Truck Drivers usually work for transportation companies specialized in carrying goods instead of people. They do as their title suggests, they operate heavy trucks in order to transport goods from one location to another. The type of goods transported can vary greatly from one customer to the other. Some of the most common goods they work with are food, materials (e.g. wood, coal, cement, or waste), and sometimes even livestock.
There are two basic types of trucks, light and heavy load. Cargo weighting less than 26,000 pounds is considered light. On the other hand, should it exceed that weight, it is then considered a heavy load. Trucks carrying heavy loads require special qualities to ensure the safety of the cargo, the driver, and the other vehicles on the road. They also require their drivers to have a special licence in order to operate these heavy machines.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks Truck Drivers are required to complete.
- Performing mechanical checks to ensure the vehicle is in proper working conditions:
- Inspecting all parts and functions of the vehicle;
- filling a report based on inspection results; and
- reporting malfunctioning vehicles.
- Adhering to the applicable traffic laws for the type of vehicle they operate:
- Following safety procedures and protocols;
- driving only through designated roads and lanes; and
- adhering to driving time restrictions.
- Inspecting the cargo to ensure it is safe:
- Making sure all cargo is safely loaded;
- checking cargo documentation to ensure completeness and accuracy;
- ensuring that all cargo is properly fastened; and
- making sure special needs for cargo are met, if any (e.g. refrigerating food, special fastening for fragile cargo, and proper loading of livestock).
- Driving trucks with special accommodations for the type of goods they’re transporting:
- Operating light or heavy loads trucks;
- driving the vehicle to specialized weighting facilities before and after loading cargo; and
- minding the special requirements (e.g. refrigeration for frozen foods, special fastening for fragile items, and air, water, and food for livestock) of each type of vehicle.
- Setting the vehicle into loading and unloading positions at the designated areas:
- Following instructions of loading and unloading crews; and
- operating loading and unloading machines when needed.
- Performing basic and routine vehicle maintenance tasks (e.g. changing or adding motor oil, fuel, radiator cooling liquid, or making minor repairs).
- Maintaining records of working hours, goods transported, and vehicle repair status:
- Completing status reports and documentation and filing them with their employer.
- Keeping records of infractions, traffic violations, or damages caused by accidents:
- Reporting all infractions, fines, and other violations to the employer; and
- notifying the employer about accidents, crashes, or other hazards (e.g. flat tires, malfunctioning motor, or overheating).
- Obtaining signed receipts of delivery for transported goods:
- Collecting transport fees when necessary; and
- delivering signed receipts back to the employer’s headquarters.
- Operating light or heavy load transport trucks.
- Inventorying and securing loaded cargo.
- Adhering to the applicable traffic laws for the type of vehicle they operate.
- Loading and unloading cargo using special equipment.
- Obtaining signed receipts after delivery of goods.
- Inspecting vehicles to check for malfunctions.
- Performing minor repairs and maintenance tasks to the vehicle.
- Keeping records of activities and transported goods.
The average Truck Driver salary is $46,415 per year or $24 per hour. This is around 1.4 times more than the Median wage of the country. Entry level positions start at $32,000 while most experienced workers make up to $65,000. These results are based on 4,171 salaries extracted from job descriptions.