What does a Heavy Truck Driver do?

Learn all about Heavy Truck Driver duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Heavy Truck Driver.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 4 min read

A heavy truck driver typically drives a tractor-trailer or other large vehicle to transport goods over long distances. They may also be responsible for inspecting and maintaining their vehicle, as well as keeping a log of their hours and mileage.

Heavy Truck Driver job duties include:

  • Drive a heavy truck, typically with multiple trailers, to transport goods or materials over long distances
  • Inspect vehicles before and after trips and submit reports detailing any problems
  • Load and unload cargo, using a variety of loading equipment and techniques
  • Secure loads and ensure that they are stable and will not shift during transit
  • Plan routes and schedules, using maps and GPS systems
  • Keep track of mileage, hours driven, and fuel consumption
  • Communicate with dispatch to report on progress or delays
  • Comply with all traffic laws and regulations
  • May be required to perform basic maintenance tasks such as checking fluid levels

Heavy Truck Driver Job Requirements

Most heavy truck drivers have a high school diploma or equivalent, although some companies may require a driver to have a bachelor's degree. Certification is not typically required, but many drivers choose to get certified through the American Trucking Associations or other organizations. Experience is also not typically required, but many drivers have several years of experience driving smaller vehicles before they get their heavy truck license.

Heavy Truck Driver Skills

  • Safe driving
  • Commercial driver's license (CDL)
  • Truck driving experience
  • Good driving record
  • Ability to operate a tractor-trailer combination
  • Knowledge of DOT regulations
  • Ability to safely transport cargo
  • Load and unload trucks
  • Inspect trucks for mechanical problems
  • Plan routes and meet delivery schedules
  • Keep logs of mileage and hours

Related: Top Heavy Truck Driver Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Heavy Truck Driver

There are many reasons why someone might want to become a heavy truck driver. It can be a great way to see the country, earn a good living, and enjoy the freedom of the open road. But it’s not a job for everyone. It takes a special kind of person to be a successful truck driver.

Here are some things to consider if you’re thinking about becoming a heavy truck driver:

Are you comfortable spending long periods of time alone? Truck drivers can be on the road for days or even weeks at a time. If you’re the type of person who enjoys your own company, this could be a great job for you. But if you get lonely easily, it might not be the right fit.

Do you have good stamina? Driving a truck can be physically demanding. You’ll be sitting for long periods of time, but there will also be times when you have to do a lot of lifting and moving around. If you don’t have good physical stamina, this job might not be for you.

Are you a good driver? This might seem like an obvious requirement, but it’s worth mentioning. Truck drivers need to have excellent driving skills. If you have any accidents or traffic violations on your record, it could make it difficult to get a job as a truck driver.

Are you willing to work long hours? Truck drivers often have to work long hours, including overnight shifts. If you’re not willing to work these types of hours, this job might not be for you.

Do you have experience driving in all types of weather conditions? Truck drivers need to be able to drive in all types of weather conditions, including snow, rain, and ice. If you don’t feel comfortable driving in these conditions, this job might not be for you.

If you think you might want to become a heavy truck driver, the best way to start is by talking to someone who is already doing it. They can give you first-hand advice about what the job is really like and whether or not it’s right for you.

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