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The Job Description for a Flat Bed Truck Driver

Growth Trends for Related Jobs

Loads that cannot be carried in a tractor trailer must be transported by flatbed truck. Drivers of flatbeds must have experience combined with physical strength to succeed at this role. Goods may need to be delivered across multiple cities and even multiple states. Truck drivers make up one of the largest occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Experience

All flatbed truck drivers must have a current commercial driver’s license. To earn a CDL, prospective truck drivers may take training courses to learn how to maneuver a flatbed truck on a crowded road. The Professional Truck Driver Institute offers training courses that meet the standards put in place by the Federal Highway Administration.

Drivers must have clean driving records and pass a written exam to qualify for the CDL.

Most flatbed trucking companies require over-the-road experience.

Skills

Flatbed truck drivers must have the physical capabilities required to drive a truck for long periods of time. They must be strong enough to tie down their loads properly.

These drivers must work through boredom and fatigue on a regular basis. They must have flexible family lives, as many flatbed truck drivers are often away from home for a week at a time. They may also work on weekends and holidays.

Responsibilities

Flatbed truck drivers must tie their loads down to their trucks. This must be done properly to ensure safe transportation.

Flatbed truck drivers may work in teams to share driving time during long trips and to assist one another with managing heavy loads.

Many long-haul truck drivers must plan their own driving routes. These drivers are given an address with a deadline and can choose which route they wish to take to reach the destination by the predetermined time.

Drivers must keep a detailed log of travel time, mileage and sleep hours to document that they have complied with the regulations set in place by the Department of Transportation.

Compensation

Many flatbed truckers are paid by the hour or by the mile. In 2008, the average truck driver earned $17.92 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Hourly rates or mileage rates increase depending upon the driver’s experience and time spent working for a company.

Many truck drivers have the opportunity to join a union or the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which gives truckers a platform on which to be heard regarding issues like workplace rights and contract negotiations.

Job Outlook

Employment of truck drivers is predicted to grow 9 percent between 2008 and 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As the demand for goods increases with the economy, more truck drivers will be needed to transport these goods.