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Yukon WorkFutures

Transport truck drivers

NOC 7511 / RANK 7

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What They Do

Transport truck drivers operate heavy trucks to transport goods and materials over urban, interurban, provincial and international routes. They are employed by transportation, manufacturing, distribution and moving companies, and trucking employment service agencies, or they may be self-employed. This unit group also includes drivers of special purpose trucks and shunters who move trailers to and from loading docks within trucking yards or lots.

Main Duties

Long-haul transport truck drivers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Operate and drive primarily tractor-trailer, long-combination vehicle and straight-body trucks weighing over 4500 kg to transport goods and materials over long distances
  • Plan trip logistics and obtain required documentation to transport goods
  • Perform pre-trip, en route and post-trip inspection of vehicle systems, equipment and accessories such as tires, lights and turning signals, brakes and cold storage
  • Ensure cargo is secured properly in accordance with safety requirements and follow safety procedures for transporting dangerous goods
  • Obtain special permits and other documents required to transport cargo on international routes
  • Record cargo information, hours of service, distance travelled and fuel consumption
  • Administer bills of lading and manually or electronically maintain log books
  • Communicate with dispatcher, other drivers and customers using communication devices and on-board computers
  • May perform emergency roadside repairs
  • May drive as part of a two-person team or convoy
  • May transport hazardous products or dangerous goods

Short-haul and local transport truck drivers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Operate and drive primarily straight trucks to transport goods and materials mainly on local routes and short inter-urban routes
  • Perform pre-trip, en route and post-trip inspection and oversee all aspects of vehicle such as condition of equipment, and loading and unloading of cargo
  • May drive special purpose trucks such as tow trucks, dump trucks, hydrovac trucks or cement mixing trucks.

Working Conditions

Working conditions for long-haul truck drivers and local truck drivers differ to some degree. Local truck drivers typically make many deliveries throughout the day. Because they serve local businesses, their hours are mostly dictated by regular business hours. Long-haul drivers move goods between cities and across the continent. They often drive throughout the night when traffic is low, for shifts up to, but not exceeding, 14 hours. Schedules may also be flexible. Because long-haul drivers can spend a significant time away from home, many trucks are equipped with "sleeper" cabs and modern amenities, such as TVs, microwaves and computers. Truck drivers spend most of their time driving and sitting in seats that are generally comfortable. However, it is not uncommon for drivers to develop back or neck injuries from sitting for long periods of time or from loading and unloading cargo. Most truck drivers work alone. Some long-haul drivers may drive with a co-worker and rotate shifts. See more at: http://www.workbc.ca/Job-Seekers/Career-Profiles/7411#sthash.RWL9QnTO.dpuf

How Do I Get There

Completion of secondary school is usually required

On-the-job-training is provided

Completion of an accredited driver training course of up to three months duration, through a vocational school or community college, may be required

A Class 3 or D licence is required to drive straight-body trucks

A Class 1 or A licence is required to drive long combination vehicles

Air brake endorsement (Z) is required for drivers who operate vehicles equipped with air brakes

Transportation of dangerous goods (TDG) certification is required for drivers who transport hazardous products or dangerous goods

Additional licensing endorsement or certification may be required to drive articulated trucks