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The skills needed to be hired as a truck driver

8/31/2022

The skills needed to be hired as a truck driver

When hiring truck drivers, there are a number of key elements to look for. Aside from the obvious, which include the right licenses and certifications for the particular position and responsibilities, there are intangible qualities such as discipline and navigation skills, along with trainable skills like mechanical knowledge. As a recruiter or hiring manager, it could be vital to look for these specific requirements in your candidates to determine whether they'll be the right fit for the role.

Licenses
Perhaps the most obvious, but important, element of being hired for a particular position has to do with the licenses and certifications necessary for it. There are different sizes of vehicles, different lengths of trips, types of cargo and more. Class A, B and C licenses are all commercial licenses, according to driving-tests.org. Class A generally allows you to drive tractor trailers and most B and C vehicles, like buses and box trucks. In addition, there are endorsements that can be added to your qualifications. These include Passenger (P), which allows you to carry passengers; Tank (T), which allows the driver to drive trucks containing liquid cargo; and H (Hazardous Materials), which allows you to drive trucks containing such hazardous materials as flammable liquids, explosives or radioactive substances. These all require passing an exam and in some cases, a driving test.

Discipline
Because the job requires long hours of solitude and a high level of independence, a truck driver should be disciplined. Being self-motivated is key in this career, and when hiring for an open position this is something a potential driver should have. Discipline also goes hand-in-hand with responsibility. A driver must be responsible in that they must plan their route and prepare ahead of time, stay on schedule without a manager checking in along the way, and safely get the job done. They also typically need to keep detailed records of their travels and the status of the truck.

Navigation skills
Sure, there are apps for this now. However, relying primarily on your phone can be both distracting and risky. Drivers should know how to read a map, how to navigate highways and what to do if they find themselves lost. Candidates should be able to plan out a route without looking at their phone. The last thing a driver needs to be doing is fumbling with their phone while they're behind the wheel, so at least being able to find where they're going and ignore the phone if necessary (or if the phone dies) is required. Those who aren't able to will need some training.

Mechanical knowledge
A responsible and disciplined driver will check to make sure the truck is functioning correctly and in order. However, going one step further, mechanical knowledge can go a long way in actually fixing and maintaining the truck if something does go wrong during these checks. Having this knowledge can also ensure the truck and any equipment is properly taken care of.

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