Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers

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About the Job

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.

It is also Called

  • Yard Spotter
  • Wrecking Car Driver
  • Wrecker Operator
  • Wrecker Driver
  • Water Truck Driver
  • Waste Collection Driver
  • Van Driver
  • UPS Driver (United Parcel Service Driver)
  • Truck Switcher
  • Truck Jumper
View All

What They Do

  • 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.
  • Give directions to laborers who are packing goods and moving them onto trailers.
  • Perform emergency roadside repairs, such as changing tires or installing light bulbs, tire chains, or spark plugs.
  • 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.
  • Install or remove special equipment, such as tire chains, grader blades, plow blades, or sanders.
  • Wrap and secure goods using pads, packing paper, containers, or straps.
  • Inventory and inspect goods to be moved to determine quantities and conditions.
  • Follow special cargo-related procedures, such as checking refrigeration systems for frozen foods or providing food or water for livestock.
  • Remove debris from loaded trailers.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: RC.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Realistic interests, but also prefer Conventional environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Support, but also value Independence and Working Conditions in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Troubleshooting - Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.

Education Required

These occupations usually require a high school diploma.

Wages

In 2016, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $45,270 with most people making between $28,800 and $64,290

Outlook

1.24%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 79,390 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 89,240 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 985 openings due to growth and about 1,355 replacement openings for approximately 2,340 total annual openings.



Pennsylvania Department of Education