Skip to comments.Truckers wanted for Eagle Ford Shale jobs
Posted on 04/13/2012 4:56:01 AM PDT by thackney
Since the drilling frenzy began in the Eagle Ford Shale, the need for truck drivers has boomed along with it.
Every company in the shale, it seems, needs commercial drivers to haul equipment, oil, water, sand and hazardous materials. Yet there arent enough qualified drivers.
Open any local newspaper, and theyre just full of jobs for truckers, said Glynis Holm Strause, dean of institutional advancement at Coastal Bend College, which offers training at its South Texas campuses.
The lure of jobs in the Eagle Ford Shale is even being felt in San Antonio. Recently the citys Solid Waste Management Department held its first job fair for truck drivers in at least 15 years.
We have had increased turnover, said the departments assistant director, David Newman, who is looking for 30 drivers. Its a ripple effect because theres a draw from the oil field.
Its difficult to determine how many jobs for truckers are going unfilled in the Eagle Ford Shale. The Texas Workforce Commissions website, www.WorkInTexas.com, lists 87 openings for truck drivers, more than a fifth of the 399 job openings specific to the shale in South Texas. Those job listings dont include openings on a new website for jobs in the South Texas shale: www.EagleFord.jobs. In addition, some employers choose not to post jobs on those sites.
But an acknowledged shortage of drivers hasnt significantly bogged down drilling or hydraulic fracturing operations in the shale, experts said.
Wed worried about it as a potential drag on activity there, said Thomas Tunstall, director of the Center for Community and Business Research at UTSAs Institute for Economic Development. But thats not showing up in the numbers, as far as we can tell.
The pay for truckers can be good, ranging from $25,000 to $80,000 a year, according to Workforce Solutions Alamo officials. Thats translating to ample numbers of applicants.
The problem is that too few are qualified.
Were hearing from employers that there are problems with background checks, said Monika De La Garza, communications and outreach coordinator for Workforce Solutions of the Coastal Bend. Its a challenge that everybody faces. People may be qualified, but not drug free.
At a meeting of Eagle Ford Shale leaders last month, Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Tom Pauken said a trucking company looking to hire 100 drivers found that half couldnt pass the drug test.
For those applicants who do pass the drug test, there is still the issue of training.
FTS International, which engages in hydraulic fracturing services, launched an on-the-job training program at its Pleasanton operations center almost two years ago.
Since June, 84 employees have obtained their commercial drivers licenses through FTS training program, Percival said.
We keep about four to five employees in the training program at a time, rotating them out as they obtain their CDLs, making room for the next batch of trainees, she said. The training can last up to four weeks.
Oil field services giant Schlumberger, which recently opened an operations center in San Antonio, invests significantly in driver training, spokesman Stephen Harris said. All CDL drivers go through a two-week training course in Oklahoma that includes classroom work followed by defensive driving training. Thats followed by training in the field before truckers are allowed to drive in a convoy, he said.
But not everybody has to have a job to get training. The Coastal Bend Workforce Development Board has earmarked $100,000 to train people for CDL jobs in a partnership with Coastal Bend College. Theres some red tape involved; the applicant must meet certain criteria under the Workforce Investment Act pass a physical and drug test and a written CDL test to be eligible for the training.
The workforce board will pay the $4,200 tuition for training for those accepted in the program, Coastal Bend Colleges Strause said.
They have to jump through several hoops, she added. We cant take just anybody and put them in a $100,000 vehicle.
I hire truckers every year to drive my fleet of concrete mixers, pickins are getting slim, nobody wants to drive truck as much as it used to be, qualifications are minimal most of the time, I get most new drivers right out of truck driving school which may sound odd but they tend to stay around a bit longer, they know the competition is stiff for the higher paying jobs.
A lot of owner operators have folded, fuel too expensive. Also the Feds won’t allow the older rigs on the road, especially in parts of CA.
Even in the 1980’s and 90’s when I worked at the unemployment office in Iowa, we had at least half of our regular applicants fail drug testing for jobs that required it. OTOH, I worked with veterans, and few of them failed a drug test.
But don't they allow the wrecks from Mexico to operate in CA?
What evidence do you have that the Mexican trucks are wrecks?
I have observed two and both appeared to be on par with most American and Canadian trucks operating on the interstate.
On the other hand, I have heard about these young hopeful guys going to trucking school and then getting nicked and dimed TO DEATH with the joke of an accounting racket the employers run on them..
I've read that some are and that regs were relaxed to allow them entry. I can't cite exact sources. That was some years ago so perhaps that's changed.
I have XM Radio in my pickup and spend a lot of time on the road. There are few commercials on music channels, comedy and others, but I listen to FOX news and talk shows and when they go to commercial, XM has to fill the space and the vast majority of this time is filled with trucking companies begging for drivers.
The old Mexican junkers tend to stay in Mexico. No driver wants to be marooned in a foreign country.
Yet “un-employment” remains high @ over +/- 9%
Too many people willing to take an extended unemployment check than work this hard for their living.
My guess would be this works well for people who are drawing unemployment.
I know for a fact that Texas Workforce pays for training not only for this but other occupations, for people who are currently unemployed. Therefore you draw an unemployment check while you train. And no, in that case, they don’t take the training cost back from you after you’re hired.
Someone trying to get into this who has a job they would have to leave in order to train, is in a different situation.
I keep hearing about jobs but where can they be found?
I keep hearing about jobs but where can they be found?
In post #16...
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