If you are thinking about starting up an owner operator trucking company, you may want to consider starting it in the Bakken. Although the work is hard and the days are long, there are plenty of opportunities for truck drivers and the pay is well above average.
What is the Bakken?
Western North Dakota and eastern Montana, along with parts of Canada, are home to the Bakken Shale Formation. It is also home to one of the biggest oil booms the United States, and is helping to make this country the number one oil-producing country in the world. All of this is due to modern drilling techniques such as hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, which enables oil to be extracted from shale formations. While the drop in oil prices slowed activity in the oil fields, the rig count is going back up. This is good news for truck drivers who wish to keep their job, or get a job in the Bakken.
Why the Bakken?
One of the reasons truck drivers are in such high demand in the Bakken is simply that it takes so many trips by truck to produce an oil well. In fact, an estimated 2,300 truck trips are required just to develop one well. With a prediction of 40,000 wells to be drilled within the next 20 years, that is a lot of truck trips. Truckers generally either haul fresh water to these wells or transport the crude oil to the refinery.
What's It Like in the Bakken?
Many people who work in the Bakken can usually all agree on two things - the work is hard and the days are long. Besides working from sunup to sundown, truck drivers also have to deal with the extreme weather in the Upper Midwest. The average annual temperature in the state of North Dakota is 40 degrees F. It can reach 100 degrees in the summer and well below zero in the winter. Truck drivers must pay attention to rapidly changing weather conditions that can include blizzards, whiteouts, severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, and flash flooding, depending on the season.
How Much Can Truck Drivers Earn in the Bakken?
Truck drivers who aren't afraid to work hard and who can manage the sometimes brutal weather, can earn an above-average salary. In North Dakota the average salary is $42,000. Truck drivers that work in the Bakken, however, can earn two to three times that amount.
Now has never been a better time for owner operator trucking companies to get their start in the Bakken.