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Career Information: Truck Driving / Heavy Equipment Operator / Transportation Operator

Specialty Truck Driving / Heavy Equipment Operator / Transportation Operator

Official Resource National Association of Publicly Funded Truck Driving Schools

Short Definition
Truck drivers use heavy vehicles to transport goods and materials from one area to another.

Expanded Information
A truck driver may perform the following tasks:

  • check brakes, oil, tyres and electrical systems
  • drive defensively and handle hazardous road conditions
  • load goods onto the truck either by hand, or by using a forklift or other lifting equipment
  • make sure that the load is correctly placed and secure it by using ropes and chains to avoid damage to the truck or the goods
  • calculate and estimate the weight of loads to comply with load limits
  • couple and uncouple trailers
  • change heavy tyres and clean and maintain vehicles
  • cover the load with tarpaulin
  • drive vehicles to their destination and unload
  • check items against inventory, noting breakage and damage
  • collect payments and issue receipts
  • maintain a log book with details of trips, including rest breaks on long trips.

Truck drivers may drive company-owned vehicles or be owner-drivers. Owner-drivers must obtain their own delivery work. Truck drivers carry a wide variety of goods, including flammable substances, raw materials, building materials, manufactured goods, livestock and refrigerated products. Being a truck driver may mean early starts and days away from family and friends. Modern technology has improved the driver's comfort with some trucks equipped with bunks, televisions, refrigerators and ergonomically designed seats.

Transportation Managers
Transport managers organise and control the operations of a transportation business. The transport manager's role is becoming increasingly specialised and sophisticated. Transport managers need a thorough understanding of the transport industry and how the four principal modes of transport (road, rail, sea and air) interact:

Road Passenger (bus, coach, taxi) transport provided by both government agencies and private companies; goods transport related to general carriers such as courier, taxi truck and heavy haulage services; and the operations of large commercial enterprises which have delivery vehicles such as bakeries, meat and food processors.

Rail Passenger transport in the metropolitan area and passenger and goods transport provided in the country and interstate.

Air Passenger and goods transport provided by private, domestic and overseas airlines.

Sea Passenger and goods transport provided by local and overseas shipping companies.

Transport managers may perform the following tasks:

  • organise the purchase and maintenance of transport vehicles, equipment and fuel
  • talk to clients to work out their requirements
  • devise and put into place transportation schedules and receive orders and bookings
  • make sure goods are stored and transported in conditions which will maintain their quality
  • arrange collection and delivery of vehicles and goods
  • provide vehicles for hire or charter
  • introduce and maintain quality control procedures
  • organise and arrange promotional campaigns for the
  • transportation of goods.