The truck driver is one of the most sought-after jobs in the employment sector. Constantly on the road, they transport goods over long or medium distances to deliver them to customers, all while maintaining certain conditions, and on time.
What are the duties of the truck driver?
The main mission of the PL driver is to transport goods, using a truck of more than 3.5 tons of GVWR (total authorized weight in load), to deliver customers, taking into account certain requirements. These include delivery times, delivery conditions, etc.
But a truck driver’s activity and involvement does not stop at simply driving the truck. He must also:
- Load/unload your truck
- Maintain your truck
- Perform certain administrative tasks
Administrative Tasks Required by Truck Drivers
Driving occupies most of his time. They are also responsible for loading/unloading their truck or trailer on departure, and at different delivery points. He carries out certain administrative tasks and sometimes acts as a representative of the company for which he works, or even as a salesman. His mission is exercised differently depending on whether he works for a courier company in a nearby radius with frequent stops, or at the opposite extreme for international long-haul transport. He drives a large number of hours a day and his missions can lead to long absences from his home.
Far from being limited to just driving a vehicle, the heavy truck driver’s activities are quite varied. He or she is in charge of:
- preparing the truck before departure, cleaning, washing, checking
- load the truck or ensure its smooth operation
- release/release the trailer
- control the unloading
- complete the administrative documents: delivery slips, invoices, customs formalities
- maintain the logbook
- maintain the truck: drain, grease
Cargo Safety and Security
A final key area is cargo security. Cargo security is essential for all modes of transportation. However, you can take steps to ensure that your cargo remains safe. To avoid damage to the cargo, make sure the cargo is properly secured with straps or floor stops or install special air bags. Also check if the driver is perfectly trained to cope with the more difficult road conditions.
Trips can be short, long or very long, and cover distances of several hundreds of kilometres, across several countries. The route to deliver the goods is defined according to the established delivery times, but since it is an “on the road” business, we must always take into account the situations that can cause slowdowns along the way: traffic, traffic jams, accidents, vehicle breakdowns, and the maximum number of consecutive driving hours. In the case of the international transport of goods, it is also necessary to consider stops for customs controls at border crossings. Usually the truck driver knows what time he’s leaving, but never what time he’ll be home.
If he works close to home and does short-haul transportation, he can go home to sleep. If this is not the case, the international road driver must regularly sleep in his truck in the car parks on the side of the motorways, and stay away from his family, sometimes for weeks at a time.
Local Transportation and Long-Distance Transportation
Local transport is defined as the daily return of drivers to the same transfer terminal, or its home terminal. Trucks that cross long distances are equipped with berths, and everything is arranged for the comfort of the driver who is on the road for several days.
Load and Size Laws: Some Differences
Because the gross weight limit in the United States is 80,000 pounds, trailers going into the United States have no more than two axles, unlike some 3- or 4-axle trailers in Canada. Trailers with 3 axles can support up to 66,900 pounds of load (net weight) and trailers with 4 axles can support up to 78,000 pounds of load (net weight).
- Gross weight: total weight of truck, trailer and load
- Net weight: load weight only
Since load and dimension control in the United States is very strict, drivers use public scales to ensure that the weight they transport is regulatory, both axial and crude.
Distance: Determining Factor of Delivery Times
For example, a shipper based in Quebec can expect their goods to be delivered the day after the shipment, whether it is to Montreal, Boston or Toronto. However, there is one important factor to consider when shipping to the United States: customs and the resulting delays. Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, customs controls have tightened.
A truck driver may work as an employee of a transportation company (transporting goods on behalf of third parties) or independently, as a driver of a heavy vehicle owned by him. The goods transported can be the most varied: industrial products, construction equipment, consumer goods, perishable goods to be transported at a controlled temperature (refrigerated transport), automobiles, animals, fuel, etc.
The salary of a truck driver varies significantly depending on his experience, the size of the company he works for and the type of contract.
The job of a trucker is very demanding: working in transport requires a spirit of sacrifice, dedication and willingness to work over long distances. It is not easy to make a career, but truck drivers who are diligent, precise and attentive can apply to large companies in the logistics and transportation sector, which offer more attractive salaries and better employment contracts.
The main attractions of the road driving trade
People looking for work as a truck driver generally have a great passion for trucks, huge trailers, often silkscreened and customized, that become a kind of second home. The life of a trucker is undoubtedly fascinating, and it allows one to work by driving autonomously, listening to music, without head of department. If he carries goods on the road for an international logistics company, the work of the trucker also allows him to travel abroad and see a lot of different places.