What Is a Truck Driver and How to Become One
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What Is a Truck Driving Job?
A truck driver transports goods and materials. They usually go in and out of manufacturing plants, and distribution and retail centers, working day and night shifts. Truck drivers are a vital component of nearly every industry. A truck driver job usually requires a commercial driver’s license (CDL). CDL trucks need special licenses to operate because of their large size. Truck drivers must be able to maneuver these trucks for miles at a time, often in heavy traffic. It is essential to be alert and follow all roadway safety regulations. Driving a tractor-trailer is very different from driving a traditional vehicle; the driver needs to have superb anticipation to keep the load from shifting on a curve, or to maneuver steep grades properly. The trucks themselves have many gears, sometimes as many as eighteen, in the transmission. Trucks also weigh significantly more than cars and are typically between seventy to eighty feet long, which is why a truck driver has to be specially trained to drive these larger vehicles.
Top 10 Skills Needed for Truck Drivers
Do your skills line up with what hiring managers are looking for when they are reviewing resumes for a Truck Driver position? ZipRecruiter scanned over 9,000,000 job postings and created a list of the most commonly required abilities for Truck Drivers below.
Based on our assessment, mastering the skills below and listing them on your resume is critical in getting your Truck Driver job application to the top of the stack.
- Truck Driver Experience
- CDL A License
- Road Transportation
- Loading Experience
- Over The Road Experience
- Tractor Trailer
What Are Truck Driving Duties?
Truck drivers move goods by way of truck or tractor trailers, traveling cross country or locally. As a truck driver, you must know how to disconnect and connect the cab from the trailer, and basic repair skills to function independently on the road (like changing a tire). Most companies offer drivers roadside assistance that will come to their driver’s location if they are having safety issues or cannot make it to a truck stop for any reason. Other duties include loading and unloading heavy cargo, tracking mileage, fuel, toll expenses, ensuring delivery, and maintaining their trucks. Truck drivers must legally take breaks, as their most important duty is to practice safe driving habits.
What Is Over The Road Trucking?
Truck drivers start off as over the road drivers (OTR), which means driving for vast distances and being away for weeks at a time. As truck drivers gain experience in the industry, they gain more flexibility to plan their own routes or deliver more locally.
Is Truck Driving Worth It?
Truck drivers enjoy the freedom of the open road. As long as they get the load from its starting place to its final destination by the scheduled time, and make sure the inventory matches up, all the details in between are the driver’s to determine. The management, operation, safety, and efficiency all are in the hands of the truck driver. Another advantage of this job is that truck drivers are typically paid very well.
Truck Driver Job Description Sample
With this Truck Driver job description sample, you can get a good idea of what employers are looking for when hiring for this position. Remember, every employer is different and each will have unique qualifications when they hire for a Truck Driver role.
We are looking for an experienced and dependable Truck Driver to join our team. You will safely and efficiently drive a large commercial vehicle long distances for extended hours to deliver cargo. All safety regulations and standards regarding size, weight, and break periods must be followed. Our ideal candidate has a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and has previous training in operating and driving. You will also be responsible for receiving cargo, parking in appropriate docks, tracking mileage, and documenting schedules, inventory delivery confirmation, and manifests.
Duties and Responsibilities
- Plan routes to meet delivery schedules
- Supervise loading and unloading of cargo off truck and ensure cargo is secured
- Follow all state and national large truck driving safety regulations and standards
- Complete documentation for mileage and cargo; keep track of mileage, fuel, and toll expenses; confirm inventory matches shipping documents
- Refuel vehicle and check or replace oil as needed
- Inspect truck daily for damage or maintenance problems
- Report any accidents or vehicle issues encountered while driving to supervisors
- Maintain vehicle equipment
Requirements and Qualifications
- High school diploma or GED equivalent
- Valid and current Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)
- 2+ years professional driving experience or related work experience
- Must have a clean driving record with no recent moving violations
- Proficient at driving, maneuvering, and parking large vehicles
- Physically fit and able to sit for long time periods, perform truck maintenance, and lift 25 pounds comfortably
- Candidate should be dependable, hardworking and an effective communicator
- Able to work night, weekends, extended hours, and holidays as needed