FIND PERSONALIZED JOBS
Sign up to Zippia and discover your career options with your personalized career search.
APPLY NOW
Apply Now
×
FIND
PERSONALIZED JOBS

CONTENT HAS
BEEN UNLOCKED
Close this window to view unlocked content
or
find interesting jobs in

Log In

Log In to Save

Sign Up to Save

Sign Up to Dismiss

Sign Up

SIGN UP TO UNLOCK CONTENT

or

The email and password you specified are invalid. Please, try again.

Email and password are mandatory

Forgot Password?

Don't have an account? Sign Up

reset password

Enter your email address and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Back to Log In

Log In

Log In to Save

Sign Up to Save

Sign Up to Dismiss

Sign up to save the job and get personalized job recommendations.

Sign up to dismiss the job and get personalized job recommendations.

or

The email and password you specified are invalid. Please, try again.

Email and password are mandatory

Already have an account? Log in

reset password

Enter your email address and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Back to Log In

Company Saved

Answer a few questions and view jobs at that match your preferences.

Where do you want to work?

Job Saved

See your Saved Jobs now

or

find more interesting jobs in

Job Dismissed

Find better matching jobs in

Your search has been saved!

Become A Tow Truck Driver

Where do you want to work?

To get started, tell us where you'd like to work.
Sorry, we can't find that. Please try a different city or state.

Working As A Tow 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

  • $42,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Tow 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.

Show More

Show Less

How To Become A Tow 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.

Show More

Show Less

Do you work as a Tow Truck Driver?

Send To A Friend

Tow Truck Driver Jobs

NO RESULTS

Aw snap, no jobs found.

Add To My Jobs

Do you work as a Tow Truck Driver?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Do you work as a Tow Truck Driver?

Tow Truck Driver Demographics

Gender

Male

93.5%

Female

5.5%

Unknown

1.1%
Ethnicity

White

62.5%

Hispanic or Latino

18.0%

Black or African American

9.9%

Asian

6.1%

Unknown

3.5%
Show More
Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

75.0%

German

4.5%

French

4.5%

Polish

4.5%

Swedish

2.3%

Portuguese

2.3%

Carrier

2.3%

Tagalog

2.3%

Arabic

2.3%
Show More

Tow Truck Driver Education

Schools

Universal Technical Institute

19.6%

University of Phoenix

7.2%

El Paso Community College

6.2%

Delgado Community College

5.2%

Chemeketa Community College

5.2%

Palomar College

5.2%

Cerritos College

5.2%

Fresno City College

4.1%

Lane Community College

4.1%

Shasta College

4.1%

Moraine Valley Community College

4.1%

Kaplan University

4.1%

College of Southern Nevada

4.1%

American River College

3.1%

New England Tractor Trailer Training School

3.1%

Lansing Community College

3.1%

Trident Technical College

3.1%

WyoTech - Fremont

3.1%

University of Nevada - Las Vegas

3.1%

Temple University

3.1%
Show More
Majors

Automotive Technology

24.7%

Business

12.8%

Criminal Justice

11.1%

General Studies

8.7%

Precision Metal Working

4.5%

Electrical Engineering Technology

4.2%

Education

4.0%

Computer Science

3.2%

Liberal Arts

2.6%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

2.6%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.6%

Heavy/Industrial Equipment Maintenance Technologies

2.6%

Management

2.5%

Medical Technician

2.5%

Fire Science And Protection

2.1%

Industrial Technology

1.9%

Graphic Design

1.9%

Computer Information Systems

1.9%

Heating And Air Conditioning

1.9%

Drafting And Design

1.7%
Show More
Degrees

Other

57.5%

Associate

15.9%

Certificate

11.4%

Bachelors

8.4%

Diploma

3.6%

Masters

1.9%

License

1.2%

Doctorate

0.1%
Show More

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Tow Truck Driver?

Have you worked as a Tow Truck Driver? Help other job seekers by rating your experience as a Tow Truck Driver.

Top Skills for A Tow Truck Driver

  1. Customer Vehicles
  2. Tow Truck
  3. Junk Cars
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Ensured proper retrieval of customer vehicles and drop-off at appointed destinations.
  • Pick up and drop vehicles to and from the auction using a roll back style tow truck.
  • Transported, junk cars/trucks to and from junkyard for recycling and disposal via flatbed and tow truck
  • Provided ideal Customer Service by listening and assisting customers accordingly.
  • Performed jump starts, flat tire repairs and lockouts for AAA auto club and various other auto clubs.

What is it like to work as a Tow Truck Driver

5.0

Love it

April 24, 2019 on Zippia

What was your job title?

Tow Truck Driver.. Show More

What do you like the most about working as Tow Truck Driver?

Driving the truck.. Show More

What do you NOT like?

You have to have a CDL and I might not have money to pay for the classes.. Show More

How Would You Rate Working As a Tow Truck Driver?

Are you working as a Tow Truck Driver? Help us rate Tow Truck Driver as a Career.

Top Tow Truck Driver Employers

Show More

Jobs From Top Tow Truck Driver Employers

Tow Truck Driver Videos

The Paycheck! (How Much Do You Make In Truck Driving)

On Call Tow Truck Driver- What Does It Take to be an On Call Tow Truck Driver?

A day in the life of a Tow Truck Driver Part 1

Related to your recently viewed content