Are you looking for a job where you get paid to drive and explore different areas?
If so, being a route driver could be the perfect job for you. Route drivers are mainly charged with picking up and delivering supplies to different customers in a certain area.
A wide range of businesses employ route drivers to deliver items to customers. This can include supermarkets and grocery stores, restaurants, florists, and parcels.
So, let’s take an in-depth look at a typical route driver job as well as the types of skills you’ll need and the responsibilities.
- Route Driver Job Description
- Route Driver Duties and Responsibilities
- Key Route Driver Skills and Attributes
- Route Driver Education and Training
- Route Driver Hours and Working Conditions
- Why Not Become A Full-Time Trucker?
- Final Thoughts
Route Driver Job Description
Businesses often advertise positions for route drivers to deliver their products to customers. They need to find drivers who are responsible and can be trusted to work independently. The products need to be delivered on time, and the route driver needs to make sure they are intact.
Companies seeking route drivers want people who are honest and reliable. The job description will usually include details of the types of products that need to be delivered and the route. Emphasis will be put on having good driving and planning skills as well as being physically fit and working independently.
Read more: How Much to Tip Taxi Drivers
Route Driver Duties and Responsibilities
The main duties and responsibilities of a route driver are picking up goods and delivering them safely. Depending on the company, there could be a wide range of other duties. Let’s take a closer look at the most common route driver duties and responsibilities.
Loading and Unloading Goods
You need to be able to do this carefully and efficiently. You are responsible for the goods from the moment you receive them until they reach the customer.
Reviewing Route Sheets
At the start of your shift, you have to take a look at your route shifts. You need to read the sheets thoroughly to work out the route and how many stops you have to make. You should take the time to plan your trips to save fuel and time.
Transporting Materials and Supplies
Some route drivers need to transport waste and hazardous materials, and other supplies. In this case, it is necessary to carefully follow all local and federal laws. This includes checking that cargo is securely safely before transport.
Performing Vehicle Maintenance
You need to be able to perform basic maintenance skills on the delivery vehicle. If the vehicle breaks down during your shift, you will lose time and money. Maintenance tasks include checking the air pressure in tires, topping off vehicle fluids, and keeping the vehicle clean.
Other typical duties and responsibilities include:
- Talking to dispatch
- Maintaining logs
- Communicating with customers
- Securing cargo
- Obeying the rules of the road
- Following company regulations
Key Route Driver Skills and Attributes
Route drivers naturally have to have certain technical skills to get the job done. Certain soft skills will make the job easier and go more smoothly. Here are some of the main skills and attributes that route drivers should have.
This is one of the most important skills a route driver needs to master. You will need to be able to drive safely at all times and remain within the boundaries of the law. This can be tricky during rush hour and congested areas, and it is important to be able to focus for long periods of time without getting distracted.
It is also important to be able to explain to dispatch where you are on your route when asked. You also need to report any problems that arise clearly. Communication skills are also needed to keep clear and accurate delivery logs.
Although a lot of this job involves sitting down, you need to stay in shape. Route drivers need a lot of strength and stamina to load and unload heavy supplies.
You need to interact with clients during deliveries. If there are any issues, your strong customer service skills will help smooth things over.
Other important skills employers look for include:
- Organizational skills
- Computer skills
- Time management
Route Driver Education and Training
No formal qualifications are needed to be a route driver, and this is typically an entry-level job. This means you can work as a route driver with no previous work experience. However, you need to know how to drive and be very comfortable behind the wheel.
All route drivers have to hold a valid driver’s license and a clean driving record. This includes no moving violations, no DUI convictions, and no accidents within the previous six months. You also need to have good eyesight and hearing and be able to lift heavy objects.
At least 25 years old?
Most employers prefer route drivers to be at least 25 years old and hold a high school diploma. If you are under 25, you can start working in the company warehouse and aim to score a driver position later.
If you have to handle large sums of money, you may need to be bonded. Your employer will usually pay for this special type of insurance.
If you are planning to drive a larger delivery vehicle, you may need to get a CDL license. To get this, you have to take and pass written and practical exams.
Most companies provide new route drivers with paid on-the-job training. This includes being taught business math, special sales techniques, and defensive driving. New route drivers are accompanied by supervisors on their first few trips. This helps new route drivers to learn their routes as well as company policies and regulations.
Route Driver Hours and Working Conditions
Route drivers can work a range of different shift patterns, including weekends and nights. The majority of this work takes place in a company vehicle or your own vehicle.
Route drivers usually work alone and can play music while they are driving. They can take breaks whenever they want as long as they complete their route within a reasonable timeframe.
Complete your route on time…
Another major part of this job is interacting with customers. You may not always catch customers at their best, and you need to be courteous at all times. This can be easier at some times than others, but it is essential to maintain strong customer service skills.
Rather than being paid for a certain number of hours, you are paid for completing a route. The amount of hours you have to work as a route driver depends on how quickly and efficiently you work. If you finish your route early, you can go home without losing any money. However, you will have to work extra hours with no extra pay if you take longer to complete your route.
Why Not Become A Full-Time Trucker?
Firstly, to better understand what trucking jobs are all about, check out our Truck Driver Job Description, OTR Driver Job Description, or even our Truck Dispatcher Job Description, as well as an opportunity with the Two Men A Truck Application to see if you’d be interested.
Now, if you have a criminal record, you can always take a look at What Truck Driving Schools Accept Felons and Trucking Companies That Train And Hire Felons for your options. I recommend my Second Chance Trucking Companies that hire felons looking to get back on track.
We did some online research to help guide you if you’re not sure how to go about it. Let’s start with training guides such as the Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving, the CDL Study Guide 2023-2022, or what about the Trucking Life: An Entertaining and Informative Guide to Becoming & Being a Truck Driver, or Tractor-Trailer Truck Driver Training, and finally the $100,000 and Freedom Too: Why Truck Driving Might be Right for You available in 2023.
Or perhaps you’d like to be independent and start your own trucking business. For that, you should read up on the Trucking Business Secrets: How to Start, Grow, and Succeed in Your Trucking Business, the Trucking Business Startup 2023-2022: Step-by-Step Guide, and of course, the Trucking Business Startup 2023.
My favorite is still The Long Haul: A Trucker’s Tales of Life on the Road, which gave great insight into the real-life of a trucker.
If you enjoy spending long periods alone on the road, you could thrive as a route driver. And the average salary for a route driver is around $16 per hour, which isn’t bad for driving while you listen to your favorite tunes.
However, route drivers who have experience and specialist skills can earn much more than this. The prospects for route drivers are on the rise due to the increasing number of people requesting home deliveries. While it is possible to work part-time, working full-time will score you a special benefits package.
This includes paid holidays, sick days, and annual vacation days, as well as medical, dental, and vision insurance coverage.
All the very best landing your Route Driver Job!