A career in commercial truck driving can be rewarding, bring in a decent salary, but can also be physically challenging. Spending long periods away from home is the norm, but on the other hand, CDL drivers get the opportunity to see the country and work in an independent manner. Below is a CDL driver job description, setting out the rules and regulations that are required.
Truck driver Job Description
A truck driver may work locally, delivering products to business and clients nearby. A route driver will generally work the same route each day or week, whereas a delivery and pick-up driver will carry goods between a business or transport center and the customer, these jobs also being localized to a specific area.
A long haul driver on the other hand will carry merchandise in his truck over state lines. Many of these drivers will have a consistent route, whereas others will travel all over the country. Some CDL drivers will carry a specialized cargo such as hazardous materials or automobiles.
Duties of the job
Although the essential part of any CDL job is driving, some drivers will be responsible for unloading and loading. Rest periods governed by the law must be abided to and written down in the log book of activities. A vehicle inspection record is also kept by the driver, the record ensuring that all safety equipment is in place on the truck. A local delivery driver may also be required to collect cash or signatures from clients as well as the selling of goods.
Legal CDL Requirements
A commercial truck driver must hold a CDL license that allows them to operate a vehicle weighing over 26,001 pounds, in accordance with the US department of transportation. Special endorsements will also be required on the license when hazardous or oversized cargoes will be transported. To obtain an endorsement, you must pass a knowledge tests and a TSA threat assessment. (Transportation Security Administration)
Training programs are available that teach techniques for driving large commercial trucks on highways as well as city streets. This training is in preparation for the CDL license test. To take the test the student must be at least 18, and to drive interstate the age rises to 21 years of age. Training will be behind the wheel of trucks that are both loaded and unloaded with various weights of cargo. To obtain a CDL license, a medical examination is also required. On the job training is often given be employers, and inexperienced drivers will often be paired with a CDL driver with experience.