Truck drivers enjoy one of the highest-paying, flexible blue-collar jobs in the United States. However, many people interested in the job are fully unaware of the responsibilities that truck drivers take on with their employment. Knowing what’s going to be expected of you is essential in following a dream career path. To help you on your journey, here are nine key responsibilities of truck drivers:
1. Training and Certification
The very first responsibility of a professional truck driver is to gain the required training, licenses, and certifications they need to drive legally. CDL licenses and a high-school diploma tend to be the minimum qualifications a person will need to become a truck driver. Check this site for more information on preparing for a CDL test.
Thankfully, with the high demand for truck drivers in 2022, many employers will happily help you afford the classes you’ll need to gain these requirements. This has made the profession more accessible than it’s been in a long, long time.
2. Keeping Track of Violations
If you’re a truck driver, you’re legally required to report any violations, suspensions, disqualifications, or driver’s license revocations you might end up getting. Doing so is necessary to keep the road safe, and to ensure other truck drivers are dedicated to keeping a clean driving record. If you want to drive a heavy truck professionally, you’ll need to keep incredibly responsible even when you’re not driving for work.
3. Knowing Working Load Limits
Drivers are required to know the working load limit of load securement devices, and the proper way to load the trucks with cargo. These requirements are there to ensure trucks are never made unsafe to drive due to a lack of awareness, or an employer’s desire to sacrifice safety for a larger load. Loads should always be loaded in a way that prevents falling, spilling, blowing, and leaking, as this will keep the driver safe, and the products being transported in a saleable condition.
4. Driving Safely
The most important responsibility of all truck drivers is to drive in a safe, aware manner at all times. Even a small distraction can lead to disastrous, costly, and even deadly consequences, so being able to drive safely 100% of the time is a must. As you gain the licenses you’ll need to be a professional truck driver, you’ll be taught how to drive in a way that’s hyper-safe and highly efficient as well. Living a healthy life, and keeping on top of your physical and mental well-being is key to being an effective, professional truck driver.
5. Understanding CMV Responsibilities
Operating CMV in accordance with local laws, and knowing about all the ordinances, regulations, and jurisdiction issues becomes a major responsibility of all professional truckers. Keeping up-to-date on any changes revolving around CMV responsibilities is also essential, and will become a major part of any professional trucker’s job.
6. Drug and Alcohol Tests
Drug and alcohol tests are sometimes required for truck drivers. Depending on your location, and your employer, the frequency of needed tests can vary wildly. Once again, this requirement is there to protect drivers and everyone else on the road. Those addicted to drugs and alcohol are high-risk and are more likely to be distracted or intoxicated while driving. Failing such a test can put your license at risk.
7. Sickness Updates
It is often illegal to operate a heavy truck while seriously ill or fatigued. When you’re sick, your ability to drive safely, and to stay aware of your surroundings is significantly decreased. Grave emergencies should be handled immediately, to keep the driver safe and ready to get back on the road soon. Depending on your employer, the protocol for when you become ill or fatigued can differ drastically.
8. Keeping Other Drivers Up-to-Date
Truckers frequently communicate with other drivers to understand the conditions of the road and to become updated in advance about any obstacles or accidents that they might come across. The tight-knit nature of trucking makes the job one that requires a high level of communication skills. Other updates might need to be given while on the road, so knowing how to use the radio system effectively is crucial.
9. Logging Hours Correctly
Logging hours correctly is crucial to being an efficient, professional truck driver. Service and logging regulations differ depending on the company you work for, and where you are driving, so be sure to study up on them if you’re looking to become a professional truck driver. Doing so will also help optimize your driving routes, and job performance, in the future.
Your Career as a Truck Driver Begins Now
If you’re looking to become a truck driver, the massive demand for employees in the industry makes it the perfect time to take your first step. As you prepare to start your career, you’ll get an even clearer understanding of what your day-to-day job will be like. With this information, you’ll be ready to learn the ropes, and you’ll stand out from others looking to begin a career as a professional truck driver.