Heavy & Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers
Also called: Driver, Line Haul Driver, Over the Road Driver (OTR Driver), Truck Driver
Produced by CareerOneStop
Video transcript: skip transcript
Excellent driving skills, quick reaction time, good hearing, and accurate vision form the baseline of what it takes to be a truck driver. Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers transport goods from one location to another. Most are long-haul drivers with routes spanning several states, though some cover local routes only. Safety is a major concern in this field, as vehicles can weigh more than 26,000 pounds. Drivers must know and follow special regulations for carrying different cargo, such as chemical waste, liquids, or oversized loads. Routes are assigned by a dispatcher, though drivers may use a GPS to help them plan. Truck drivers work for freight and wholesale trade companies, although some own and operate their own trucks. Their demanding schedules can keep them away from home for days or weeks at a time. Work hours, including breaks, are highly regulated, but drivers often work nights, weekends, and holidays. Because of traffic accidents, handling cargo, and long periods of sitting, there is high risk of illness or injury. Drivers must not have any medical conditions that could impair driving. Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers usually have a high school diploma and a commercial driver’s license. Many learn their skills at a professional truck driving school. On-duty drivers are randomly tested for drug and alcohol use.
What they do:Drive a tractor-trailer combination or a truck with a capacity of at least 26,001 pounds Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW). May be required to unload truck. Requires commercial drivers' license. Includes tow truck drivers.
On the job, you would:
- Check all load-related documentation for completeness and accuracy.
- Inspect loads to ensure that cargo is secure.
- Check vehicles to ensure that mechanical, safety, and emergency equipment is in good working order.
- movement of people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road
Safety and Government
- public safety and security
- law and government
- customer service
Arts and Humanities
- English language
- keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
- reading work related information
- noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
- change when and how fast you move based on how something else is moving
- quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat
- know where things are around you
- imagine how something will look after it is moved around or changed
- see details that are far away
- decide which thing is closer or farther away from you or decide how far away it is from you
- pay attention to something without being distracted
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
- Attention to Detail
- Self Control
- Stress Tolerance
You might use software like this on the job:
Word processing software
Data base user interface and query software
- ddlsoftware.com drivers daily log program DDL
Route navigation software
- ALK Technologies PC*Miler
- MarcoSoft Quo Vadis
- Industrial Truck & Tractor Operators
- Light Truck Drivers
- Loading & Moving Machine Operators, Underground Mining
- Shuttle Drivers & Chauffeurs
- Tank Car, Truck, & Ship Loaders
You might like a career in one of these industries: