Truck Driver

Truck drivers transport cargo to and from specified destinations. The route may be a long city-to-city haul, a drive within a city or even short trips inside construction or mining compounds. They may also do regular long-distance runs on the same route, sometimes sharing the driving with another driver.  A special drivers' licence is required.



Truck drivers are responsible for driving these heavy vehicles safely, in accordance with road regulations and with maximum efficiency. They are responsible for checking the condition and safety of the trucks before leaving but may also have to perform emergency roadside repairs if problems are experienced on the journey, such as changing tyres or installing light bulbs or spark plugs.  Basic maintenance tasks need to be performed, such as adding oil, petrol or radiator fluid. 

They collect delivery instructions from appropriate sources, verifying instructions and routes and manoeuvre the trucks into loading or unloading positions, following signals from loading crew and checking that vehicle and loading equipment is positioned properly.  They need to inventory and inspect the goods to be moved to determine quantities and conditions.  Goods may need to be wrapped using pads, packing paper and containers, and loads secured to truck or trailer walls, using straps. They secure the cargo for transport using ropes, blocks, chain, binders or covers. They climb ladders to inspect the loads, ensuring that the cargo is secure. Trucks need to be driven to weigh stations before and after loading and along routes to document weights and to comply with regulations.

Other responsibilities of truck drivers include:
  • supervising the loading and unloading of merchandise
  • handing customers delivery forms and asking them to sign receipts
  • accepting money
  • keeping a log of the journey and reporting repairs that need to be made to the truck
  • transporting perishable or hazardous substances necessitates truck drivers to adhere strictly to the regulations established for the transit of such cargo
  • plan or adjust routes based on changing conditions, using computer equipment, global positioning systems (GPS) equipment, or other navigation devices to minimise petrol consumption and carbon emissions.


Personal Requirements

  • physical fitness and stamina
  • excellent eyesight and good perception
  • responsible with sober habits
  • mental stability
  • mechanical aptitude to perform emergency repairs
  • able to drive for long hours without losing concentration


How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

Grade 8 Certificate.



What to Study

Driver Training Centres: The following centres check the performance of the driver, upgrade skills accordingly and offer specialised courses for conveying hazardous substances: The Operator Training Centre, Emthonjeni Training Centre, Bloemfontein Training Centre, Apex Group Training Centre, Driver Training Scheme at Luipaardsvlei.

In-service training: Drivers are normally accompanied by experienced drivers until they are familiar with routes and procedures.

If you want to become a truck driver you must:

  • be at least 18 years old
  • have a heavy-vehicle driver’s licence
  • undergo a medical examination (which is repeated from time to time), to ensure that you are physically fit to do the work


Employment

  • transport companies
  • Spoornet
  • government departments
  • retail food chains
  • companies that need to transport goods
  • self-employment, with enough experience and capital, can buy own heavy vehicles to start own business


Further Information

Any of the above-mentioned training centres or potential employers.

The Public Carriers Association
P O Box 7
Randburg, 2125

The Managing Director
Apex Regional Training Centre
P O Box 1704
Benoni, 1500

Various private transport companies.


Getting Started

  • practise your driving skills and obtain a driver’s licence and do an advanced driving course
  • talk to truck drivers about this type of career
  • gather more information from the Department of Transport


Programmes by Study Institutions

Related Occupations


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