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Truck Driver

No Formal Qualifications Other Qualification Aptitude Tests Licence Traineeship Year 10 Preferred Minimum Age 18+

Truck drivers use heavy vehicles to transport goods and materials from one location to another.

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.

This profession often requires early starts, long shifts, days away from home, as well as travelling long distances to country, interstate or remote areas.

Some trucks are equipped with bunks, televisions, refrigerators and ergonomically designed seats.

TASKS

    Truck drivers may perform the following tasks:

  • 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 loads are correctly placed and secured to avoid damage to the truck or goods
  • couple and uncouple trailers
  • perform pre- and mid-trip vehicle and security inspections
  • carry out basic vehicle maintenance
  • drive vehicles to their destination and unload
  • carry out administrative duties, such as checking items against the inventory, recording damage, collecting payments and issuing receiptsenter information into in-cab electronic equipment to record required trip information
  • maintain a work diary with details of trips

PERSONAL REQUIREMENTS

  • enjoy practical work
  • mechanical aptitude
  • able to drive safely
  • able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • safety-conscious
  • meet any age restrictions that may apply
Good Outlook
Good Outlook for this career!


Interest Area

Manual/Practical Outdoor

SPECIALISATIONS

Bulk Liquid/Pressurised Gas Driver - carries liquids/pressurised gases in specially designed trailers (tankers), usually for chemical companies or mining organisations. Drivers need to be aware of safety issues regarding loading, unloading, handling, separation of dangerous goods and emergency response. Drivers must also follow safety guidelines for Road Tank Vehicles for Dangerous Goods, as specified by Standards Australia.

Car Carrier Driver - transports vehicles between the ports, holding depots and car dealerships locally or over long distances.

Cash-in-Transit Operator - drives armoured vehicles carrying cash and other valuables. They provide surveillance, manually handle cash, operate automated teller machine (ATM) combinations and service ATMs. They operate vehicle security and emergency communication devices and handle firearms and other personal protection devices.

Cash-in-transit operators usually require a police clearance, a security guard licence, a firearms licence and a Provide First Aid Certificate.

Concrete Agitator Operator - transports concrete between cement plants and building sites, using specially designed vehicles which mix the concrete to prevent it from setting.

Dangerous Goods/Explosives Driver - carries dangerous goods or explosives, usually for chemical companies or mining organisations. Drivers need to be aware of safety issues regarding loading, unloading, handling, separation of dangerous goods and emergency response.

Heavy Haulage Driver - transports oversized loads such as transportable houses or machinery using specially designed trailers. Some oversized loads are required to be accompanied by a pilot vehicle operator.

Heavy Truck Driver - drives heavy trucks, requiring a special licence, to transport bulky goods or materials. They may specialise as livestock transporters, log haulers, multi-combination drivers and tanker drivers.

Livestock Transport Driver - transports livestock, usually sheep or cattle, between farms and abattoirs or ports for export. Their work often involves long hours and extended periods of physical activity outdoors while loading and unloading stock. They may be required to drive in remote rural areas and on unsealed roads.

Logging Truck Driver - carries unprocessed timber between plantations and timber mills. Trucks/trailers are usually fitted with a log loading device, which requires a licence to operate. They may be required to drive in remote rural areas and on unsealed roads.

Pilot Vehicle Operator - accompanies trucks carrying oversized loads above the length or width regulated by the transport department. Pilots warn other road users that an oversized load is ahead or oncoming and, when required, clear the way for the oversized load, or prevent other road users from overtaking or interfering with the cargo. Pilots in some states and territories may also have the power to direct traffic.

Refrigerated Goods Driver - transports refrigerated goods in specially designed vehicles or trailers which are heavily insulated or fitted with refrigeration equipment. Drivers will be required to service the refrigeration equipment and check the temperature of the refrigerated areas at regular intervals. Drivers must also adhere to health and food hygiene regulations.

Tip Truck Operator - transports solid materials, such as gravel and sand, to and from building sites or mine sites. Tip truck operators are usually required to work off-road.

Tow Truck Driver - removes broken down or crashed vehicles from the roadway. Tow truck drivers may be called out at all hours of the night and in bad weather. Tow truck drivers require a police clearance.

EDUCATION & TRAINING


No Formal Qualifications Other Qualification Aptitude Tests Licence Traineeship Year 10 Preferred Minimum Age 28+

You can work as a truck driver without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job. Applicants must also undertake practical and written tests and obtain one or more heavy vehicle licences before commencing work. Contact Roads and Maritime Services NSW or ACT Road Transport Authority for more information.

You can also become a truck driver through a traineeship in Driving Operations.

Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.


Additional Information

    Once you are employed, you may be able to develop, and have recognised, additional skills under the Transport and Logistics Training Package that will expand your career opportunities within this industry.

    You may be required to hold special licences when transporting certain cargoes, especially if you carry dangerous substances. In order to qualify for these licences, you may need to submit a medical certificate, an acceptable driving record and provide evidence of attending a competency training course administered by a Registered Training Organisation. Contact SafeWork NSW or WorkSafe ACT for more information.

    When operating forklifts, you will require a High Risk Work Licence. For more information, refer to the separate entry for Forklift Operator.

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Truck drivers may be employed by commercial firms, mining, manufacturing and transport companies, and government authorities, or they may be self-employed. Demand for truck drivers depends upon the economy and on competition from other carriers such as rail and air freighters.

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More Information - External Links

Job Outlook for Truck Driver Australian Trucking Association Logistics Information and Navigation Centre Minerals Council of Australia Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council NSW Roads and Maritime Services ACT Road Transport Authority SafeWork NSW WorkSafe ACT


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