Host of The Driver’s Side, a video series for and about truckers, Wayne Campbell has been working in the trucking industry for several decades. Trucker Tools recently spoke with Wayne about the different roles and careers he’s had in the industry over the years, including his stint as an oilfield driver. As an oilfield trucker, Wayne hauled fracking sand for several years for Chalk Mountain Services, a family-owned oilfield trucking company based in Mansfield, Texas.
Here’s what Wayne had to say about oilfield trucking and his advice for truckers who are considering oilfield driving.
What it was like to work as an oilfield trucker?
“When I went into the oilfield, it was a whole new experience. I had been doing reefer and dry van before that. I learned about the grassroots of trucking in the oilfields because it was a small company that hauled frack sand. We would go to these mining facilities and load the sand in these trucks and drive it out to the wells where they were drilling. You had to learn how to blow the sand off into these containers while they’re drilling. You’d be on these big properties in Texas where corporations like EOG and Haliburton would be drilling. We’d go out to these wells and pump frack sand into containers and they’d take it from there. It was a whole other experience. You had to learn about teamwork. My ex-wife was deaf and the first woman to do this, so she learned prior to me and then taught me a lot as I came on. It was a whole other world. It was amazing. The oilfields were really good to me.”
What makes oilfield driving different from other types of driving?
“You need a Class A CDL. You have to have a tanker’s endorsement and you need to learn to run a pneumatic trailer.”
What tips do you have for drivers who are interested in oilfield driving?
“You have to know the industry really well, where they’re drilling and what they’re doing in that industry. A couple of months ago, I went back to Texas where I’d worked as an oilfield driver. Going back to visit a lot of the drivers I’d known in the oilfields, it was sad to see that a lot of the companies are gone. They drilled those wells and they do everything by rail now, so they don’t need a lot of drivers. The company that I worked for in that area is gone. They’ve moved to another part of the country.
To the new driver coming into the oilfield, my advice is to make sure that you are able to move around and follow these companies that do the drilling. Because if you think that you’re going to be in one place and make a living in the oilfield, it’s very possible that you’re not. Once they drill and they get what they need from that area, they move on to other areas where it’s more lucrative, and that’s just the nature of the business. It’s good to get a good understanding of how that area of the industry works.”
To the new driver coming into the oilfield, my advice is to make sure that you are able to move around and follow these companies that do the drilling.
To learn more about Wayne, including his favorite Trucker Tools’ driver app features and how he was a driver for one very famous NBA basketball player, read The Driver’s Side with Wayne Campbell: Real Drivers, Real Talk. To download the free Trucker Tools driver app, visit https://www.truckertools.com/carriers/.