The Eagle Ford Shale has brought a lot of opportunities for the oil and gas industry. There is plenty of work for everyone – especially Hot Shot truck drivers. Hot Shot drivers in South Texas are called by oil and gas companies to pick up loads from the drilling rig and deliver them somewhere else, or to bring much needed supplies to the rig to keep drilling and fracking productive. If a tool breaks, the crew is forced to stop drilling or producing until another one is delivered. Time is money and a crew sitting around waiting for a tool is not productive, so Hot Shot drivers that are reliable are a crucial part of the business. Good drivers build great relationships with crews to ensure they get more loads to keep busy.
Hot Shot Drivers Have Unpredictable Schedules
Hot Shot drivers are a different breed. Unlike regular drivers whose runs and loads are scheduled days, weeks and even months at a time in advance, Hot Shot drivers must be ready to go in a moment’s notice. They have to be skilled and flexible, ready to haul thousands of pounds of pipe one day, a small one-pound express package the next. Runs can range from across town to halfway across the state of Texas.
Unfortunately, drilling crews can be very demanding. Drivers can be put in very awkward situations to take loads even if they are over their hours, and more driving would put them in violation of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation (FMCSR) hours of service rules.
Don’t Risk Your License
As a Hot Shot driver you can either be the hero or the goat to these drilling crews. If you refuse a load, they have to call someone else and if that person is more available than you, you may think that’s the one who will get more calls. Turning down work in order to stay within hours of service limits may seem risky, but driving past your allowed hours in a 24 hour period is riskier. It’s foolish and unsafe. All drivers, even Hot Shotters, are responsible for their log books being up-to-date and that they comply with FMCSR regulations. Remember, if you’re running illegally it’s your driving record and reputation that is at stake. It may seem you are making more money but all it takes is one DOT audit with a couple of log book violations on your Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) status to take that away.
Let your customers know you are a safe and competent driver who follows the rules. If you set that standard from the beginning they will respect you and recognize you as a real professional. And who do you think they’d rather work with to transport their expensive equipment, or to meet their critical deadline?
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