My son just got his class b and won an award in driving in tthe local truck rodeo. He also has heavy equipment and Osha certifications. I can get him his class A this summer. Should I make sure he has a class a before he goes out to the oil patch or can he earn one there. He graduates in two months. Homeschooler.
A class a CDL opens many doors to a good job. Tanker endorsement is a plus as well as a hazardous material endorsement. You can go to work for some companies here and theu will help you get a class a license
I am not fully qualified to answer your question, but my experience is as follows. While I was in western ND I had a class A and trained another driver who then became qualified and got his Class A. He then got a oil patch job where there was a rigorous training period.
I believe they give good training in the specifics of the oil patch and quite likely winter driving up here. But I really think the Class A is the first step you gotta get on your own.
I hope your son has winter driving experience. What I mean by this is driving on solid ice/compacted snow mile after mile after mile with strong side winds and occasional drifts. I seen many a truck in the ditch, many fatal, because of poor winter skills.
Additionally the road ditches fill level with snow and it is next to impossible to tell where turn offs are during a storm. Yes, there is possibly a stop sign poking above the snow to give a clue, but I’ve seen many a truck drive right into the ditch thinking they were on an approach or another road. And there are times when it is difficult to tell where the center of the road is when the road is full of snow and level with the ditch top. Yes, there might be fence lines or trees to give a clue, but that does not always work.
There are easy jobs, such as simple delivery, most are tanker jobs hauling water or oil, the worst is rig moving. I did rig moving in the 80’s. It was very hard on people and machine. Imagine being sunk down to the frame in mud all the way around with a 100,000 pound pipe tub. Then a D-6 starts to push, another pulls. Yes you get where you are going, but you also have a few air brake lines torn off.