What does a Truck Driver do?
Truck drivers transport goods from one location to another. Most tractor-trailer drivers are long-haul drivers and operate trucks with a total weight exceeding 26,000 pounds for the vehicle, passengers, and cargo.
Some truck drivers have one or two routes that they drive regularly, and other drivers take many different routes throughout the country. In addition, some drivers have routes that include Mexico or Canada.
Some long-haul truck drivers, also called owner-operators, buy or lease trucks and go into business for themselves.
Working as a Truck Driver
Depending on their roles, qualifications, specialization and years of experience, a truck driver may:
- Report any incidents encountered on the road to a dispatcher
- Secure cargo for transport, using ropes, blocks, chains, or covers
- Inspect their trailers before and after the trip and record any defects they find
- Maintain a log of their working hours, following all federal and state regulations
- Report serious mechanical problems to the appropriate people
- Keep their trucks and associated equipment clean and in good working order
- Follow all applicable traffic laws
How much does a Truck Driver make in the United States?
Frequently asked questions
How long does it take to become a truck driver?
If attending a full-time training program, you can most likely get your commercial driver's license (CDL) in an average of 7 weeks.
What is an over-the road (OTR) truck driver?
OTR refers to drivers who transport materials over long distances, as opposed to local routes. These drivers are away from home for longer periods at a time and they usually sleep in their truck.
How can I get my CDL A?
You can get a Class A CDL permit by passing a series of written exams. In most states, the written tests to get a Class A CDL permit include General Knowledge, Air Brakes and Combination vehicles. A CDL driving test must be passed in which the driver completes a 3-part exam that includes a pre-trip inspection test, basic control skills test, and driving test at either a state CDL test site or approved 3rd party test site in the testing State.