A dump truck driver transports loose materials in the dump-style bed of his truck. These materials normally include dirt, rocks, sand, coal and gravel. In some areas, he may also be required to haul away accumulated snow from highways and roads.
Good coordination skills are required for a dump truck driver to operate the controls in the cab of his truck that manipulate the bed. He must have a good understanding of math and angles to properly position the bed to dump materials in measured amounts. His regular and peripheral vision abilities have to be sharp for him to be aware of other trucks and of the heavy equipment that frequently surrounds him at job sites.
Hauling materials from one place to another is the main job of a dump truck driver. He must follow a schedule for pickups and deliveries of materials. He is required to verify the types of materials he is hauling as well as their weight. If he is working in conjunction with other equipment operators and truck drivers, he must clearly communicate with them to make sure he delivers his materials according to the job specifications and timetables. He is expected to keep his truck clean and in good working order.
Since a dump truck driver typically delivers dirt and other loose, natural materials, his environment is normally full of dust. A dump truck is normally not extensively driven on freeways, so his jobs usually require only local travel to and from construction and renovation sites. His work day generally begins early, and may stretch into early evening, depending on job deadlines.
To drive a dump truck requires specialized training. This can be obtained by enrolling in a truck driving school or through on-the-job training frequently provided by the hiring company. Some states require special driver’s licenses for dump truck drivers. A good command of written and oral English is a typical job requirement. Knowledge gained through driving other types of trucks or heavy equipment is desirable.
Salary and Advancement Opportunities
In large trucking companies, advancement into fleet or sales management is sometimes an option for a dump truck driver. Smaller companies have significantly fewer growth opportunities. Drivers who are self-employed and own their trucks may expand their incomes through purchasing additional vehicles and hiring drivers. Based on information provided at indeed.com, in June 2010 the average annual salary for a dump truck driver in the United States was $37,000.