I’m big on mentorship and talking to other drivers. If you’re just starting out and someone is teaching you— listen to what they are telling you. Observe what they are showing you. No radio, no headsets. Just focus on what the instructor is teaching you. The elders who have been here 15-20 years, they know the routes and know what they’re doing. You can always learn from them and get advice.
I used to drive silver bullets. So when I first started driving ISO tanks, I didn’t know how to strap on the fittings. I didn’t know you needed to go up inside the dome to loosen it. But I learned real quick that you can always ask other drivers for help. Or you can talk to Nate or Bruno. Ask and people will walk you through it.
Tankers are the top dogs. It’s very different from other rigs. It’s more dangerous if you’re not mindful of what you’re doing, so there’s more to learn— the surge, hauling hazardous, even stopping. A tanker takes like a football field to come to a stop. So just being mindful of that, and realize that you’re sharing the road with other people. Approaching everything with a good, positive attitude and just asking for help when you need it goes a long way.