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What Does A Lead Driver Do?

Lead drivers are professionals who are responsible for supervising the staff drivers of either a logistics or trucking company. These lead drivers must manage the communication between drivers and personnel while generating dispatch reports base on their drivers' tracking logs. They must ensure that vehicles are fit for use according to the standards of the Department of Transportation (DOT) by checking engines and maintaining sufficient fluid levels of all vehicles. Lead drivers must also train and supervise new drivers about the company's policy and safety regulations.

Here are examples of responsibilities from real lead driver resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage quality communication, customer support and product representation for each client.
  • Transport freight OTR and train drivers.
  • Investigate driver accidents and injuries and review driver CDL license and medical cards.
  • Position require various FAA and Hazmat certifications.
  • Recognize by manager for implementing significant cost saving strategies relate to meeting drug testing requirements for CDL professionals
  • Determine shortest routes base on GPS navigation, traffic, and delivery list.
  • Implement and train drivers on current telematics programs while maintaining safety and upholding performance standards.
  • Sort packages by region, deliver packages to customers, handle cash-on-delivery payments, process business pickups, utilize DIAD board technology
Lead Driver Traits
Hand-eye coordination
Hand-eye coordination describes being skilled in using your hands when it comes to physical activity.
Hearing ability
A person's hearing ability allows them to detect sounds and noises.
Physical health refers to the condition that one's body is in.

Lead Driver Overview

When it comes to understanding what a lead driver does, you may be wondering, "should I become a lead driver?" The data included in this section may help you decide. Compared to other jobs, lead drivers have a growth rate described as "as fast as average" at 5% between the years 2018 - 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the number of lead driver opportunities that are predicted to open up by 2028 is 99,700.

On average, the lead driver annual salary is $38,850 per year, which translates to $18.68 an hour. Generally speaking, lead drivers earn anywhere from $33,000 to $44,000 a year, which means that the top-earning lead drivers make $11,000 more than the ones at the lower end of the spectrum.

It's hard work to become a lead driver, but even the most dedicated employees consider switching careers from time to time. Whether you're interested in a more challenging position or just looking for a fresh start, we've compiled extensive information on becoming a driver/owner operator, truck driver-over-the-road, driver supervisor, and delivery truck driver.

Lead Driver Jobs You Might Like

Lead Driver Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 24% of Lead Drivers are proficient in DOT, CDL, and Company Policies. They’re also known for soft skills such as Hand-eye coordination, Hearing ability, and Physical health.

We break down the percentage of Lead Drivers that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • DOT, 24%

    Processed weekly and monthly DOT mileage reports and assisted supervisor with additional administrative duties as required.

  • CDL, 9%

    Recognized by manager for implementing significant cost saving strategies related to meeting drug testing requirements for CDL professionals

  • Company Policies, 8%

    Assisted drivers in transportation and processes within United Stationers company policies.

  • Timely Delivery, 6%

    Moved delicate equipment or instruments for industrial firms, scheduled appointments and organize delivery times.

  • New Drivers, 6%

    Trained multiple new drivers Exceeded company objectives regarding productivity Partnered successfully with the safety department to produce new safe drivers

  • Customer Service, 5%

    Maintained timely deliveries locally and over the road; developed relationships through quality customer service offering targeted solutions to meet future needs

"dot," "cdl," and "company policies" aren't the only skills we found lead drivers list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of lead driver responsibilities that we found, including:

  • Arguably the most important personality trait for a lead driver to have happens to be hand-eye coordination. An example from a resume said this about the skill, "drivers of heavy trucks and tractor-trailers must be able to coordinate their legs, hands, and eyes simultaneously so that they will react appropriately to the situation around them and drive the vehicle safely." Additionally, other resumes have pointed out that lead drivers can use hand-eye coordination to "job required communication and coordination with other employees. "
  • Another trait important for fulfilling lead driver duties is hearing ability. According to a lead driver resume, "truck drivers need good hearing." Here's an example of how lead drivers are able to utilize hearing ability: "provided clients with transportation to their medical appointments including therapy, dentistry, hearing and dialysis. "
  • Lead drivers are also known for physical health, which can be critical when it comes to performing their duties. An example of why this skill is important is shown by this snippet that we found in a lead driver resume: "federal regulations do not allow people to become truck drivers if they have a medical condition, such as high blood pressure or epilepsy, which may interfere with their ability to operate a truck" We also found this resume example that details how this skill is put to the test: "trained new drivers on safety and company sop, as well as health concerns of handling of household waste. "
  • A thorough review of lots of resumes revealed to us that "visual ability" is important to completing lead driver responsibilities. This resume example shows just one way lead drivers use this skill: "truck drivers must be able to pass vision tests" Here's an example of how this skill is used from a resume that represents typical lead driver tasks: "instruct students in classroom training with use of visual aids and audio equipment. "
  • See the full list of lead driver skills.

    We've found that 15.8% of lead drivers have earned a bachelor's degree. Furthermore, 2.4% earned their master's degrees before becoming a lead driver. While it's true that some lead drivers have a college degree, it's generally possible to become one with only a high school degree. In fact, one out of every two lead drivers did not spend the extra money to attend college.

    The lead drivers who went onto college to earn a more in-depth education generally studied business and criminal justice, while a small population of lead drivers studied general studies and automotive technology.

    When you're ready to become a lead driver, you might wonder which companies hire lead drivers. According to our research through lead driver resumes, lead drivers are mostly hired by Clutter Co, Medline Industries, and Swift Transportation. Now is a good time to apply as Clutter Co has 90 lead drivers job openings, and there are 4 at Medline Industries and 4 at Swift Transportation.

    But if you're interested in companies where you might earn a high salary, lead drivers tend to earn the biggest salaries at Wipro, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, and PODS. Take Wipro for example. The median lead driver salary is $46,115. At Dr Pepper Snapple Group, lead drivers earn an average of $40,156, while the average at PODS is $39,025. You should take into consideration how difficult it might be to secure a job with one of these companies.

    View more details on lead driver salaries across the United States.

    We also looked into companies who hire lead drivers from the top 100 educational institutions in the U.S. The top three companies that hire the most from these institutions include Uber Technologies, UPS, and Lyft.

    The industries that lead drivers fulfill the most roles in are the transportation and retail industries. But the highest lead driver annual salary is in the transportation industry, averaging $43,053. In the manufacturing industry they make $40,714 and average about $39,839 in the hospitality industry. In conclusion, lead drivers who work in the transportation industry earn a 21.1% higher salary than lead drivers in the automotive industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious lead drivers are:

      What Driver/Owner Operators Do

      Driver/owner-operators are self-employed commercial truck drivers who operate trucks to transport goods for their customers. Most of these operators started working as drivers for trucking companies to gain experience and decide if it's the right career path for them. They are allowed to haul freelance or agree to a lease agreement dedicating their equipment to one product or customer. To become an owner-operator, one should consider many things, including business set-up, vehicle type, and licenses.

      In this section, we take a look at the annual salaries of other professions. Take driver/owner operator for example. On average, the driver/owner operators annual salary is $91,858 higher than what lead drivers make on average every year.

      While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both lead drivers and driver/owner operators positions are skilled in dot, cdl, and company policies.

      As far as similarities go, this is where it ends because a lead driver responsibility requires skills such as "safety meetings," "tractor trailer," "pickup," and "safety standards." Whereas a driver/owner operator is skilled in "dump truck," "delivery instructions," "qualcomm," and "building materials." So if you're looking for what truly separates the two careers, you've found it.

      Driver/owner operators really shine in the utilities industry with an average salary of $123,506. Whereas lead drivers tend to make the most money in the transportation industry with an average salary of $43,053.

      Driver/owner operators tend to reach similar levels of education than lead drivers. In fact, driver/owner operators are 2.1% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.1% less likely to have a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Truck Driver-Over-The-Road?

      A truck driver-over-the-road (OTR) is a professional driver who specializes in hauling items such as heavy freight, machinery, or construction materials from a home terminal to delivery points. OTR truck drivers usually spend more time on the road due to the long distances they are required to reach. To avoid vehicular breakdowns and delays, OTR drivers are required to inspect their trucks and review shipping and transport documents. They are also responsible for unloading freights and collect charges from customers.

      Next up, we have the truck driver-over-the-road profession to look over. This career brings along a higher average salary when compared to a lead driver annual salary. In fact, truck driver-over the roads salary difference is $28,268 higher than the salary of lead drivers per year.

      Not everything about these jobs is different. Take their skills, for example. Lead drivers and truck driver-over the roads both include similar skills like "dot," "cdl," and "company policies" on their resumes.

      While some skills are similar in these professions, other skills aren't so similar. For example, several resumes showed us that lead driver responsibilities requires skills like "timely delivery," "safety meetings," "pickup," and "safety standards." But a truck driver-over-the-road might use skills, such as, "over-the-road," "fmcsa," "on-time delivery," and "general freight."

      Truck driver-over the roads may earn a higher salary than lead drivers, but truck driver-over the roads earn the most pay in the transportation industry with an average salary of $72,104. On the other side of things, lead drivers receive higher paychecks in the transportation industry where they earn an average of $43,053.

      On the topic of education, truck driver-over the roads earn similar levels of education than lead drivers. In general, they're 2.0% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.1% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How a Driver Supervisor Compares

      Driver supervisors are professionals who are responsible for supervising all activities that are related to the operation of motor vehicles that transport materials for logistics companies. These supervisors are required to select and orient drivers about their roles and ensure that they are following the guidelines provided by the Department of Transportation (DOT). They must regularly audit delivery routes with their drivers so that they can achieve safe and efficient deliveries. Driver supervisors must also conduct investigations for those drivers involved in vehicular accidents.

      The driver supervisor profession generally makes a higher amount of money when compared to the average salary of lead drivers. The difference in salaries is driver supervisors making $634 higher than lead drivers.

      By looking over several lead drivers and driver supervisors resumes, we found that both roles utilize similar skills, such as "dot," "cdl," and "company policies." But beyond that the careers look very different.

      As mentioned, these two careers differ between other skills that are required for performing the work exceedingly well. For example, gathering from lead drivers resumes, they are more likely to have skills like "timely delivery," "safety meetings," "pickup," and "mechanical problems." But a driver supervisor might have skills like "ensure compliance," "on-time performance," "paperwork," and "safety training."

      Interestingly enough, driver supervisors earn the most pay in the energy industry, where they command an average salary of $48,784. As mentioned previously, lead drivers highest annual salary comes from the transportation industry with an average salary of $43,053.

      Driver supervisors typically study at similar levels compared with lead drivers. For example, they're 0.1% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.2% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of a Delivery Truck Driver

      A delivery truck driver is primarily responsible for transporting and delivering products to clients, ensuring accuracy and timeliness. They are also responsible for coordinating with logistics staff, loading and unloading packages, handling and managing documentation, following designated schedules and routes, and maintaining records of deliveries, including the missed ones. There are also instances when a delivery truck driver must accept and process payments, respond to customer calls and inquiries, and prepare progress reports. Furthermore, it is essential to perform maintenance checks on vehicles and abide by all traffic laws for a safe and efficient work environment.

      Delivery truck drivers tend to earn a higher pay than lead drivers by about $36,962 per year.

      According to resumes from both lead drivers and delivery truck drivers, some of the skills necessary to complete the responsibilities of each role are similar. These skills include "dot," "cdl," and "timely delivery. "

      Even though a few skill sets overlap, there are some differences that are important to note. For one, a lead driver might have more use for skills like "company policies," "otr," "safety meetings," and "safety standards." Meanwhile, some delivery truck drivers might include skills like "clean driving record," "hard-working," "cod," and "food products" on their resume.

      In general, delivery truck drivers make a higher salary in the hospitality industry with an average of $78,407. The highest lead driver annual salary stems from the transportation industry.

      In general, delivery truck drivers reach similar levels of education when compared to lead drivers resumes. Delivery truck drivers are 3.4% less likely to earn their Master's Degree and 0.5% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.