Overdrive Magazine

May 2019

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May 2019 | Overdrive | 33 T housands of gallons of liquid moving at highway speeds behind the headache rack can put the fear of God in a driver, says Dennis Holliday. "A lot of guys get scared" thinking about it, Holliday says. They can't handle the careful driving required to stay safe in such an operation, especially if they're pulling a single-bore noncompart- mentalized tank without partitions that can reduce the sloshing. "45,000 pounds of liquid, and it's moving, and it hits a brick wall — there's a lot of force behind that." An experienced tank hauler, however, can "feel the liquid moving back and forth and guess when it's coming. You learn how to work that accelerator and change gears" to mitigate the forward force as well as increased rollover potential in curves. Though it's not required to sign on with a tank fleet – plenty of them offer training to new hires without the requisite experience – possession of such fine-tuned trucking skill is among the reasons tank haulers in an Overdrive survey last year reported above-average income levels. Experienced owner- operators who consider pulling a tanker often don't look back after enjoying higher earnings, shorter waits and less physical demand. BY TODD DILLS Unlike most owner-operators, J.D. Howard bought his own tanker, this Polar Tank trailer. THINK TANK TANKING UP ON INCOME SOURCE: Overdrive 2018 compensation survey 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Percentage of owner-ops reporting above-average ($60,000) income in 2017, by trailer type Dry van 37% Flatbed 30% Reefer 36% Tank 80%

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