Heavy Truck Driver Job Description
A heavy truck driver is a person whose job is to drive a large, heavy road vehicle for carrying goods. The heavy road vehicle can be a tractor trailer combination or just a large straight forward truck. A truck (a large road vehicle) is considered a heavy truck if the combined weight of the vehicle, passengers and cargo rises above 26,000 pounds.
A heavy truck driver should be polite, cautious, law-abiding and reliable, and have the ability to manage stress. They should know how to handle special equipment for maneuvering cargo onto and out of trucks, and also how to handle special loads such as hazardous materials.
What does a Heavy Truck Driver do?
Heavy truck drivers may do some or all of the following:
- use satellite tracking equipment or maps to plan their routes when travelling long distances
- supervise or help with the loading and unloading of cargo on their truck
- check the truck to ensure that the cargo it is carrying is safely loaded
- check all cargo documents and verify the cargo being transported
- check their truck before and after every trip to ensure it is in good condition
- repair minor faults on the truck or take them to mechanics
- follow all traffic laws and other safety procedures while driving
- drive to pickup or transport heavy cargo safely
- keep a log of their activities
Where does a Heavy Truck Driver work?
Heavy truck drivers may work long irregular hours, but are usually required by transport authorities not to work for more than 14 straight hours including up to 11 hours spent on driving and the remaining time on other work activities like vehicle maintenance or loading of cargo. Their work hours may include weekends, nights, early mornings and public holidays.
Heavy truck drivers work in all weather conditions and in heavy traffic, and spend much of their time alone, driving and seeing the countryside, especially when they travel long distances. If they are involved in long distance traveling, they may be away from home for days or weeks at a time.
What is Required to Become a Heavy Truck Driver ?
There are no standard educational requirements to become a heavy truck driver. Drivers are required to be licensed and registered to drive, and may be subjected to pre-employment drug tests by their employers. Employers usually provide training for new recruits.
Knowledge, Skills and Attributes
Heavy truck drivers need to have:
- quick reflexes
- physical stamina
- good hand-eye coordination
- good eyesight, hearing and color vision
- good judgment and decision making skills
- good listening and communication skills
- problem solving skills
- clean driving record and excellent driving skills
- the ability to keep calm under pressure
- the ability to read and understand maps
- the ability to concentrate for long periods
- the ability to be comfortable sitting for long periods
- the ability to be comfortable working alone for long periods
- knowledge of emergency procedures
- knowledge of truck mechanics and maintenance
- knowledge of traffic laws
- knowledge of satellite tracking systems
Should I be a Heavy Truck Driver ?
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