A truck driver is a person earning their livelihood by driving trucks and transporting required goods to respective destinations. Transporting finished goods and raw materials, one of the key factors for the smooth operation of industrialized societies is actively fulfilled by running trucks over land. Truck drivers are equally responsible for the safe carriage of goods as they are for the maintenance and smooth-functioning of the trucks used by them. The United States uses a truck classification system, and truck drivers are required to have a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) to operate a Commercial Motor Vehicle weighing in excess of 26,000 pounds. Based on this, a Class-B truck is any single vehicle with a GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) of 26,001 or more, or any such vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 pounds GVWR. Class B-truck drivers need to obtain a license for such vehicles.
Class B Truck drivers are qualified to drive a variety of trucks. Light truck drivers usually work on local delivery routes and do not spend long periods away from their families. Light truck drivers may develop regular routes and customers, and often have the options of working part-time and overtime.
As mentioned earlier a Class B license is required but along with that the truck driver must be well versed with various routes and roads. He needs to have some knowledge about the working of the vehicle so that in case of emergency he can repair it. A truck driver should also be able to use electronic delivery tracking systems which have become a norm these days. Loading and unloading of cargo and goods is another important skill that he must possess. He must also have basic reading and writing abilities so that he can manage records and reports. Apart from these, a truck driver should posses the qualities of sincerity, sense of safety for others, punctuality, etc.
Many training courses are offered worldwide for employment in trucking careers. Class B Commercial Driver License Certification programs typically include classroom instruction, practice range instruction, and behind the wheel training. Such courses held by truck driving schools prepare the students to take State Permit Exams for Class B CDL, focusing on the airbrakes and general knowledge of parts. Additional endorsements for special vehicular transport, tanker and multiple trailers pulls and bus driving may be included in some programs at additional cost.
Experience plays an important role in trucking careers. As the truck driver drives more and more, he learns new things about places, vehicles and gains immense experience which may prove to be helpful in emergencies.
US Department of Labor statistics at www.bls.gov show that most local truck drivers are paid hourly, and may earn extra pay for working overtime. Light delivery truck drivers made a median hourly wage of $11 to $12 according to the statistics of May 2004. A career as a truck driver is a job that is well suited for a person with very low academic skills who knows and loves driving. This does not mean that others who too love driving trucks don’t fit into the category. All in all, it is an adventurous job and anyone with the love for truck driving should consider it.