Light Truck Drivers
On the Job
Light truck drivers drive small trucks to transport people, goods, or materials.
Not too long ago, people didn't go to the grocery store to buy milk. Instead, milk was delivered in glass bottles and placed on your doorstep. Nowadays, this practice is quite rare. Instead, many light truck drivers deliver milk to the grocery store. Now, the driver at your door is likely to be delivering the items you ordered off the Internet.Light truck drivers help load their trucks with goods or materials. They check shipping papers to make sure they have the correct cargo. They then drive their trucks to customers and help unload shipments. Truck drivers have two-way radios in their vehicles. They use these to contact their dispatcher or supervisor and update them on their progress.
Light truck drivers are also responsible for performing basic maintenance on their trucks. They refill their trucks with gasoline, check the oil, and examine the tires to be sure trucks can be driven safely. If trucks break down, drivers may perform some basic repairs so they can be driven to garages. They must also report any problems.
Drivers keep several types of records and fill out forms. Some forms are used to prove that goods were picked up or delivered. Drivers have customers sign these forms when they receive deliveries. Drivers also keep logs of when items were delivered and when maintenance was done.
Light truck drivers do many of the same tasks as heavy truck drivers. However, light truck drivers have more contact with customers than heavy truck drivers do. This is because light truck drivers are more likely to deliver goods in or near their home city and can reach customers more quickly. Heavy truck drivers are more likely to drive across the country to deliver shipments.
The following list of occupational tasks is specific to this career.
- Drive truck, van, or automobile to transport goods, materials, or people.
- Obey traffic laws and procedures when driving. Read maps to determine route.
- Load and unload vehicle.
- Present bills, receipts, and any money collected from deliveries.
- Inspect and maintain vehicle.
- Report any mechanical problems.
- Check cargo against shipping papers to make sure it is correct.
- Keep vehicle log, invoices, cargo lists, and other records.
- Talk to dispatchers and other drivers over telephone or radio.
- Perform emergency roadside repairs.
People in this career perform the following list of tasks, but the tasks are common to many occupations.
- Operate vehicles or mechanized equipment.
- Get information needed to do the job.
- Handle and move objects.
- Work with the public.
- Perform activities that use the whole body.
- Communicate with supervisors, peers, or subordinates.
- Inspect equipment, structures, or materials.
- Identify objects, actions, and events.
- Control machines and processes.
- Process information.
- Monitor events, materials, and surroundings.
- Communicate with people from outside the organization.
In a typical work setting, people in this career:
- Have a high level of social contact. They work with freight handlers and dispatchers, as well as customers on sales routes.
- Communicate with others by telephone and in-person on a daily basis. They also write letters and memos, but much less frequently.
- Are responsible for the health and safety of other people using the roads.
- Often work as part of a group or team.
- Are occasionally placed in conflict situations where people might be rude or angry.
- Are responsible for the work done by others.
- Drive an enclosed truck on a daily basis.
- Work outdoors while loading and unloading goods. Work indoors while driving or filling out paperwork. Indoor temperatures may not be controlled.
- Are often exposed to contaminants, such as diesel fuel or exhaust.
- Wear protective or safety attire on a weekly basis.
- Sometimes are exposed to very hot or very cold temperatures while working outside.
- May have to get into cramped positions to reach work spaces, such as the back of a truck.
- Are sometimes exposed to hazardous situations that might produce minor cuts or scrapes.
- Are occasionally exposed to bright or dim lighting conditions.
- Are occasionally exposed to whole body vibration when driving a truck.
- Sometimes deal with sounds or noise levels that are distracting or uncomfortable.
- Work close to others, especially when unloading trucks.
- Work in a competitive atmosphere where daily deadlines must be met.
- Must be exact in their work and be sure all details are done. Errors could cause accidents on the road that could injure themselves or others.
- Must work at the pace set by their vehicle and traffic.
- Make decisions that affect customers on a monthly basis. They often consult a supervisor before deciding a course of action.
- Usually set their daily tasks and goals in conjunction with a supervisor.
- Repeat the same physical and mental tasks.
- Usually work at least 40 hours per week.
- May work more than eight hours a day to meet deadlines.
- May work days, evenings, or weekends.
Physical Work Conditions
In a typical work setting, people in this career:
- Use their hands to operate controls.
- Repeat the same movements.
- Bend or twist their body.
- Sit in trucks for long periods of time.
- Stand while loading and unloading goods.
- Move two or more limbs together (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while remaining in place.
- See details of objects whether they are nearby or far away.
- Use muscles to lift, push, pull, or carry heavy objects.
- Make quick, precise adjustments to machine controls.
- Use one or two hands to grasp, move, or assemble objects.
- React quickly using hands, fingers, or feet.
- Speak clearly so listeners can understand.
- Understand the speech of another person.
- Determine the distance between objects.
- Choose quickly and correctly among various movements when responding to different signals.
- Hold the arm and hand in one position or hold the hand steady while moving the arm.
- Bend, stretch, twist, or reach out.
- Be physically active for long periods without getting tired or out of breath.
- See differences between colors, shades, and brightness.
- See objects in very bright or very low light.
- Adjust body movements or equipment controls to keep pace with speed changes of moving objects.
- Use stomach and lower back muscles to support the body for long periods without getting tired.
- Coordinate movement of several parts of the body, such as arms and legs, while the body is moving.
- Use fingers to grasp, move, or assemble very small objects.
- Use muscles for extended periods without getting tired.
- Hear sounds and recognize the difference between them.
- While looking forward, see objects or movements that are off to the side.
- Move arms and legs quickly.
- Focus on one source of sound and ignore others.
- Determine from which direction a sound came.
- Keep or regain the body's balance or stay upright when in an unstable position.
- Make fast, repeated movements of fingers, hands, and wrists.
People in this career frequently:
It is important for people in this career to be able to:
It is not as important, but still necessary, for people in this career to be able to:
Source: Minnesota Department of Education.