What does a Truck Driver do?

Truck drivers earn their living by driving a truck and transporting goods and materials. They typically drive a route that takes them to and from retail and distribution centers or manufacturing plants. As long and short distance haulers of goods and materials, they provide essential services for industrialized nations. They move cargo by way of tractor-trailers and know how to connect and disconnect cabs from trailers and basic repair skills including changing a tire. They are trained to operate the vehicle up or down a steep grade while keeping the brakes protected from overheating and keeping loads from shifting on curves.

Truck drivers operate multi-gear transmission vehicles and are educated in safely maneuvering the vehicle and its cargo while staying mindful to its size. They are expected to track their long hours in a log book and get merchandise to a final destination safely and timely. They are responsible for manifest sheets that they check to match their load, and they load and unload their truck. There is no education requirement to be a truck driver, but candidates must be 21 years of age and take the Department of Transportation physical, meet or exceed the medical requirements set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Truck drivers must also complete commercial driver's license training.

What responsibilities are common for Truck Driver jobs?
  • Comply with all company policies, procedures, and safety guidelines.
  • Assist in unloading trailer and delivering product into customer premises.
  • Notify route manager of any incidents, accidents, injures, or property damage.
  • Perform pre and post-trip inspections and complete daily driver logs.
  • Lift objects of various shapes, sizes and weights up to 50 lbs.
  • Responsible for safely operating truck and trailer.
  • Complete assigned route sheet for one Line of Business (LOB).
  • Attend scheduled safety, team meetings and training sessions.
  • Ensure compliance with various state and federal wage/hour laws, signage, postings, etc.
  • Coordinate the operation of the truck driver training program.
  • Ensure that equipment is clean and in good repair.
  • Verify physical container counts, match counts on pick up slips.
  • Work with team to improve route efficiencies.
  • Engage with vendors and associates, ensuring the best possible experience for our customers.
  • Report all maintenance and safety issues to shift lead or supervisor.
  • Ensure proper care of product, equipment, and route settlement daily.
  • Inspect trucks for defects before and after trips and submit report indicating truck conditions.
What are the typical qualifications for Truck Driver jobs?
  • GED/High School Degree and certification to operate oversize vehicles.
  • A professional at all times.
  • Demonstrated ability to bring adaptability and dexterity to the job.
  • Read and interpret condition reports.
  • Strict attention to detail and problem solving skills.
  • Able to load and unload vehicle, navigate on highways and tunnels, and solve problems that may arise on the job.
  • Demonstrated skills in the drop and hook processes.
EducationGED / High School Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.0 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.2 ★
Avg. Experience8+ years

How much does a Truck Driver make?

Confident
$65,197 /yr
Total Pay
$52,476
 /yr

Base Pay

+
$12,722
 /yr

Additional Pay

$65,197

 / yr
$36K$216K
Most Likely Range
Possible Range
See More Insights

Truck Driver Career Path

Learn how to become a Truck Driver, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

L2
Truck Driver
$65,197/yr
L3
L4
Truck Driver Iv
$73,940/yr
L2

Average Years of Experience

0 - 1
4%
2 - 4
2%
5 - 7
0%
8+
94%
Not including years spent in education and/or training
See Career Path

Truck Driver Insights

Read what Truck Driver professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Western ExpressWestern Express
Truck Driver
Feb 3, 2021

“I am new and have lots to learn but they have been nothing but nice and very helpful.”

R. Smith & Sons
Class A Truck Driver
Aug 16, 2021

“trucks are well kept with lots of power and a fun group of guys to work with”

Western ExpressWestern Express
Truck Driver
Nov 13, 2020

“The pay ain’t good at all I worked here 2 years and only got a 2 penny raise”

CEMEXCEMEX
Ready Mix Driver
Mar 3, 2022

“Benefits were good but new drivers will not receive what I did at the time I started.”

SchneiderSchneider
Class A Truck Driver
Jul 14, 2022

“The majority of dispatchers are really nice and try to work with you do get you what you want.”

CR EnglandCR England
OTR Truck Driver
Dec 18, 2021

“Put diesel in truck because fuel card wouldn’t work and never got money back.”

Wren KitchensWren Kitchens
Class A Truck Driver
Aug 27, 2021

“One of the best company I ever work and also the management are very helpful.”

Dunbar Armored
Truck Driver
Apr 5, 2022

“You make minimum wage and expected to risk your life for money that is insured if stolen.”

See More

Truck Driver Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of truck drivers

A typical day as a Truck driver involves transporting materials and goods to and from manufacturing plants or distribution and retail centers. They work long hours and in all types of weather. Some travel longer routes cross country while others complete shorter local trips. They are responsible for connecting and disconnecting the trailer from the cab along with basic truck repairs.

Truck driving isn't a career for everyone. Most people say it's more of a lifestyle than a job and to truly enjoy it you need to like the living on the road lifestyle. For individuals who enjoy working by themselves and driving long distances, it can be quite profitable.

Yes, successful truck drivers get paid well. The average base pay of a truck driver in the United States is $65,197 per year, but their salary can vary depending on experience. Highly experienced truck drivers can make up to $215,682 per year. How much truck drivers get paid depends on their location along with the hours and routes they are willing to work.

There are some downsides to working as a truck driver. They work very long hours, usually around 70 hours each week, and they need to keep detailed records of their hours in their logbook. They are responsible for getting their loads to final destinations on time, confirming the load matches manifest sheets, and loading and unloading the truck.

Related Careers

Delivery Driver
$54,226
50% skills overlap
Bus Driver
$54,191
25% skills overlap
Driver
$56,203
75% skills overlap
School Bus Driver
$52,295
25% skills overlap

Truck Driver Jobs