Driving To Deliver Your Business

Shale Energy Institute: The Mechanics Behind Trucking

By: Adam Larson, Staff Writer, Shale Media Group1

Edited By: Chris Stroyne, Editor, Shale Media Group

Trucking in itself is a difficult skill to master. Since the twentieth century, trucking has been the backbone of the United States economy. The trucking industry provides an essential service to the American economy by transporting large quantities of raw materials and finished goods over land. More specifically, the trucking industry has recently seen an expansion in the Tri-State region of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.

With the Marcellus and Utica Shale developments, the trucking industry has skyrocketed and is now seeing a need for a robust workforce. According to the Marcellus Shale Coalition, the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays are fueling trucking jobs, where the shale oil and gas industry has done wonders for those who hold Commercial Driver s Licenses (CDLs). About 10% of jobs in the Marcellus and Utica industries are for those with CDLs.

Taking advantage of this trucking opportunity is Shale Energy Institute2 (SEI), based in Bentleyville, PA, just off of Interstate 70. Cory Wilbanks, President, SEI, explained, Tailored toward the local energy industry, the goal of SEI is to teach and effectively train CDL Licensing for equipment transportation, while emphasizing shale, oil and natural gas technologies and on-site safety through a two-part class.

The CDL Class A training involves the areas of: trip planning and logging; air brake and pre-trip; coupling and uncoupling; alley dock, blindside parallel and driver-side parallel; and shifting procedures. As students enroll in the CDL Class A Test to become certified, road time with hands-on experiences becomes available.

Wilbanks emphasized that enrolled students receive real word trucking time where the student drives a truck under SEI s attentive supervision. Mostly all trucking programs in the area do not offer real time trucking experiences, noted Wilbanks. These programs offer simulations, which aren t nearly as beneficial as the student getting into a truck, learning the various shifts, receiving more and more practice and eventually driving a truck under our close supervision.

As for the shale oil and gas portion of the class, students will analyze the topics of: the history of natural gas drilling; the reservoir; the contents of the reservoir; ownership of mineral rights and lease agreements; the three methods of reaching the hydrocarbon resource through use of heavy-duty ground moving equipment, a large chisel-shaped device to punch a hole and rotating a bit on a shaft; rig components; logging, testing and completing; reservoir fluid categories; primary, secondary and tertiary production; field processing; and remedial operations. In addition, students will look at who s involved in shale, oil and gas production, along with strategies for helping companies become successful shale oil and gas producers.

In addition, Wilbanks accentuated that adding the natural gas portion to the class gives students an edge in the competitive job market. When students enroll in the program, our goal is for them to have a job before or after graduating, stated Wilbanks. Our students are mostly going to companies like Calfrac Well Services, Frac Tech, Halliburton and Gray Wireline.

With students constantly enrolling, SEI is undergoing a transition and expanding their shale oil and gas educational trucking resources. Currently, they own and operate two fully functional trucks. With these trucks running, SEI is looking into purchasing an additional two trucks to add to their portfolio. Wilbanks interjected, One truck will be a 10-speed and the other will be a 13-speed.

The difference between the transmissions in these trucks pays dividends when the student is learning to shift. First, the 10-speed transmission is one of the most common and simplest to shift. Much like the manual transmission in a car, the shifting pattern is designed in a standard H format.

Similar to the 10-speed transmission, the 13-speed is based on a typical five-speed pattern found in cars, but has an additional splitter, which allows for more gear ratios. A fully functional 13-speed merely uses and reuses the gears while going through the shifting pattern. It has one flip up lever as on a 10-speed transmission and a second button that splits the top five gears into overdrives. Coming full circle, Wilbanks highlighted that the complex shift changes are why SEI s program encompasses the total driving experience.

Notably, SEI s expansion doesn t stop here. Currently, SEI s class sessions are held at the Holiday Inn Express in Bentleyville, PA. For larger class sizes and more in-depth class interaction, the sessions will soon move to Big Jim s Plaza, a venue located down the street. Wilbanks is excited for this transition and is ready to take SEI to the next level.

When coming out of the program, students can expect competitive salaries of over $75,000, according to current research and data. If anyone is interested in the class, signs up for it and puts in the effort, we ll work with everyone to make sure they graduate. SEI even offers self-funding as an investment in the community, conveyed Wilbanks.

As seen with the Shale Energy Institute, the need for equipping the Marcellus and Utica Shale trucking industry with a dynamic workforce is at a peak. Through Shale Energy Institute, the program trains a required workforce of safe drivers with proficient knowledge in the shale oil and gas industry. Click here3 to enroll or learn more about Shale Energy Institute or call 1-855-4GASJOBS.

Shale Media Group (SMG) is a news, information, education and mapping resource dedicated to the shale oil and gas industries by messaging across video, Internet, publications, events and radio. For more, check out ShaleMediaGroup.com to access all platforms, including: TheMarcellusShale.com, TheUticaShale.com, TheShaleAcademy.com, ShaleAdvantage.com and ShaleEnergyNow.com. Adam Larson is a Staff Writer with Shale Media Group. Contact him at email protected4.


  1. ^ Shale Media Group (www.shalemediagroup.com)
  2. ^ Shale Energy Institute (www.shaleenergyinstitute.com)
  3. ^ Click here (www.shaleenergyinstitute.com)
  4. ^ email protected (www.cloudflare.com)

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