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Details for Truck Drivers, Heavy and Tractor-Trailer


Drive a tractor-trailer combination or a truck with a capacity of at least 26,000 GVW, to transport and deliver goods, livestock, or materials in liquid, loose, or packaged form. May be required to unload truck. May require use of automated routing equipment. Requires commercial drivers' license.


  • Follow appropriate safety procedures when transporting dangerous goods.
  • Check vehicles before driving them to ensure that mechanical, safety, and emergency equipment is in good working order.
  • Maintain logs of working hours and of vehicle service and repair status, following applicable state and federal regulations.
  • Obtain receipts or signatures when loads are delivered, and collect payment for services when required.
  • Check all load-related documentation to ensure that it is complete and accurate.
  • Maneuver trucks into loading or unloading positions, following signals from loading crew as needed; check that vehicle position is correct and any special loading equipment is properly positioned.
  • Drive trucks with capacities greater than 3 tons, including tractor-trailer combinations, in order to transport and deliver products, livestock, or other materials.
  • Secure cargo for transport, using ropes, blocks, chain, binders, and/or covers.
  • Read bills of lading to determine assignment details.
  • Report vehicle defects, accidents, traffic violations, or damage to the vehicles.
  • Read and interpret maps in order to determine vehicle routes.
  • Couple and uncouple trailers by changing trailer jack positions, connecting or disconnecting air and electrical lines, and manipulating fifth-wheel locks.
  • Collect delivery instructions from appropriate sources, verifying instructions and routes.
  • Drive trucks to weigh stations before and after loading and along routes, in order to document weights and to comply with state regulations.
  • Operate equipment such as truck cab computers, CB radios, and telephones to exchange necessary information with bases, supervisors, or other drivers.
  • Check conditions of trailers after contents have been unloaded to ensure that there has been no damage.
  • Crank trailer landing gear up and down to safely secure vehicles.
  • Wrap goods using pads, packing paper, and containers, and secure loads to trailer walls, using straps.
  • Perform basic vehicle maintenance tasks such as adding oil, fuel, and radiator fluid, or performing minor repairs.
  • Load and unload trucks, or help others with loading and unloading, operating any special loading-related equipment on vehicles and using other equipment as necessary.
  • Inventory and inspect goods to be moved, in order to determine quantities and conditions.
  • Remove any debris from trailers after loading is completed.
  • Climb ladders to inspect loads after loading is complete, in order to ensure that cargo is secure.
  • Follow special procedures related to specific cargo, such as checking refrigeration systems when carrying frozen foods, or providing food and water when carrying livestock.
  • Give directions to laborers who are packing goods and moving them onto trailers.
  • Install and remove special equipment such as tire chains, grader blades, plow blades, and sanders.
  • Collaborate with other drivers as part of a driving team on some trips.
  • Perform emergency roadside repairs such as changing tires and installing light bulbs, tire chains, and spark plugs.
  • Place empty carts and pallets in trailers so they will be available to facilitate placement and movement of goods.
  • Operate trucks equipped with snowplows and sander attachments to maintain roads in winter weather.


  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.


  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.


  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

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