Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers

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Also known as:
Auto Carrier Driver, Cement Truck Driver, Concrete Mixer Driver, Concrete Mixer Truck Driver, Fuel Truck Driver, Garbage Truck Driver, Line Haul Driver, Logging Truck Driver, Moving Van Driver, Over-the-Road Driver

ABOUT HEAVY AND TRACTOR-TRAILER TRUCK DRIVER CAREERS
Video transcript

A heavy truck is a straight truck weighing more than four tons. Most have ten wheels and all have massive engines. Because they are highly customizable, the same basic model can be equipped to serve as a concrete mixer, an airline fuel tanker, a refuse and recycling truck, or even a fire engine.

It takes skill, experience, and a special touch to control the momentum of a truck carrying tons of material, once it gets up to speed. That's why heavy truck drivers must obtain a special commercial driver's license or "CDL." Training is available, but before paying for a course, make sure that it is certified by the professional truck driver institute of America.

Working conditions can be dirty and noisy. But most drivers in this part of the industry are full-time employees, receiving full benefits packages. Most run are local, so unlike long-distance truck drivers, heavy truck drivers have the added benefit of working close to home.

SNAPSHOT
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.
Leadership
LOW
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
LOW
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
LOW
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
HIGH
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Load or unload trucks or help others with loading or unloading, using special loading-related equipment or other equipment as necessary.

Report vehicle defects, accidents, traffic violations, or damage to the vehicles.

Plan or adjust routes based on changing conditions, using computer equipment, global positioning systems (GPS) equipment, or other navigation devices, to minimize fuel consumption and carbon emissions.

Drive trucks to weigh stations before and after loading and along routes in compliance with state regulations.

Couple or uncouple trailers by changing trailer jack positions, connecting or disconnecting air or electrical lines, or manipulating fifth-wheel locks.

Crank trailer landing gear up or down to safely secure vehicles.

Read bills of lading to determine assignment details.

Check conditions of trailers after contents have been unloaded to ensure that there has been no damage.

Read and interpret maps to determine vehicle routes.

Obtain receipts or signatures for delivered goods and collect payment for services when required.

Remove debris from loaded trailers.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Controlling Machines and Processes Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Transportation Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
Public Safety and Security Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Mechanical Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Geography Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Law and Government Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
TOP SKILLS
Operation and Control Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Operation Monitoring Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Troubleshooting Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.