What does a Truck Driver do?
Truck drivers typically work for a shipping company or for a large corporation that manages its own supply chain and delivery. Truck Drivers often drive long distances, either in state or cross-country. Truck Drivers must possess a commercial driver’s license, and they must be trained in safe driving best practices. Truck Drivers often assist with loading and unloading their vehicle. Truck Drivers are responsible for ensuring that their goods arrive safely and on schedule.
What does an entry-level Truck Driver do?
An entry-level truck driver is responsible for safely operating a commercial truck to transport goods from one destination to another. They drive long distances while adhering to strict federal and state regulations governing commercial vehicle operation. This includes following hours of service limits, maintaining vehicle standards, and ensuring compliance with rest periods. Additionally, entry level truck drivers with a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL) are trained in safe driving practices. Depending on the company, they may also handle loading and unloading, inspecting cargo for damage, and completing necessary paperwork.
Truck Driver skills and qualifications
Truck drivers require a wide variety of skills, including:
- Strong knowledge of safety regulations, to be familiar with not just traffic laws but rules regarding how often they are required to rest, maximum miles driven and the like
- A clean driving record, or they can have their license suspended or revoked
- Physical fitness, since Truck Drivers are required to pass a physical exam every two years
- Hand-eye coordination, since they must coordinate their hands, legs and eyes to maintain a fast reaction time on the roads
- Visual and hearing acuity, in accordance with federal regulations which mandate that truck drivers have to hear a forced whisper at 5 feet, have at least 20/40 vision, a 70-degree field of vision and the ability to distinguish the colors of traffic lights
Truck Driver salary expectations
A truck driver makes an average salary of $60,429 per year. Pay rate may depend on level of experience, education and the geographical location.
Truck Driver education and training requirements
Most companies who hire truck drivers require a high school diploma or GED. Beyond this, most prospective truck drivers seek education at professional truck driving academies where they can learn the skills needed to maneuver large vehicles, the federal laws governing truck driving and other skills. Truck drivers must also possess a commercial driver’s license (CDL). The qualifications for this vary from state to state. Usually, they require both practical driving and written knowledge tests.
Truck Driver experience requirements
Experience isn’t strictly required to become a truck driver, but experienced candidates are more likely to perform better. Truck drivers with experience have demonstrated the ability to maintain a clean driving record, to stay physically and mentally fit and to meet the other qualifications and skills required to handle driving a big rig in dangerous situations.
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