What does a truck driver do?
Truck drivers are trained drivers who transport a variety of cargo such as cars, livestock, consumer products, food, and building materials. They secure the items to make sure they are transported safely to their destination. They check the fuel level and oil in their vehicles and ensure the brakes, lights, windshield wipers, and other necessary parts are working properly. They also make sure the required safety equipment such as flares and fire extinguishers are aboard the vehicle and working correctly. They adjust their mirrors for proper visualization and report any equipment that is not working, loaded incorrectly, or missing to a dispatcher. Truck drivers also keep record of all of their activities and the condition of the vehicle and cargo. They also fill out accident reports when incidences occur.
What kind of training does a truck driver need?
Truck drivers usually need at least a high school diploma. Many complete truck driver training programs offered by vocational and technical schools. They learn how to operate and inspect large vehicles and make sure cargo complies with regulations. Many aspiring truck drivers ride and observe experienced truck drivers to gain practical experience. Most employers provide on the job training where new trucks learn the general tasks, company policies, operation and loading of vehicles, and how to prepare company records and forms. Truck drivers need a regular driver’s license and a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Requirements for CDL licensure include a clean driving record, passing a background check, and passing a written examination.
What are the prospects for a career as a truck driver?
Employment of truck drivers is expected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 8% from 2006 to 2016 (1). Economy growth and the increased demand for freight transported by trucks will drive job growth.
Job prospects should be favorable especially for truck drivers with extensive experience and those willing to work flexible schedules. Many job openings will occur when experienced truck drivers retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.
How much do truck drivers make?
As of October 2009, the middle 50% of truck drivers earn annual salaries between $34,150 and $43,352. The top 10% earn annual salaries of more than $48,109 (2).
A career as a truck driver is a great choice for people who are interested in driving a variety of large trucks to transport many different items. Truck drivers must be constantly alert, responsible, dependable, and self-motivated. They must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills because they often deal with a variety of people. Truck drivers must be able to drive safely in stressful and sometimes dangerous weather conditions.