What does a Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Driver do?

Drive a tractor-trailer combination or a truck with a capacity of at least 26,000 pounds Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW). May be required to unload truck. Requires commercial drivers' license.

Jobs Roles

  • Follow appropriate safety procedures for transporting dangerous goods.
  • Check vehicles to ensure that mechanical, safety, and emergency equipment is in good working order.
  • Maintain logs of working hours or of vehicle service or repair status, following applicable state and federal regulations.
  • Obtain receipts or signatures for delivered goods and collect payment for services when required.
  • Maneuver trucks into loading or unloading positions, following signals from loading crew and checking that vehicle and loading equipment are properly positioned.
  • Drive trucks with capacities greater than 3 tons, including tractor-trailer combinations, to transport and deliver products, livestock, or other materials.
  • Secure cargo for transport, using ropes, blocks, chain, binders, 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 to determine vehicle routes.
  • Couple or uncouple trailers by changing trailer jack positions, connecting or disconnecting air or electrical lines, or manipulating fifth-wheel locks.
  • Collect delivery instructions from appropriate sources, verifying instructions and routes.
  • Check conditions of trailers after contents have been unloaded to ensure that there has been no damage.
  • Crank trailer landing gear up or down to safely secure vehicles.
  • Perform basic vehicle maintenance tasks, such as adding oil, fuel, or radiator fluid or performing minor repairs.
  • Inventory and inspect goods to be moved to determine quantities and conditions.
  • Remove debris from loaded trailers.
  • Follow special cargo-related procedures, such as checking refrigeration systems for frozen foods or providing food or water for livestock.
  • Give directions to laborers who are packing goods and moving them onto trailers.
  • Install or remove special equipment, such as tire chains, grader blades, plow blades, or sanders.
  • Perform emergency roadside repairs, such as changing tires or installing light bulbs, tire chains, or spark plugs.
  • Operate trucks equipped with snowplows or sander attachments to maintain roads in winter weather.
  • Drive electric or hybrid-electric powered trucks or alternative fuel-powered trucks to transport and deliver products, livestock, or other materials.
  • Operate idle reduction systems or auxiliary power systems to generate power from alternative sources, such as fuel cells, to reduce idling time, to heat or cool truck cabins, or to provide power for other equipment.
  • Plan or adjust routes based on changing conditions, using computer equipment, global positioning systems (GPS) equipment, or other navigation devices to minimize fuel consumption and carbon emissions.
  • Inspect loads to ensure that cargo is secure.
  • Check all load-related documentation for completeness and accuracy.
  • Drive trucks to weigh stations before and after loading and along routes in compliance with state regulations.
  • Operate equipment, such as truck cab computers, CB radios, phones, or global positioning systems (GPS) equipment to exchange necessary information with bases, supervisors, or other drivers.
  • Load or unload trucks or help others with loading or unloading, using special loading-related equipment or other equipment as necessary.
  • Wrap and secure goods using pads, packing paper, containers, or straps.
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