Delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers pick up, transport, and drop off packages and small shipments within a local region or urban area. They drive trucks with a 26,000-pound gross vehicle weight (GVW) capacity or less. Most of the time, they transport merchandise from a distribution center to businesses and households.
Delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers typically do the following:
- Load and unload their cargo
- Communicate with costumers to determine pickup and delivery needs
- Report any incidents they encounter on the road to a dispatcher
- Follow all applicable traffic laws
- Report serious mechanical problems to the appropriate personnel
- Keep their truck and associated equipment clean and in good working order
- Accept payments for the shipment
- Handle paperwork, such as receipts or delivery confirmation notices
Most drivers generally receive instructions to go to a delivery location at a particular time, and it is up to them to determine the best route. Other drivers have a regular daily or weekly delivery schedule. All drivers must have a thorough understanding of an area’s street grid and know which roads allow trucks and which do not.
Light truck drivers, often called pickup and delivery or P&D drivers, are the most common type of delivery driver. They drive small trucks or vans from distribution centers to delivery locations. Drivers make deliveries based on a set schedule. Some drivers stop at the distribution center once only, in the morning, and make many stops throughout the day. Others make multiple trips between the distribution center and delivery locations. Some drivers make deliveries from a retail location to customers.
Driver/sales workers are delivery drivers who have additional sales responsibilities. They recommend new products to businesses and solicit new customers. These drivers may have a regular delivery route and be responsible for adding new clients located along their route. For example, they may make regular deliveries to a hardware store and encourage the store’s manager to offer a new type of product. Driver/sales workers also deliver goods, such as take-out food to consumers, and accept payment for those goods.
Delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers typically enter their occupations with a high school diploma or equivalent. However, some opportunities exist for those without a high school diploma. Workers undergo 1 month or less of on-the-job training. They must have a driver’s license from the state in which they work and possess a clean driving record.
Delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers typically enter their occupations with a high school diploma or equivalent.
Companies train new delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers on the job. This may include driving training from a driver-mentor who rides along with a new employee to ensure that a new driver is able to operate a truck safely on crowded streets.
New drivers also have training to learn company policies about package dropoffs and returns, taking payment, and what to do with damaged goods.
Driver/sales workers must learn detailed information about the products they offer. Their company also may teach them proper sales techniques, such as how to approach potential new customers.
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
All delivery drivers need a driver’s license.
Some delivery drivers begin as package loaders at warehouse facilities, especially if the driver works for a large company. For more information on package loaders, see the profile on hand laborers and material movers.
Customer-service skills. When completing deliveries, drivers often interact with customers and should make a good impression to ensure repeat business.
Hand-eye coordination. When driving, delivery drivers need to observe their surroundings while simultaneously operating a complex machine.
Math skills. Because delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers sometimes take payment, they must be able to count cash and make change quickly and accurately.
Patience. When driving through heavy traffic congestion, delivery drivers must remain calm and composed.
Sales skills. Driver/sales workers are expected to persuade customers to purchase new or different products from them.
Visual ability. To have a driver’s license, delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers must be able to pass a state vision test.