Heavy and tractor-trailer truck driver essential career information:
- 2012 median pay: $38,200
- 2012, number of jobs: 1,556,510
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: 21 percent
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers; what they do:
If spending many hours out on the open road and working within the trucking industry sounds interesting, then a trucking career may be in your future. Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers collect delivery instructions and transport goods over different intercity routes. Often, these routes span over several counties, cities and states and many times companies will use two drivers on very long runs to help shorten downtime.
A typical day for a heavy and tractor-trailer truck driver consists of loading, unloading and transporting goods, spending many hours and days driving long distances and obeying all traffic laws. Heavy and tractor-trailer drivers also maintain and inspect all trailer equipment and record any issues or defects they may find before or after a long run, record activity logs, report any maintenance or mechanical issues and clean trucks.
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Heavy and tractor-trailer truck driver job titles:
- Truck Driver
- Heavy Truck Driver
- Tractor-Trailer Driver
- Dump Truck Driver
- Line-Haul Driver
- Delivery Driver
- Owner Operator
- Semi-Truck Driver
Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers Education, Certification and License Requirements
People interested in a heavy and tractor-trailer truck driver career typically need a high school diploma or equivalent, at least two years of work experience and obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). Requirements for getting a CDL vary by state but they typically include passing both a written and driving test.
Random drug and alcohol screenings are required for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers while on duty. Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers who fail drug/alcohol tests and/or receive felony convictions have their Commercial Driver’s License suspended.
Training usually involves on-the-job learning; however many truck drivers attend professional driving schools where they learn heavy vehicle maneuvers and federal laws governing truck driving.
Truck drivers can get endorsements to their CDL by demonstrating their ability to operate a specialized type of vehicle such as a hazardous material truck (HAZMAT). Transporting hazardous materials requires a hazardous materials endorsement (H) and a background check.
Heavy and tractor-trailer truck driver programs cover subjects such as:
- Vehicle inspection report
- Log management
- Couple and uncouple a trailer
- Truck driving
- Standard truck transmission
- Automatic truck transmission
Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers Job Outlook
Forecast: 21 percent employment growth for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average of all occupations. Economic growth leading to increased household and business spending and the demand for goods increases the demand for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers.
Better routing technology and higher fuel prices limit truck driver employment. However, the need for drivers is still on the rise due to the strategy of delivering goods within a short time frame, something only trucks can handle.
Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers Salary
- 2012 median annual wage: $38,200
- 2012 workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $47,540
- 2012, workers at the 25th percentile annual wage: $30,910
- General freight trucking
- Specialized freight trucking
- Wholesale trade