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Become A Maintenance Truck Driver

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Working As A Maintenance 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

  • $25,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Maintenance 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 Maintenance 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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Maintenance Truck Driver Career Paths

Maintenance Truck Driver
Driver Technician Team Leader
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Driver Foreman Superintendent
Construction Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Driver Foreman Project Manager
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Truck Driver Technician Maintenance Supervisor
Maintenance Director
11 Yearsyrs
Truck Driver Foreman Supervisor
Warehouse Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Truck Driver Technician Production Supervisor
Plant Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Coordinator Logistics Coordinator
Logistics Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Field Service Technician Supervisor
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Field Service Technician Owner
Facilities Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Field Service Technician Operations Manager
Terminal Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Electrician Owner/Operator
Operator And Truck Driver
5 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Electrician Superintendent
Quality Control Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Worker Electrician Owner/Operator
General Contractor
5 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Worker Specialist Operation Supervisor
Logistics Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Worker Welder Shop Foreman
Fleet Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Heavy Equipment Operator Specialist Operation Supervisor
Transportation Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Heavy Equipment Operator Shop Foreman Warehouse Manager
Warehouse Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Truck Driver Class A Mail Clerk Logistics Coordinator
Shipping Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Heavy Equipment Operator Truck Driver-Over-The-Road Tank Driver
Lead Driver
5 Yearsyrs
Truck Driver Class A Tank Driver Professional Truck Driver
Flatbed Truck Driver
6 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Heavy Truck Driver 4.0 years
Truck Driver 3.9 years
Tow Truck Driver 2.7 years
Fuel Truck Driver 2.6 years
Haul Truck Driver 2.6 years
Dump Truck Driver 2.3 years
Water Truck Driver 1.5 years
Top Careers Before Maintenance Truck Driver
Driver 18.7%
Truck Driver 13.8%
Cashier 4.7%
Welder 3.7%
Supervisor 3.6%
Mechanic 3.3%
Janitor 2.7%
Cook 2.4%
Top Careers After Maintenance Truck Driver
Driver 22.2%
Truck Driver 14.0%
Welder 2.7%
Technician 2.7%
Supervisor 2.4%
Manager 2.1%

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Top Skills for A Maintenance Truck Driver

  1. Preventative Maintenance
  2. Delivery Trucks
  3. Safety Guidelines
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Machine Repair and Maintenance - Industrial Wood Working Machinery* Preventative maintenance and repair of manufacturing facility* Electrical wiring* Delivery Truck Driver
  • Maintained highway safety guidelines, constructed and repaired state property.
  • Provide excellent customer service and effectively resolve problems or complaints.
  • Assisted in driving two-ton dump trucks, front end-loaders, forklifts, jack-hammers and various hydraulic mowers.
  • Delivered Ready Mix, maintained company trucks, snow removal, ran end dump, operated pump truck with overhead boom.

Maintenance Truck Driver Demographics

Gender

Male

83.3%

Unknown

11.7%

Female

5.1%
Ethnicity

White

63.6%

Hispanic or Latino

17.7%

Black or African American

10.4%

Asian

5.0%

Unknown

3.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

71.7%

Portuguese

6.5%

German

4.3%

Swedish

2.2%

Danish

2.2%

Albanian

2.2%

Samoan

2.2%

Japanese

2.2%

Amharic

2.2%

Norwegian

2.2%

Italian

2.2%
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Maintenance Truck Driver Education

Schools

Universal Technical Institute

8.3%

University of Phoenix

8.3%

The Academy

6.0%

Kaplan University

6.0%

Apex Technical School

6.0%

Fresno City College

4.8%

University of Southern Indiana

4.8%

University of North Dakota

4.8%

University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point

4.8%

Suffolk County Community College

4.8%

Bergen Community College

4.8%

Carl Sandburg College

4.8%

Manchester Community College

4.8%

Long Beach City College

4.8%

Community College of Allegheny County

4.8%

Syracuse University

3.6%

Ohio University -

3.6%

Indiana University - Purdue University Fort Wayne

3.6%

Mercy College - Dobbs Ferry

3.6%

Minnesota State University - Moorhead

3.6%
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Majors

Business

18.8%

Automotive Technology

11.1%

General Studies

10.7%

Criminal Justice

7.7%

Precision Metal Working

5.1%

Electrical Engineering Technology

4.2%

Industrial Technology

4.2%

Computer Science

4.0%

Accounting

4.0%

Electrical Engineering

3.8%

General Education, Specific Areas

3.2%

English

3.0%

Graphic Design

3.0%

Heating And Air Conditioning

3.0%

Education

2.8%

Management

2.6%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

2.6%

Medical Technician

2.4%

Fire Science And Protection

2.2%

Mechanical Engineering

2.2%
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Degrees

Other

49.3%

Associate

16.6%

Bachelors

13.4%

Certificate

12.1%

Diploma

5.3%

Masters

1.8%

License

1.3%

Doctorate

0.2%
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