Experienced oilfied trucker discusses jobs and pay in the oilfields
by Bill Ingram
-I am an oilfield truck driver. My truck is a short nosed Peterbuilt with a baby sleeper (to take advantage of FMCSA sleeper birth exemptions), has a winch with a rolling tailboard, and a pump for my vacuum bottle.
I also have a 53' drop deck (also with a rolling tailboard) for moving oilfield equipment. I am almost 55 and the job is rigorous so I am in excellent shape. My company charges by the hour and I receive an hourly percentage of 24%. Last year I made $64,000. One of our drivers made 73 thousand, one 79 thousand, and one made 84 thousand.
Different jobs pay different rates and the jobs are diverse. The bottle pays the least at $20.00 and hour but a Calcium Chloride job can run 50 hours (all but a couple--the actual work-- usually stand-by) with plenty of rest.
Winch work can pay from $22.50 to $30.00 an hour. This includes rig moves, hauling frac tanks and open top tanks, hauling any large equipment specially built to by winched up on a trailer, and sometimes driving the workover rigs.
We have two RGN's (lowboys) that pay $36.00 and hour, and 3 tandom trucks with two having poles.
These trucks pay up to $40.00 and hour when the stand up poles are used. The trailers can be dropped using the winch (no landing gear) and the truck used to ferry equipment out of tight places.
-My pay was less than some of the others because I do not slip seat (I drive the same truck) and will not drive the rigs.
-We joke that we get paid more for not driving as stand-by time can account for many hours. I am happy with my pay and feel it is above average.