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The Daily Tasks of a Dump Truck Driver
Dump truck drivers are in charge of driving trucks that transport dirt, aggregate, asphalt, and other materials and/or equipment to various project sites. You will also be expected to work in the field, stockpiling and moving supplies as needed.
Other duties include utilizing the cranks and levers within the truck to unload products, as well as supervising the loading of material into the truck and examining the truck for technical concerns before and after each shift.
Is Driving a Dump Truck Hard?
Just like any job, being a dump truck driver has its advantages and its disadvantages. In this section of the article, we will cover some of the most important pros and cons regarding being a dump truck driver.
Three Pros for Dump Truck Drivers
Work Closer to Home
Many trucker jobs involve transporting a single load across the country and back. However, dump truck drivers transport many loads every day in specific locations, such as delivering gravel to a building site. Local loads allow dump truck drivers to spend more time with their families and sleep in their own beds rather than being on the interstate doing multi-day distribution deliveries.
Regular Work Hours
As a dump truck driver, your workweek is standardized, with normal hours such as daytime shifts in a five-day workweek, as opposed to road truckers, who depart on multi-day excursions with regulated shift driving and rest breaks. You may still work weekends, holidays, or overtime, depending on the company you work for or the jobsite criteria. You still have more flexibility in your personal life than truckers on the road.
The more experience you have, the better your chances of finding work. Driving a dump truck and operating heavy construction equipment and machinery provide excellent material for your resume. As a result, after earning dump truck driving expertise, you may be able to work with other construction equipment, such as earthmovers and diggers. Furthermore, some construction companies may pay for your certification to operate additional equipment because a workforce with multiple skills and abilities is a more valuable team on the jobsite.
Three Cons for Dump Truck Drivers
Dump truck drivers perform several repetitive tasks. As a dump truck driver, you routinely take trips along the same route—often numerous times on the same day. Many dump truck drivers travel to the materials pickup location, wait in line, pick up material, drive back, dump items at the dump location, and repeat the cycle. When compared to the variety of landscapes or driving routes available to an open-road motorist, dump truck driving may appear monotonous. To combat this con, consider changing your driving route, if possible, or getting some fresh air and stretching outside of the truck.
Working as a dump truck driver may be a seasonal job depending on where you live. Summer, for example, sees a lot of building work, whereas winter sees fewer jobs—especially if you live in northern areas with cold temperatures and snow.
As a dump truck driver, you may encounter a variety of weather conditions, such as high heat or freezing rain, and you may be required to work in muddy and dirty situations. Your jobsite may be forced to close temporarily due to hurricanes, floods, or tornadoes in your area. Furthermore, keep in mind that dump trucks may not have all of the conveniences or comforts, such as air conditioning or heat, so dress appropriately.
Long Work Days
Dump truck drivers often work 10 and a half hours per day. You may become tired as a result of the often repetitive effort required to follow safety measures on construction sites. To overcome this, establish appropriate sleeping and health routines and seek out other best practices with the assistance of colleagues.
The Different Classes of a Commercial Driver’s License
Operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) necessitates specialized knowledge and abilities. Prior to 1986, however, several states allowed anybody with a driver’s license to operate a CMV. As a result, many drivers across the country were operating CMVs without enough training. The Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act was established into law on October 27, 1986. This statute made it mandatory for all commercial vehicle drivers to have a CDL.
This rule has enhanced highway safety by requiring bus drivers and large truck operators to be thoroughly trained and qualified. On February 7, 2022, driver training standards were updated once more. Applicants seeking a Class A or Class B CDL or an H, P, or S endorsement must successfully complete training from FMCSA-approved training providers listed in the FMCSA Training Provider Registry as of that date (TPR).
Are There Any Qualifications I Have To Meet in Order To Get My CDL?
The qualifications you must meet in order to start the process of getting your CDL may be different from state to state. It is important that you know your state’s specific qualification requirements before you can begin. Reach out to your local DMV for more information. A more general qualification would be that you must have at least one year of driving experience.
Can I Have a Dump Truck Driving Job Without a CDL?
In a nutshell, no. You cannot work as a dump truck driver without a CDL. The largest trucks you can drive without a CDL, also known as non-CDL vehicles, have a GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) of 26,000 pounds or less. In other words, the maximum GVWR for any vehicle type, regarding non-CDL trucks, is 26,000 pounds.
All general automobiles, smaller box or cargo trucks, and SUVs are legally classified as within the GVWR for non-CDL licenses. This does, however, imply that if you want to work as a dump truck driver, you must have your CDL.
Penalties For Not Having a Current CDL
Driving a commercial vehicle without the proper CDL class and endorsements can cost you a lot of money, penalties, and points on your record. Drivers who are caught driving without them may expect to be charged with a misdemeanor in addition to any penalties and fees that may be imposed.
The state where you were driving will have its own fees and penalties, plus there are federal charges you will have to pay. Federal penalties are a minimum of $2,500 and can be as much as $5,000 and include up to a year in jail. In addition to the penalties and fees incurred, your license will be suspended for 90 days – leaving you with no ability to work and, therefore, no income.
Career Outlook for Dump Truck Driving
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of heavy truck and tractor-trailer truck driver positions will increase by 6% between 2020 and 2030. This is comparable to the national average for most other occupations.
Dump Truck Driver Salary
The BLS does not provide compensation information for dump truck drivers explicitly. However, it does state that all heavy truck and tractor-trailer truck drivers received an average yearly wage of around $48,710.
The minimal educational requirement for a dump truck operator is a high school diploma. A CDL is also required, the class of which depends on what type of dump truck you will be driving. Many technical schools and community colleges provide training programs to assist you in mastering the skills and knowledge required for this licensure.
Can I Get a Job Without Dump Truck Driver Skills?
Dump truck drivers must be physically fit, as some tasks may require you to have the capacity to lift up to 100 pounds. As stated previously, you must also have a clean driving record. Employers and training institutes may need you to pass eyesight and drug screening exams. You must be at least 18 years old, while certain businesses may prefer individuals who are at least 21 years old. Many people search out dump truck training near to their location thinking that they must travel to obtain safety training. This is simply not the case. Our dump truck course makes a great dump truck training near me alternative. The course is online, the exam is online, and the practical can be printed out and taken to your employer (or potential employer) to be taken on site under their supervision.