Truckers equipment is the last article in our series on Oilfield Trucking and covers most of the things you’ll need to do this job. The full article is a comprehensive look at whether or not Oilfield Trucking is the right job for you. If you just joined us on this page, make sure you check out the whole series.
In this section we’ll cover stocking a truck with general supplies and food to make sure you’re prepared for the road. We’ll also cover communication devices like cell phones, internet, and GPS for truckers. Having the proper truckers equipment is an important part of driving in the oilfields.
We’re also going to take a look at the LSD system used in relation to your truck driving directions. The LSD is like a house address for an oilfield lease. It’s the physical land description.
Before we get into communication, GPS, and finding a lease, we’re going to cover being prepared for the trip. How prepared you are will depend on the job you’re doing, and the company you’re working for. Most drivers that don’t frequently change units (“Slip Seat”), will set up a truck like a mini RV.
If you’re hauling equipment, general oilfield freight, fluids, cement, fracturing sands, contaminated soil, or end dump work, you may have to look after yourself when you’re on the road. Living out of a truck can save a lot of money for those of you with a home and family in another place. People come to the oil patch to make money, not waste it.
If you work for a fracturing company you won’t require the same amount of trucker’s equipment. Most of your time will be spent in a camp, or hotel instead of a truck. You’ll probably be doing a lot more slip seating though. This makes it difficult to outfit a truck the way some of you might be used too. It will also be hard to deal with for those of you that like a clean truck.
Camp jobs are another way to pack lighter and not have to worry about being as prepared. Some common camp jobs are vacuum truck operators, road maintenance crews, rig water haulers and equipment operators. Many people will choose these jobs to keep expenses down. Your meals and lodging are going to be provided for you. Rotating shifts are common like: 3 weeks on, 1 week off, or 14 days in, and 7 days out.
You can also consider tar sand work if you aren’t interested in Oilfield driving. Ft. McMurray has lots of opportunities for onsite workers of all kinds. If you have a heavy equipment ticket or other skills for working around the plants, they have some great paying rotational jobs.
Outfitting a Truck
We can divide trucker’s equipment into two categories. Essential, and Luxury items. (Luxury for a trucker that is).
Essential for one person could be a luxury for another, or the other way around. You only have so much room and if you have to switch trucks for a breakdown or any other reason, it’s an absolute pain having to lug stuff around. Having things stored in canvas grocery boxes that collapse will make it easier to load and unload.
Essential items are:
- VHF radios
- GPS for truckers in the oilfields, maps
- Cell phones
- Basic tool kits
- Extra fluids, oil, brake line, antifreeze, washer fluid etc.
- Spare hoses and clamps
- Emergency items like: blankets, food, water, clothing, towels
- Chain repair pliers
- Headband or “clip on” visor flashlights for chaining up at night
- Dash cam (cover yourself in case of incidents)
- Flashlights and batteries
- Duct tape
- Hand warmers
- Baby wipes (these are handy)
- Cleaning supplies
- Advil or Tylenol
- Spare boots, gloves, hats
- Pocket knife
- Can opener
- Lighter or matches
Luxury Items consist mostly of things to save you money on meals, or entertain you when you are sitting somewhere. They are:
- Power inverters
- Fridge (Cooler)
- Coffee maker
- Toaster oven
- Laptop computers for movies and music
- Writing material
- Musical instruments
- Video games
- Other games like cribbage, cards etc.
- Online or continuing educational material
- Air cards, tethering phone,
or phone with wifi
This is not an exhaustive list or meant to be a survival kit, but rather suggestions for new people getting into oilfield trucking. We’ll cover a little more about cell phones and GPS for truckers a little further down.