Military Career: Vehicle Drivers
The military uses numerous vehicles to transport its troops, equipment, and supplies. Together, the services own and operate about 50,000 heavy trucks and buses. Vehicle drivers operate all types of heavy military vehicles. They drive fuel or water tank trucks, semi-tractor trailers, heavy troop transports, and passenger buses.
What They Do
Vehicle drivers in the military perform some or all of the following duties:
- Read travel instructions to determine travel routes, arrival dates, and types of cargo
- Make sure vehicles are loaded properly
- Check oil, fuel and other fluid levels, and tire pressure
- Drive vehicles over all types of roads, traveling alone or in convoys
- Keep records of mileage driven and fuel and oil used
- Wash vehicles and perform routine maintenance and repairs
Branches of the Military
Helpful school courses include driver education. Helpful attributes include:
- Interest in driving
- Interest in mechanics
Job training consists of 7 to 8 weeks of classroom instruction, including practice in driving heavy military vehicles. Course content typically includes:
- Accident prevention
- Safety check procedures
- International road signs
- Basic vehicle maintenance
Normal color vision is required to read road maps. Drivers sometimes must change heavy tires.
Vehicle driving involves long periods of sitting.
Civilian vehicle drivers work for trucking companies, moving companies, bus companies, and businesses with their own delivery fleets. They perform duties similar to military vehicle drivers. They may specialize as tractor-trailer truck drivers, tank truck drivers, heavy truck drivers, or bus drivers.
Below is a list of similar civilian occupations:
The services have about 14,000 vehicle drivers. Each year, they need new vehicle drivers due to changes in personnel and the demands of the field. After job training, vehicle drivers are assigned to motor pools or motor transport units. They generally work without close supervision. In time, vehicle drivers may advance to supervisory positions assisting in the management of motor transport units.
Source: U.S. Department of Defense, Washington D.C.