 PM
Make overtime pay trucking? LOL you are looking for fly poop in the middle of the desert on that one.

08-28-2011, 08:25 AM
Rat, I know you long hauled. But some oilfield trucking does pay ot after 8. Water, vac, pressure. Trucks usually do. I worked for lafarge and made lots of money.

Rat Fink
08-28-2011, 09:38 AM
Ya, longhaul and wireline. No ot for either

08-29-2011, 07:52 AM
Long haul is a joke and should be heavily scrutinized by the labour board. I've never done it but I understand it pays per mile regardless of time invested...seems wrong to me, very wrong.

I've driven oilfield (tanker)since 97, every company I've worked for pays OT after 8. Some companies operate under different rules (federal/ interprovicial ??)) and don't have to pay 2X after 12, most pay 1X for the first 8, 1.5X for hr's 8-12 and 2X after that. It's very common to make more on OT than straight time.

It's very easy to make 6 figures oilfield trucking if you're cut out for it, it's not for pussies. 8 axle off highway loads in the foothills/mountains and inclement weather requires skills & big balls. :D

09-04-2011, 07:23 PM
I agree with these guys, Vac truck is the lowest of low. Those guys are usually missing teeth and have a hard time using words longer than 2 syllables.

Water truck drivers aren't much better but all you do for them is literally drive the truck to location, pump it off and leave. You could do lots of round trips but I don't think I've ever worked for a company that's paid OT for jobs like that.

For a vac truck operator you would be looking at 20-25$, and similar for a water hauler. Neither one would be a % of the ticket. Where that comes into play is when you step up to something like a frac crew. We make % of the tickets in different steps.

If you want to make money then get on a frac crew. You do about 2 hours of actual labor and sit for the rest of the day (in the lower positions) and you still make great money. With frac'n you'll make a monthly salary of 2800-3300 starting then bonuses per job you work.

I run a chem van and am training on a blender and made 13k last month. Thats working a 15 on and 6 off rotation. Not including sub.

09-04-2011, 09:19 PM
Who do you work for?

09-04-2011, 09:28 PM
If you can get your class 1 and have tickets you'll get on with any frac crew. Everyone is hiring right now like crazy, i just got 7 new guys on my crew this last hitch, and for new guys they are making some pretty good coin for what they have to do

09-08-2011, 09:27 PM
Even though I work in the office, I occasionally interact with all the people mentioned.

Vac truck is pretty low, water is at least cleaner, but seems to be a lot of senior citizens, whatever that tells you.

Frac or Cement would be my recommendations. Although those boys do some real physical work at times. Overall, I think it's not too bad.

09-19-2011, 12:13 PM
Frac or cement is busy as hell right now. Every company out there need lots more guys. We are hiring like crazy out of Red Deer right now. Salaries are starting between 2800-3800 depending on experience. We drive a couple hours a day( when not on projects) rig in for an hour and then pump for 1-16 hours and then rig it all out and drive back and do maintanence. You get salary, plus OT after 8 hours on location as well as a bonus based on the value of the ticket and then you get a meal allowance up to 47 bucks a day.
With the increased activity in the patch the past couple years my yealry income went up 38000 bucks last year. This year I am only behind last years income by about 20k. I should have no problem making it by christmas. Most second year guys in frac are making nealry 6 figures at my company, I am sure otehr companies are pretty much the same.