How To Put Your Tanker Trucks To Work in North Dakota


Hauling Liquids

An email hit my inbox from a truck company owner in the upper midwest. He apparently runs tankers and was wondering if I knew who to approach in North Dakota, and how, as he would like to put some of his trucks to work hauling liquids in that state.

My response, not counting the first few sentences of chit-chat centered on the fact that I knew his home base area rather well–one of my rather numerous ex-wives grew up there–ran as follows:


I’m not in North Dakota these days; haven’t actually worked that oilpatch since the 1980s. I’ve got some energy company contacts and some financial interests there…but no direct knowledge of who would be best to contact for hauling liquids.

However, since “liquids” usually means either water or petroleum products of one sort or another, I’m guessing you’re talking tankers. In my experience, every drilling rig needs fresh water hauled in to their current drilling location, usually on a daily basis. Of course, they also need fuel, and completed wells need to have excess production water hauled off to disposal sites. That last (production water) is a bit of a specialized operation, but it’s definitely a market once you know how to handle it.

That said, energy companies don’t all handle their purchasing requirements for rigs in the same manner. Company A may contract with trucking firms only through its central headquarters, while Company B is just as likely to leave the buying decisions up to each company hand (location manager) at each separate drilling location.


Were it my company, and I was trying to figure out who to contact in order to sell my services in North Dakota, I’d start with the Drilling Rig Activity page put out by the State:

The second column from the left is headed “OPERATOR” and shows the energy company operating each drilling rig. A bit of Internet research (GOOGLE!) should pin down a headquarters contact number for each company–Whiting, Legacy, Petro Hunt, etc.

Then, with script in hand, I’d start calling companies with Key Question #1 being: Who makes the purchasing decision for liquids being delivered to such-and-such a rig?

Might be a good idea to throw your credentials at ’em first, naturally, so they understand why you’d like to know!

If you’re half a salesman, you should be able to crack the market. The Drilling Rig Activity List as of today (Feb. 24, 2011) shows 168 rigs active in the state at this moment–and that means a lot of liquids need to be moved.

Hope this helps.




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