How Much Do Frac Sand Haulers Make?

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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 shifts? If you arrive in a fracking boom town before you find work, can you find non-driving work to tide you over until a higher-paying sand hauling gig opens up?

Click the top of each column of the table to sort the numbers, and remember that the “Earnings Per Day” and “Avg. Hourly Pay” numbers are dollar amounts.

No matter how you play it, hauling sand generally pays more than driving over-the-road. If you don’t already have a CDL, check out our “Five Ways to Get a CDL”. Then, go find a frac sand hauling job…

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