The new oil boom in South Texas is creating hundreds, if not thousands of new jobs. Among the hottest jobs in the Eagle Ford shale are truck driving positions. Despite this fact, trucking companies are finding it hard to recruit enough qualified drivers, for a number of reasons. At a recent meeting at Coastal Bend College in Beeville, several trucking firms voiced their concerns about the problems related to recruiting enough qualified applicants for Eagle Ford shale truck driving jobs.
Below: Coastal Plains “Now Hiring Drivers” sign in Eagle Ford shale near Stockdale has been hanging for several months now.
Why Are Eagle Ford Shale Truck Driving Jobs So Hard To Fill?
The primary reason that so many Eagle Ford shale oil hauling positions are still unfilled is that there is a tremendous amount of competition for experienced drivers among companies. Not all applicants meet the hiring guidelines of companies hauling hazardous cargo such as crude oil and condensate. Among the concerns that most of the trucking company owners had was the fact that one in four applicants does not pass a mandatory drug screening test. Another was that many applicants do not pass a basic background check. The applicant may not necessarily have a criminal record, but if they have too many driving violations they can’t be hired. Another issue that employers are facing is that even if the applicants have a valid CDL, they may lack the basic reading and math skills required to read company manuals, fill out load forms, calculate barrels of oil hauled, etc.
They also stated that there are more than likely many good candidates out there for truck driving jobs in the Eagle Ford shale, but that the majority of people who apply do so in person, and are not likely to apply online. If more job seekers were aware of how to fill out an online application, or were aware of the number of trucking jobs in South Texas and what they paid, perhaps a more diverse group of people might apply. One trucking firm owner stated that they will “basically hire anyone with a CDL or commercial driver’s license who can pass a background check and drug screening”.
One would think that in these tough economic times the need to feed one’s family would be greater than the need to take recreational drugs, yet this does not seem to be the case in South Texas.
What Does It Take To Get A CDL In Texas?
- You must pply in person at a Texas Driver License office.
- You must present documents that verify your Identity. The requirements vary based on whether you are a U.S. citizen of lawful immigrant
- Show proof of Social Security Number.
- Meet the non-resident driver’s license requirements if you are not a Texas resident.
- Have proof of Texas vehicle registration and liability insurance on all vehicles you own. (Or your employer must.)
- Complete the application form.
- You must be photographed, fingerprinted, and sign the application.
- Pass the required vision exam. If you wear glasses, you must bring them to the appointment.
- Pass the required written test for class of CDL you are applying for, including which endorsements your employer requires, Pass A & B rules test (written), and the driving skill tests in the type of vehicle you will be driving.
- Complete the HAZMAT or Hazardous Material Endorsement Procedures.
- Pay the required state fee.
- You must provide a commercial motor vehicle for the driving exam, and present current liability insurance, Texas vehicle registration, and inspection for the vehicle. Note that if you are not licensed to operate the vehicle, you cannot drive it to the examination site. For more info you can view the state’s site here: Texas DPS
If you are in need of a job and would consider a move to South Texas to work in an Eagle Ford shale truck driving job, companies are literally begging you to apply. Check sites such as Texasoilfieldjob.com and Coastal Bend Workforce Solutions for links to trucking company websites where you can fill out a job application. If you have a clean background record, (usually meaning fewer than 3 moving violations and no felonies), and can pass a drug test, chances are there is a truck driving job in the Eagle Ford shale waiting for you. There is currently a need for frac sand truck drivers, vacuum truck drivers, gravel haulers, oil truck drivers and pipe and heavy equipment haulers.
Downsides? Many frac sand hauling firms are looking for owner / operators, who have their own tractor, or trailer combo. These firms are offering sign on bonuses as high as $5,000. For those without their own rig, it may be a bit harder to find a frac sand hauling job. Those without rigs might consider vacuum truck jobs, or oil hauling jobs.