What Does Your DAC Report Look Like?

Posted in Get Your CDL

What Does Your DAC Report Look Like?

Hang around with enough oilfield, over-the-road, or local truck drivers either at a truck stop or online, and you’ll eventually hear about something called a “DAC report”. What is a DAC report? First of all, the “DAC” stands for “Drive-A–Check”. And, while everyone has a credit report, only CDL drivers have DAC reports. If you have a CDL and are looking for work, a DAC report is far more important to you than your credit report is, at least while you’re job hunting. We at Fracking Jobs decided to take a look at what a DAC report looks like. Once you have your DAC report in front of you, you can then take steps on cleaning it up. So, what does your DAC report look like? Well, DAC reports come from Hire Right, a company that collects data on CDL drivers. Learn more about Hire Right here. Below, you can view actual pages from “Skip’s” (not his real name) DAC report. Skip is a genuine CDL driver, and the pages here are actual DAC report pages. We simply blocked out the identification information. This page shows you what information about you is available on your DAC report, and what is being sent to you. Not all potential employers ask for everything that is available about you; many simply want a criminal background check. DAC reports contain your trucking employment history going back ten years, which is the required length of history that the Department of Transportation (DOT) requires on job applications. Not every single company that you have ever driven for will be included, however, as smaller trucking firms won’t report to Hire Right. Remember: don’t state that you pulled tankers for an employer when you actually pulled vans – this will show up on your DAC report if the company reports to Hire Right. Also, notice that your DAC report not only shows your “Reason for Leaving”, but also if you are “Eligible for Rehire”. So, while you may have quit working for an employer instead of getting fired, that employer may still deem you ineligible for rehire. Just about every oilfield company that you apply with will order up copies of your criminal background history. Now, if you have a handful of misdemeanors, you need not worry about not getting a job. But if you have a felony, and it occurred within a five-year period before you apply for jobs, you need to be ready to explain your situation. The page shown above and to the right are Skip’s criminal background information. Companies that request your criminal history may want nationwide, statewide, countywide, and municipal-focused searches based on your identity. This page gives you all of the inquiries that have been issued for your DAC report over the previous three-year period. In Skip’s case, only one potential employer asked for a DAC report on Skip during the three-year...

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How Much Do Frac Sand Haulers Make?

Posted in Get Your CDL

How Much Do Frac Sand Haulers Make?

Perhaps you already have your CDL, but you lack the driving experience to land a lucrative oilfield gig such as hauling crude. Don’t give up: there are driving jobs in the oilfields for those who are relatively inexperienced, even if they pay a little less. One of these types of driving jobs is that of the frac sand hauler. While sand haulers don’t, as a rule, bring home paychecks quite as large as their crude oil hauling brethren, they also deal with fewer hazards. And like the demand for oilfield drivers in general, the demand for frac sand haulers is very strong. How much do frac sand haulers make? Take a look at the table below to find out. We put it together the same way we created a similar table for crude haulers. We used information from e-mails and conversations with currently employed frac sand haulers during 2014. Like crude haulers, frac sand haulers are paid in different ways: some are paid by the hour, some by a percentage of a load, and some by the mile. Similar to our crude hauler pay rates table, we boiled down all of the numbers that we collected, and converted them into an “Earnings Per Day” dollar amount. This allows you to see how much sand haulers can earn, regardless of how they are paid. As with other fracking jobs, sand haulers can expect to work long days, with 12-hour and longer shifts being normal. So, we based the lower “Earnings Per Day” dollar amounts on 12-hour days, while basing the larger dollar amounts on 14-hour days. Obviously, the longer your shift, the more money you’ll make. We didn’t break out earnings into straight time hourly earnings vs. overtime hourly earnings for two reasons. 1) Those who are paid by the load or by the mile don’t get overtime pay, and 2) most of the drivers that we talked to – whether paid by the hour or otherwise – tended to give us average “per day” earnings, without breaking down overtime or straight time hourly pay rates. Regardless of how a company pays its drivers, the expectation is that you’ll work 60 hours per week or more when hauling sand (or crude or water). Sand haulers tend to make in the $60 to $80k per year range. Of course, a variety of factors will influence how much a sand hauler can make. For example, some regions might be busier than others (Colorado oilfields might be extremely busy while things are slower in Ohio). Equipment can break down, delays to pick up or deliver sand can occur, and too many owner-operators and smaller companies might be vying for the same business in a specific state. Consider the region where the hiring is taking place. Can you find housing or even afford it if its available? Can you sleep in the truck between...

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Owner Operator Oilfield Jobs: Pros and Cons

Posted in Get Your CDL

Owner Operator Oilfield Jobs: Pros and Cons

Like the rest of the trucking industry, there are many companies in the oilfields who prefer to hire owner-operators for their available jobs. And why not? Whether hauling crude, water, or sand, an oilfield company’s biggest expenses are payroll, fuel, insurance, and equipment maintenance. Doesn’t it make sense to try to pass off these expenses to each individual driver? For some companies, it certainly does. And that is why some companies prefer to work with owner-operators when and if they can. Indeed many drivers, especially newer ones, see the higher gross pay rates that owner-operators can earn vs. what company drivers are paid and start thinking about buying their own rigs. Why settle for a mere $1,000 to $1,500 per week when owner-operators can make double these amounts or more? First of all, unless you have many years of trucking experience and oilfield experience, you’d be foolhardy to consider becoming an owner-operator until you fully understand all of the risks involved.  But before we go over the negatives of owner-operator oilfield jobs, let’s go over the positives: No slip seating – You drive your truck, no one else does! Work for who you want, when you want – Don’t like who you’re contracting for? Find another company to work with. Your skills and equipment are in demand. If any company that you hire yourself out to starts to slow down, you can simply jump ship to a busier firm. Have more control of your career and your future – You aren’t joined at the hip to any single company. You have a little more control over your destiny. Own your own equipment – Prefer a Peterbilt over a Freightliner? Wish you had a tricked-out sleeper berth, but no company will let you add your favorite gadgets to their trucks? Get your own tractor, and customize it as you see fit. Add additional equipment and grow your business – This is one of the major reasons why some drivers strike out on their own. They want to hire their own drivers, move their own loads, be their own bosses. And double or triple their income! Ok, so there are some good reasons to be an owner-operator, especially in the oilfields. Make no mistake: there are plenty of drivers who have purchased or are leasing their equipment and are making fantastic incomes in the oilfields. However, there are plenty of reasons why many other drivers, even very experienced ones, remain company drivers. Here are some of them: No worries about maintenance – Ever been in a company truck when it broke down while under a load of crude (or anything else)? If you’re a company driver, you might get “breakdown pay” which can offset some of the productive time you lost while waiting for a service truck to come out and fix your truck. Veteran drivers know that when trucks break...

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How to Clean Up Your DAC Report

Posted in Get Your CDL

If you’re a CDL driver, you may already know that the highest-paying driving jobs available are oilfield jobs. But before you start looking for a new fracking job, you may wish to learn how to clean up your DAC report. Here is what you need to know: Do not pay anyone to clean up your report. Just like credit reports, the information included in your DAC report cannot be removed if it is accurate, whether it is good or bad. Don’t be misled into believing that anyone can remove negative information from your DAC report just because you paid them to do so. There is nothing a third party can do to alter your DAC report that you can’t take care of yourself. Contact HireRight and get a copy of your DAC report. HireRight is the name of the company that handles DAC report data. They will mail you a copy of your DAC report free of charge. Once you have received your report, go over it. Visit our overview of what is included in a DAC report, and compare the pages we have illustrated with those within your own DAC report. Dispute any incorrect information included in your DAC report. Similar to the ability that everyone has to dispute incorrect or false information on credit reports, HireRight offers the ability for you to dispute information in your DAC report. Follow the instructions on how to dispute incorrect DAC report information. Finally, don’t let a DAC report keep you from looking for an oilfield job. Even if the information on your DAC report is not up to par, remember that most oilfield employers do not have the same strict hiring guidelines for CDL drivers that most over-the-road companies do. Many fracking job employers are simply understaffed and their jobs don’t involve the types of long-distance driving that OTR companies require. If you feel that you can offer an employer value and common sense, then apply for as many jobs as you...

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How Much Do Crude Haulers Make?

Posted in Get Your CDL

How Much Do Crude Haulers Make?

In the oilfields, commercial driver license holders can choose from several different types of driving-oriented jobs. One of the highest paying driving jobs relating to oilfield work is that of the crude oil hauler. Now, it should be noted that crude haulers, while in high demand (as with other oilfield jobs), are expected to have professional driving experience. They also must have hazardous materials and tanker endorsements on their CDLs. However, if you have these endorsements or plan to get them, you’ll open yourself up to many new job opportunities. As for driving experience, many crude hauling companies want drivers that have at least two years’ worth (though it doesn’t always have to be tanker pulling experience). Not every company will require experience, however, especially if they are desperate for drivers, as long as the applicant can show that he or she already possesses a CDL with endorsements. In addition, all companies will train their new drivers, including those with experience. Each and every company has its own way of doing things, so training is a must (especially where crude hauling is concerned, because safety is so important). So, how much can you make as a crude oil hauler? We created a table, shown below, that gives the details. We collected this information by talking to a handful of crude haulers within the last year (2013 into early 2014) and noted what they claimed to earn. Some drivers are paid by the mile, some by percentage of load, and some by the hour. So, we took all of these figures and created a table that allows you to view pay rates based on an “apples to apples” comparison. We essentially boiled down all of the numbers that we had into an “earnings per day” average, per each driver that we talked to.  Then, we asked each driver how long his workday was on average. Most drivers work a 12-hour day. 14-hour days are common as well. We then calculated a driver’s stated earnings per day and divided this by how long his average day was. As you can see, a crude hauler can expect to earn at least $20 per hour. The average hourly pay rates below take into account straight time along with overtime pay, since gigs that pay by the load or mile don’t pay time-and-a-half when the driver works more than 40 hours in a week. New drivers won’t make the higher dollar amounts when first starting out (especially if they are fortunate enough to land crude gigs without experience), but the earnings potential will increase with experience. We have heard anecdotal reports of experienced crude drivers making in the $90k – $120k per year range. These kinds of earnings are gained from 70-hour or longer work weeks. In addition, crude drivers are expected to “slip seat” (that is, share trucks with other drivers), and sometimes...

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He’s Been Hired by Dozens of Trucking Companies

Posted in Get Your CDL

He’s Been Hired by Dozens of Trucking Companies

My buddy, “Skip” (not his real name), has worked for more trucking companies than you or I combined have ever worked for. Some time ago, however, Skip decided to reform his trucking job-hopping ways and get himself a fracking job. He combined his impressive collection of skills gained from working many different CDL jobs with the lucrative potential that oilfield jobs offer. As a result, Skip now has a great job which pays handsomely. I’m hoping this high-paying job stays somewhat permanent for Skip. Even if it doesn’t, however, Skip is even more marketable than he was a few years ago, having gained some experience in the oilfields. Above: a job hopper gets ready to make his next move. Most employers, and many other drivers, frown on “job hoppers”. But having the willingness and ability to bounce from driving job to driving job can allow a CDL holder (and anyone looking for a non-CDL fracking job) to seek out the highest-paying positions. Settling for a paycheck that is smaller than what your skills and experience can bring you not only negatively affects you, but your family as well. In addition, you aren’t helping the large community of drivers and other oilfield personnel who work long and hard to make a good living when you sell yourself short and thereby undercut what the market should bear. Supply and demand economics are at play in the oilfield, so take advantage of them. Don’t settle for a low-paying OTR job if you can make more money by taking your CDL into the oil and gas industry. Job hoppers like Skip get unfairly bashed, and by the way: Skip is one of the safest drivers I know. (Now, most of these sentiments don’t apply to someone who is a “newbie” driver and recently acquired a CDL. For newbies, taking on a lower-paying gig at the start of their careers is, quite often, necessary in order to gain experience. Find out more about your options as a newbie driver.) Skip has worked at so many different transportation related companies that we created a spreadsheet giving the details of his work experience. We did this for two reasons: 1) Skip wanted it, kind of as a personal journal of sorts, and 2) because anyone reading this might get some insight into the trucking industry and, by extension, the oil and gas industry. Take a look at the list of Skip’s many gigs here. What can we learn from Skip’s job-hopping ways? Quite a bit… Don’t be afraid to make a change if you aren’t earning what you’re worth. We already gave you the reasons for making a job change if you aren’t getting paid enough. If your current employer isn’t paying you what your peers in the oilfield are making, he’s stealing from you and your family. And that’s your fault, because you’re letting it...

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