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Become A Log Truck Driver

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Working As A Log Truck Driver

  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Getting Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Controlling Machines and Processes
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Stressful

  • $58,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Log Truck Driver Do

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers transport goods from one location to another. Most tractor-trailer drivers are long-haul drivers and operate trucks with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) capacity of more than 26,000 pounds. These drivers deliver goods over intercity routes, sometimes spanning several states.

Duties

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers typically do the following:

  • Drive long distances
  • Report to a dispatcher any incidents encountered on the road
  • Follow all applicable traffic laws
  • Inspect their trailers before and after the trip, and record any defects they find
  • Maintain a log of their working hours, following all federal and state regulations
  • Report serious mechanical problems to the appropriate personnel
  • Keep their trucks and associated equipment clean and in good working order

Most heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers’ routes are assigned by a dispatcher, but some independent drivers still plan their own routes. They may use satellite tracking to help them plan.

A driver must know which roads allow trucks and which do not. Drivers also must plan legally required rest periods into their trip. Some drivers have one or two routes that they drive regularly, and others drivers take many different routes throughout the country. Also, some drivers have routes that include Mexico or Canada.

Companies sometimes use two drivers, known as teams, on long runs in order to minimize downtime. On these team runs, one driver sleeps in a berth behind the cab while the other drives.

Certain cargo requires drivers to adhere to additional safety regulations. Some heavy truck drivers who transport hazardous materials, such as chemical waste, must take special precautions when driving, and may carry specialized safety equipment in case of an accident. Other drivers, such as those carrying liquids, oversized loads, or cars, must follow rules that apply specifically to them.

Some long-haul truck drivers, called owner–operators, buy or lease trucks and go into business for themselves. In addition to their driving tasks, owner-operators also have business tasks, including finding and keeping clients and doing administrative work, such as accounting.

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How To Become A Log Truck Driver

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers usually have a high school diploma and attend a professional truckdriving school. They must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL).

Education

Most companies require their truck drivers to have a high school diploma or equivalent.

Many companies require drivers to attend professional truckdriving schools, where they take training courses to learn how to maneuver large vehicles on highways or through crowded streets. During these classes, drivers also learn the federal laws and regulations governing interstate truck driving. Students attend either a private truckdriving school or a program at a community college that lasts between 3 and 6 months.

Upon finishing their classes, drivers receive a certificate of completion.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is considering a requirement that mandates all newly hired interstate truck drivers to take a truckdriving course.

The Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI) certifies a small percentage of driver-training courses at truckdriver training schools that meet both the industry standards and the U.S. Department of Transportation guidelines for training tractor-trailer drivers.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

All long-haul truck drivers must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Qualifications for obtaining a CDL vary by state but generally include passing both a knowledge test and a driving test. States have the right to refuse to issue a CDL to anyone who has had a CDL suspended by another state.

Drivers can get endorsements to their CDL that show their ability to drive a specialized type of vehicle. Truck drivers transporting hazardous materials (HAZMAT) must have a hazardous materials endorsement (H). Getting this endorsement requires passing an additional knowledge test and a background check.

Federal regulations require random testing of on-duty truck drivers for drug or alcohol abuse. In addition, truck drivers can have their CDL suspended if they are convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or are convicted of a felony involving the use of a motor vehicle.

Other actions can result in a suspension after multiple violations. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website has a list of these violations. Additionally, some companies have stricter standards than what federal regulations require.

Training

After completing truckdriving school and being hired by a company, drivers normally receive between 1 and 3 months of on-the-job training. During this time, they drive a truck with a more experienced mentor–driver in the passenger seat. This period of on-the-job training is given so that the new drivers will learn more about the specific type of truck they will drive and material they will transport.

Important Qualities

Hand-eye coordination. 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.

Hearing ability. Truck drivers need good hearing. Federal regulations require that a driver be able to hear a forced whisper in one ear at 5 feet (with or without the use of a hearing aid).

Physical health. 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. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website has a full list of medical conditions that disqualify someone from driving a long-haul truck.

Visual ability. Truck drivers must be able to pass vision tests. Federal regulations require a driver to have at least 20/40 vision with a 70-degree field of vision in each eye and the ability to distinguish the colors on a traffic light.

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Average Length of Employment
Heavy Truck Driver 4.0 years
Truck Driver 3.9 years
Semi Truck Driver 3.6 years
Class A Driver 3.4 years
Driver 3.1 years
Log Truck Driver 3.0 years
Tank Truck Driver 2.6 years
Haul Truck Driver 2.6 years
Fuel Truck Driver 2.6 years
Local Truck Driver 2.5 years
Dump Truck Driver 2.3 years
Water Truck Driver 1.5 years
Top Careers Before Log Truck Driver
Truck Driver 25.0%
Driver 11.5%
Welder 3.2%
Operator 3.1%
Foreman 2.5%
Carpenter 1.8%
Top Careers After Log Truck Driver
Truck Driver 25.5%
Driver 14.1%
CDL Driver 2.2%
Welder 1.6%

Do you work as a Log Truck Driver?

Average Yearly Salary
$58,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$31,000
Min 10%
$58,000
Median 50%
$58,000
Median 50%
$58,000
Median 50%
$58,000
Median 50%
$58,000
Median 50%
$58,000
Median 50%
$58,000
Median 50%
$108,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Louis Co
Highest Paying City
Anderson, CA
Highest Paying State
District of Columbia
Avg Experience Level
2.9 years
How much does a Log Truck Driver make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Log Truck Driver in the United States is $58,895 per year or $28 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $31,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $108,000.

Real Log Truck Driver Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Log Truck Driver, Tractor Trailer Nadeau Trucking LLC ME Jun 24, 2016 $31,305
Log Truck Driver, Tractor Trailer Pascal Lessard Inc. ME Jun 07, 2015 $31,305
Log Truck Driver, Tractor Trailer Louis Lessard Inc. ME Jun 07, 2015 $31,305
Log Truck Driver, Tractor Trailer Pascal Lessard Inc. ME May 06, 2016 $31,305
Log Truck Driver, Tractor Trailer Louis Lessard Inc. ME May 06, 2016 $31,305
Log Truck Driver Tractor Trailer Pepin Lumber Inc. ME Jun 15, 2016 $31,305
Log Truck Driver Tractor Trailer Trucking GH Inc. ME Jun 20, 2016 $31,305
Log Truck Driver Tractor Trailer Trucking GH Inc. ME Jun 15, 2015 $31,305
Log Truck Driver, Tractor Trailer Edmond Roy & Sons Inc. ME Aug 29, 2016 $31,305
Log Truck Driver Tractor Trailer Les Entreprises Forestieres G. Doyon Ltee ME Sep 26, 2016 $31,305
Log Truck Driver Tractor Trailer YPC Forest Enterprise Inc. ME Feb 11, 2016 $31,305
Log Truck Driver, Tractor Trailer Louis Lessard Inc. ME Jun 08, 2014 $31,305
Log Truck Driver Tractor Trailer Pepin Lumber Inc. ME Jun 15, 2014 $31,305
Log Truck Driver Tractor Trailer Trucking GH Inc. ME Jun 23, 2014 $31,305

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Top Skills for A Log Truck Driver

  1. Haul Trucks
  2. Job Site
  3. Log Book
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Used safe driving practices while transporting logs to and from job sites.
  • Maintained a daily, legible DOT log book and submitted corresponding documents.
  • Conducted daily DOT pre-trip inspections according to a set checklist.
  • Transport logs from logging operation to various lumber/veneer mills safely and efficiently.
  • Operate lowboy trailer to transport heavy equipment.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Log Truck Drivers

  1. Wyoming
  2. North Dakota
  3. Illinois
  4. Alaska
  5. Pennsylvania
  6. Indiana
  7. Nevada
  8. Kentucky
  9. Kansas
  10. Rhode Island
  • (267 jobs)
  • (324 jobs)
  • (10,797 jobs)
  • (50 jobs)
  • (7,329 jobs)
  • (4,414 jobs)
  • (366 jobs)
  • (2,617 jobs)
  • (2,607 jobs)
  • (218 jobs)

Log Truck Driver Demographics

Gender

Male

86.3%

Female

7.4%

Unknown

6.3%
Ethnicity

White

71.2%

Black or African American

11.9%

Hispanic or Latino

8.6%

Asian

4.9%

Unknown

3.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

100.0%

Log Truck Driver Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

18.2%

Northern Maine Community College

9.1%

Grays Harbor College

6.1%

College of the Redwoods

6.1%

South Puget Sound Community College

6.1%

University of Washington

6.1%

Lane Community College

6.1%

Wiregrass Georgia Technical College

6.1%

ITT Technical Institute-Phoenix

3.0%

American Truck School

3.0%

Williamsburg Technical College

3.0%

Southside Virginia Community College

3.0%

Northeast Technical Institute

3.0%

Vincennes University

3.0%

North Idaho College

3.0%

Nash Community College

3.0%

Arkansas State University

3.0%

Johnson & Wales University

3.0%

Universal Technical Institute-Motorcycle Mechanics

3.0%

Fresno City College

3.0%
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Majors

Business

16.9%

General Studies

10.8%

Precision Metal Working

9.6%

Automotive Technology

8.4%

General Education, Specific Areas

6.0%

Forestry

4.8%

Management

3.6%

Drafting And Design

3.6%

Heavy/Industrial Equipment Maintenance Technologies

3.6%

Computer Science

3.6%

Graphic Design

3.6%

Electrical Engineering

3.6%

Criminal Justice

3.6%

Education

3.6%

Psychology

2.4%

Fine Arts

2.4%

Industrial Technology

2.4%

Theology

2.4%

Surveying, Mapping, And Hydraulic Technologies

2.4%

Curriculum And Instruction

2.4%
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Degrees

Other

53.4%

Bachelors

14.4%

Associate

13.6%

Certificate

11.0%

License

4.2%

Diploma

3.4%
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