What that means is that I drive a flatbed truck equipped with a winch for loading and unloading oilfield equipment. I can haul just about anything that is used in the oil patch, from drilling and service rigs to tanks and testing equipment. If it’s skid mounted, I can haul it.
When I graduated from high school, I drove truck for a courier company and then a bottled water company making customer deliveries. I didn’t know anything about the oil patch, but I had heard it was a good place to work. I took a series of safety related courses at the Petroleum Industry Training centre in Leduc that are required if you want to work in the petroleum industry. There I got all the training and certification I needed, and started as a swamper – the guy who helps the driver – with a trucking company in northern Alberta. I realized pretty quickly that I would get paid more if I drove, so I got my Class One licence and started driving truck seven years ago.
I have kept at it because I like the sense of freedom it gives me. At DC we work as a team with other employees and customers to accomplish results.
There’s a lot more to my job than driving; in fact, driving is only about 50% of what I do. The rest of my time is spent loading and unloading equipment and “spotting” or positioning equipment at the rig site. I couldn’t handle just driving over the highway all day. It would be boring to me. This job is always different, always challenging.
If somebody asked me what they need to be good at this job, I’d say a passion for trucks is a great thing. I would also tell them they had to be willing to work long hours, because when it’s busy, I can work 60 to 70 hours a week. But the money is good, and the harder you work, the more you can make.”
Job Title: Senior Bed Truck Operator
Company: DC Energy Services
Location: Crossfield, AB
Base Salary Range: $20 – $35 per hour depending on seniority. Many companies may also offer additional compensation in the form of an annual bonus.
Education: Grade 12 preferred. Class One license with training from an accredited driving school
Advancement: Dispatcher, Field Supervisor, Field Superintendent
Salary, education and advancement may vary from company to company.