Truck Driver

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The truck drivers below are specialised - some we have described in separate pages. These truck drivers are denoted in bold and are linked to their separate pages. 

Freight Handler (Rail or Road)
Truck Driver's Offsider

Related Jobs or Working with these Jobs

 

 

Practical or MechanicalSkill Level 1Skill Level 2

Truck drivers use big, heavy vehicles to transport goods and materials from one area to another. Truck drivers may be owner-drivers or drive company-owned vehicles. Truck drivers carry a wide FutureGrowthModerate variety of goods, including dangerous or flammable substances, manufactured goods, livestock and refrigerated products.

A truck driver drives trucks for commercial freight and transport purposes. Truck drivers assemble, load, secure, and unload vehicles, transport goods and materials, and perform routine vehicle inspections and maintenance. They may be an owner driver or drive company-owned vehicles. Truck drivers transport and handle a wide variety of loads. Some truck drivers transport food, while others may transport hazardous or pressurised materials. There are truck drivers that use small vehicles and others that drive very large road trains. All truck drivers, regardless of truck size or load type, are responsible for the stability of their load and require one or more special licences.

ANZSCO ID: 733111

Specialisations:

Bulk Liquid/Pressurised Gas Driver

A 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 the Australian Institute of Petroleum's code of practice.
Bulk Liquid Pressurised Gas Driver
(Source: ACP)
Car Carrier Driver

A car carrier driver transports vehicles between the ports and holding depots or car dealerships in the metropolitan area.
Car Carrier
(Source: Driver Jobs)
Cash in Transit Operator or Armoured Car Escort

Armoured Car Escort

A 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 security guard licence, a firearms licence and a first aid certificate.
Armoured Car Escort
(Source: Your Career)
Compact Driver (Rubblish Collection) - Garbage Collector


Garbage Collector
Compact Rubbish Collection Driver
(Source: Waste Management World)
Concrete/Cement Agitator Operator

A concrete agitator operator transports concrete between cement plants and building sites, using specially designed vehicles that mix the concrete to prevent it from setting.

Sometimes called a Concrete Mixer.
Concrete Mixer
(Source: Driver Jobs)
Dangerous Goods/Explosives Driver

A dangerous goods/explosives driver carries dangerous goods and/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.
Toxic Goods Truck
(Source: Holding Redlich)
Delivery Truck Driver

Delivery Driver
Milk Delivery Truck
Milk Delivery Truck
(Source: ABC News)
Furniture Removalist

Furniture Removalist
Furniture Removalist
(Source: Man with a Van)
Heavy Haulage Driver

A 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.
with trailer
Heavy Truck Driver

A 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.
In a Quarry
Livestock Transport Driver

Livestock Transport Driver

A 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.
Livestock Transport Truck
(Source: RSPCA)
Logging Truck Driver

Logging Truck Driver
A 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.
Red Truck
Pilot Vehicle Operator Or Oversize Load Pilot

Oversize Load Pilot



A 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.
Pilot Vehicle Operator
(Source: Forrest Logistics)
Refrigerated Goods Driver

A refrigerated goods driver transports refrigerated goods in specially designed vehicles or trailers that 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.
Refrigerated Goods Truck
(Source: Shazhou)
Rendering Truck Driver/Rendering Maintenance

A rendering truck driver or rendering maintenance professional is responsible for transporting and processing deceased animals to create byproducts.

In this case of rendering, animals have already died due to natural causes, disease, or euthanization and are therefore not meant for human consumption.

Animal remains from meat processing facilities are also often rendered to create other products such as livestock or pet food and biodiesel.

Duties and Tasks

*Schedule and coordinate load schedules with farms and livestock facilities as well as rendering plants
*Visit farms and livestock facilities regularly and on-demand to collect remains of deceased animals
*Transport remains to rendering plants
*Accurately enter rendering sales orders and invoices
*Observe all government and company regulations at all times
*Responsible for any and all needed maintenance on tractor or trailer
*Perform pre-trip inspections including tyres, fuel, and oil
*Regularly clean the truck following load completions and refuel
* Comply with all rules and regulations as well as biosecurity requirements
* Maintain and clean expeller units
* Operate a forklift if necessary
* Maintain a safe and professional working environment

Education and training/entrance requirements

A high school diploma is required to work as a rendering truck driver or in rendering maintenance. If driving truck, you will need a valid Truck License


Employment Opportunities

Rendering and biofuel facilities as well as food, livestock production, and animal/pet food companies employ rendering truck drivers and rendering maintenance professionals.
Rendering Truck
(Source: Loadman)
Tipper Truck Operator

Also called Dump Truck Operators.

A tipper truck operator transports bulk solid materials to and from building sites and/or mine sites.

Tipper truck operators are usually required to work off-road.
Tipper Truck
(Source: I Seek Plant)
Tow Truck Driver

Tow Truck Driver

A 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.

Recovery Mechanic [Army]
Tow Truck
(Source: Autoguru)

Knowledge, skills and attributes    

  • enjoy practical work
  • mechanical aptitude
  • able to drive safely
  • physically fit
  • meet any age limits which may apply.

 

Duties and Tasks

Truck drivers may perform the following tasks:
With Truck
  • load goods onto the truck either by hand, or by using a forklift or other lifting equipment
  • Manoeuvres vehicles into position for loading and unloading.
  • Loads and unloads vehicles using lifting and tipping devices.
  • Observes safety requirements when loading and unloading vehicles.
  • Makes regular quality checks of vehicles to ensure they can be driven safely.
  • Estimates weights to comply with load limitations and ensure safe distribution of weight.
  • Ensures goods are stowed and securely covered to prevent loss and damage.
  • Verifies loading documents, checks condition of goods and obtain certification of deliveries.
  • ensure that the load is correctly placed
  • secure the load using ropes and chains to avoid damage to the truck or the goods
  • cover the load with tarpaulin
  • drive vehicles to their destination and unload
  • maintain a log book with details of trips

 

Working conditions

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, long shifts, days away from home, and travelling long distances to country, interstate or remote areas. Some trucks are equipped with bunks, televisions, refrigerators and ergonomically designed seats.

Truck drivers need to be aware of laws governing the transport of some loads. Some heavy truck drivers require special classes of license, to transport bulky goods or materials. Heavy truck drivers usually deliver goods interstate, and may be required to drive for long periods of time over vast distances.

In order to keep up with the demands long hours and vast distances place on both the driver and truck, truck drivers need to demonstrate:

  • the ability to do some mechanical work
  • a safe driving record
  • a degree of physical fitness

A truck driver can be expected to work irregular hours, make early starts and spend days away from home making deliveries all over Australia.

Before beginning a trip, paper work is required to be filled out correctly. The truck driver is also required to maintain a log book detailing hours of driving, fatigue breaks, fuel consumption and reports of accidents or any problems with the vehicle. In addition to this administrative work, a truck driver needs to check brakes, oil, tyres, electrical systems, water, hydraulics and air, prior to each trip.

Tools and technologies

A core piece of technology used in the trucking industry is the Global Positioning System (GPS). Not only can drivers use a GPS to get to their destination, trucks can be tracked so that customers can be told when to expect their delivery, and management can keep an eye on progress.

Another important piece of technology for truck drivers is the road relay system that keeps drivers informed of the correct matching of the engine and road speeds to preferred power output and fuel economy. This technology assists truck drivers to improve their driving practices, which can save companies thousands of dollars in fuel costs annually.

Truck drivers are responsible for the stability of the load they carry and are often required to assist with loading and unloading cargo. Therefore, they need to know how to use tarpaulins, ropes, tie down straps and moving equipment to secure or move cargo.


Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a Truck Driver (General) without formal qualifications and get training on the job.  A course in driving operations might be helpful.

You can also become qualified to work as a truck driver by completing a traineeship in road transport yard operations (freight handler). This traineeship can take between 12 and 36 months to complete.

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.

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.

Did You Know?

Making a nation: “Afghans” and their camels for Australian inland transport

Camel


It’s estimated that about 20,000 camels were brought from India during the second half of the 19th century to work in the vast internal areas of Australia. Accompanying the camels were Afghan drivers. The term “Afghan” is really a misnomer as few came from Afghanistan but rather more came from parts of India and present-day Pakistan. The Afghans, or Ghans as they became known, were extremely competent at working lines of camels and had great knowledge about the care of their charges, a skill which Europeans failed to master.

Camel Train
Afghan camel train on the Wanaaring Road, north west NSW. Camel trains varied from 20 to 80 camels,1890-1917, photograph by George Bell, MAAS collection, 85/1284-765

By the turn of the 20th century, camel trains were providing transport for almost every major Australian inland development project. These included hauling poles, wire and boulders for the construction of the Overland Telegraph Line and stations, carrying sleepers, food, water and supplies to the men building the desert railways to Oodnadatta and Alice Springs and hauling equipment for the Transcontinental Railway from Port Augusta to Kalgoorlie from 1912 to 1917.
(Source: Powerhouse Museum)

Truck Driver

Mechanic

Taxi Driver

Autoelectrician

Travel Agent

Air Traffic Controller

Furniture Removalist

Bus Driver

Waterside Worker

Forklift Operator

Flight Attendant

Transport Economist

Panel Beater

Pilot

Crane Operator

Coxswain

Logging Truck Driver

Livestock Transport Driver

Mobile Plant Operator

Chauffeur

Flying Instructor

Delivery Driver

Driving Instructor

Transport Company Manager

Ship's Master

Car Detailer

Caravan Park & Camping Ground Manager

Supply, Distribution & Procurement Manager

Helicopter Pilot

Armoured Car Escort

Horse Float Driver

Overload Pilot Operator

Logistics Analyst

Tow Truck Driver

Mechanic

Taxi Driver

Autoelectrician

Truck Driver

Travel Agent

Air Traffic Controller

Furniture Removalist

Bus Driver

Waterside Worker

Forklift Operator

Flight Attendant

Transport Economist

Panel Beater

Pilot

Crane Operator

Coxswain

Logging Truck Driver

Livestock Transport Driver

Mobile Plant Operator

Chauffeur

Flying Instructor

Delivery Driver

Driving Instructor

Transport Company Manager

Ship's Master

Car Detailer

Caravan Park & Camping Ground Manager

Supply, Distribution & Procurement Manager

Helicopter Pilot

Armoured Car Escort

Horse Float Driver

Overload Pilot Operator

Logistics Analyst

Tow Truck Driver

Mechanic

Taxi Driver

Autoelectrician

Truck Driver

Travel Agent

Air Traffic Controller

Furniture Removalist

Bus Driver

Waterside Worker

Forklift Operator

Flight Attendant

Transport Economist

Panel Beater

Pilot

Crane Operator

Coxswain

Logging Truck Driver

Livestock Transport Driver

Mobile Plant Operator

Chauffeur

Flying Instructor

Delivery Driver

Driving Instructor

Transport Company Manager

Ship's Master

Car Detailer

Caravan Park & Camping Ground Manager

Supply, Distribution & Procurement Manager

Helicopter Pilot

Armoured Car Escort

Horse Float Driver

Overload Pilot Operator

Logistics Analyst

Tow Truck Driver

Mechanic

Taxi Driver

Autoelectrician

Truck Driver

Travel Agent

Air Traffic Controller

Furniture Removalist

Bus Driver

Waterside Worker

Forklift Operator

Flight Attendant

Transport Economist

Panel Beater

Pilot

Crane Operator

Coxswain

Logging Truck Driver

Livestock Transport Driver

Mobile Plant Operator

Chauffeur

Flying Instructor

Delivery Driver

Driving Instructor

Transport Company Manager

Ship's Master