Are you looking for a way to make money driving?
If you are happy to drive long distances, working as a tractor-trailer truck driver could be for you. This job involves transporting livestock, materials, or products between long distances.
You need to be prepared to spend many hours or even days on the road to do this job. While some people thrive in this job, other people can find it difficult to remain focused.
To find out if this could be your dream job, check out my in-depth…
- Job Description
- Duties And Responsibilities
- Driving Long Distances
- Skills And Attributes
- Education And Training
- The Working Environment
- Join The Exciting World Of Trucking!
- Final Thoughts
The job description will usually start by giving an overview of the company you would work for. The route you would cover, and the types of goods you would transport should be made clear. There should also be details of the type of contract and the base salary that goes with this job.
The job description should detail the main duties that go with this job. There will be information on the education, experience, and licenses that candidates need to have. You are also likely to find details on other criteria candidates need to meet to be considered for the role.
Duties And Responsibilities
Driving safely for long periods is naturally the main duty of this role. However, there is also a wide range of tasks you will need to perform regularly. Here are the main duties and responsibilities you are likely to be charged with.
Driving Long Distances
You need to be prepared to drive long distances and could be expected to drive up to eleven hours a day. It is essential to know and follow the applicable traffic and driving laws at all times. You will also be responsible for reporting any road incidents that you witness while doing this job.
Loading and Securing Cargo
When collecting goods to transport, you will usually be charged with loading them into the truck. You need to check the goods to make sure they are complete and in good condition. Secure them using chains, ropes, blocks, covers, and other equipment as necessary.
Maintaining a Record of Hours
It is important to keep a careful record of the number of hours you work within a certain shift. You also have to record details of each route you complete and the delivery time. This will enable your employer to check your work if an issue arises.
You need to report any mechanical issues you observe to your line manager as soon as possible. Record and report any issues that you encounter with a delivery.
Maintaining Trailer Equipment
You need to make sure that the truck is in good working order at the start of each shift. Carefully check equipment before using it. You will also be charged with making minor repairs such as repairing punctures.
Skills And Attributes
You need to have excellent driving skills to do this job. To qualify, you will need to show that you make the grade physically and mentally. Here are the key skills and attributes a successful tractor-trailer truck driver needs to have.
You need to have a strong awareness of safety requirements and monitor health and safety regulations. It is important to have strong attention to detail. A lack of concentration at any time could result in careless driving.
You need to be reasonably physically fit to do this job. Be able to load and unload the goods from your truck without straining your back. You will be regularly tested for high blood pressure, epilepsy, and other medical conditions.
It is important to make sure you deliver goods at the time specified. To do this, you need to be able to plan routes well. You will also need to be able to prioritize tasks during your shifts to complete them on time.
You need to have quick reflexes to avoid road accidents and other potential hazards. It is important to be able to respond quickly to situations and coordinate your legs, hands, and eyes simultaneously.
It is important to have good hearing to do this job. You need to be able to hear a loud and pronounced whisper from five feet away. If you need to wear a hearing aid, you will still qualify to do this job.
You have to pass a vision test before you are given your commercial driver’s license. You need to have at least 20/40 vision and a 70-degree field of visioning in each eye. If you are color blind, you are unlikely to pass the vision test requirements for this job.
Education And Training
You need to have a high school diploma and a valid driver’s license to do this job. You will also need to apply for a commercial driver’s license before you can start working. To get this, you have to pass a written test and a practical test.
Truck Driving School
Professional truck driving schools provide training courses on how to maneuver large vehicles on highways and through crowded streets. You will also learn the federal laws and regulations that govern interstate truck driving. Once you have finished your classes, you will receive a certificate of completion.
Once you have gained your commercial driving license, you will receive additional training from the company you work for. This on-the-job training can last for several months. Until your training has been completed, you will accompany a professional tractor-trailer truck driver on routes. This will also teach you about the truck you will be driving and the goods you will be transporting.
The Working Environment
You will usually be given a full-time contract and will spend several hours at a time on the road. However, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration limits the number of hours you can work in a stretch. You can work a maximum of fourteen hours at a time, while only eleven of these can be spent driving.
After working for fourteen hours, you have to take a break of at least ten hours. You are limited to a maximum of sixty hours of work within seven days. However, you can complete these hours at any time of the day or night, including during public holidays.
Join The Exciting World Of Trucking!
If you’re not sure which position would best suit you, check out my Truck Driver Job Description, Delivery Driver Job Description, or my OTR Driver Job Description, Truck Dispatcher Job Description, to help you decide. Additionally, I also have my Two Men A Truck Application for a great opportunity.
If you have a criminal record, I suggest you read up on What Truck Driving Schools Accept Felons, or Trucking Companies That Hire Felons, and Trucking Companies That Train And Hire Felons as well as take a look at Second Chance Trucking Companies that especially give felons a chance to rejoin the workforce.
Next, we found some outstanding training guides such as the Trucker’s Guide for the Beginning Truck Driver, Tractor-Trailer Truck Driver Training, the Trucking Life: An Entertaining, Yet Informative Guide to Becoming and Being a Truck Driver, or how about Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving, and the $100,000 and Freedom Too: Why Truck Driving Might be Right for You and of course the CDL Study Guide 2023-2022 available online in 2023.
If you’ve been trucking for a few years and want to go out on your own, then the Trucking Business Startup 2023-2022: Step-by-Step Guide and the Trucking Business Startup 2023-2022: Survival Guide to Start from Scratch, Grow Quickly and Maintain Sustainably Your Own Trucking Company is what you need.
Or what about the Trucking Business Secrets: How to Start, Grow, and Succeed in Your Trucking Business, and the Freight Broker and Trucking Business Startup: Step-by-Step Guide to Start, Grow & Run Your Own Freight Brokerage Business and Trucking.
Lastly, I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Long Haul: A Trucker’s Tales of Life on the Road, and the What You Didn’t Learn in Trucking School: The Trucker’s Little Book of Etiquette, as well as the Spirit of the Road: The Life of an American Trucker…and his cat for great insight into the life of a trucker.
The starting salary for this role is typically around $27,000 per year, which goes up over time. After a few years, you could expect to earn at least $40,000 per year. This role also comes with lucrative completion and other types of bonuses.
You can boost your earning potential by choosing to transport hazardous materials. For this, you will need to obtain a special license to prove that you can do this safely.
If you have a head for business, you can start your own transportation company and oversee a fleet of tractor-trailer trucks.
All the very best working as a Tractor-Trailer Truck Driver!