All About the

Tanker Endorsement

In addition to your commercial driver’s license (CDL) test, you can take endorsement tests that demonstrate your knowledge of specific skills related to truck driving. At Phoenix Truck Driving School, you will have an opportunity to take three additional exams. These are tankers, doubles/triples, and hazardous materials. The tanker endorsement, also called a tank endorsement, allows you to drive vehicles that transport liquids or gases. This can widen your range of job opportunities after graduation.

More information about the tanker endorsement:

What Vehicles Require a Tanker Endorsement?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the trucking industry. They set the safety requirements that motor carriers must follow. These include rules regarding when certain endorsements are needed. 

FMCSA guidelines state that truck drivers must have a tanker endorsement to drive a tank vehicle, defined in §383.119 of the Code of Federal Regulations. A tank vehicle is a commercial motor vehicle that: 

  • Transports liquid or gaseous material of any kind
  • Carries this material in a tank or multiple tanks with individual capacities greater than 119 gallons
  • Has a total volume of liquid or gas of 1,000 gallons or more

While this does not include transporting empty tanks or intermediate bulk containers (IBCs), as of 2015, the FMCSA clarified that the definition does include dry vans that transport multiple smaller tanks of gas or liquid with a volume of 1,000 gallons or more. 

How Do You Earn a Tank Endorsement?

In order to earn your tanker endorsement, you will need to pass a CDL endorsement test. You will take this at the same time as your standard CDL exam. The tanker test is 20-30 questions and covers topics related to safely transporting liquid or gaseous materials. 

Some of the most important facts to study and understand before taking this endorsement test relate to how liquids and gases move differently than other types of freight. If you plan to drive a tanker truck, you will need to prepare for surge. This is when fluids in your truck’s tank move back and forth, even while the truck is standing still. You will need to know about baffles and bulkheads, which are dividers inside the tank that can reduce the effects of surge. The exam also covers smooth bore tanks, which are commonly used for transporting food and which can increase the sloshing of liquids in the tank.

Combining CDL Endorsements

When you earn the tanker endorsement alone, it is marked as an “N” endorsement on your CDL. If you earn your hazardous materials (hazmat) endorsement at the same time, the two combine and are marked as an “X” endorsement. Many jobs transporting hazmat require both. If you attend Phoenix Truck Driving School, we will help you learn the information needed to pass both the tanker and hazmat tests. 

Earn Your Tanker Endorsement at Phoenix Truck Driving School

Our CDL school gives you the skills and knowledge you need to succeed as a truck driver. These include the basics you need to pass your CDL test as well as additional information to earn three endorsements. 

Contact us today to learn more about earning your CDL, hazmat, doubles/triples, and tanker endorsements at Phoenix Truck Driving School.

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