North Dakota Owner Operator Jobs
Because of the gigantic oil find in the Bakken region, the owner operator in North Dakota can practically name their own terms. The oil boom has created an enormous driver shortage, particularly for tank drivers certified to carry oil. There’s no direct pipeline at present, so the oil must be trucked out to the nearest available pipeline facility.
Truckers who decide to pursue a career in the North Dakota and eastern Montana region should plan to either live in their cabs or plan a long commute to work. There is basically no available housing in the communities in the oil field area. Even parking to sleep on streets in the region can be problematic, since 300-400 RV owners are already camping out on local roadways. Many workers are also camping in their cars or pickups on the streets.
North Dakota has extreme winter weather, so the trucker who works in the state has to be well-skilled in severe conditions. Although tire chains are not currently required, they are allowed during the winter months.
The heavy traffic associated with the boom conditions in North Dakota means roads are taking a heavy beating. According to Francis Ziegler of the Department of Transportation, North Dakota road use has increased 10 percent statewide. Traffic in the 17 counties that make up the oil patch is up 25 percent overall, with some roads seeing a 300-400 percent increase.
The harsh climate also contributes to the deteriorating road conditions. The state is attempting to address the problems with a $700 million construction package announced in May. Newly built roads will have a depth of 5-8 inches, about double their previous thickness.
The main interstates in North Dakota are I-29 and I-94, with the two meeting up in Fargo. Traffic is becoming increasingly congested in the Fargo area, with an estimated daily 65,000 vehicle count in 2009. The oil patch is also experiencing congestion thanks to the oil fields and the accompanying building boom in the region.