The trucking industry is the primary mode of transportation for raw materials, and semi-and fully finished goods. There are many careers in the industry that are similar to the truck driver profession in terms of education requirements and salary.
Some similar professions in the trucking industry aside from the truck driver include:
A shunt driver operates a yard truck also called a terminal tractor to spot empty and loaded trailers/containers in warehouses, truck terminals, and inter-modal facilities. They are responsible for moving trailer and containers over short distances such as from the parking spaces to loading docks. Most employers will require shunt drivers have a driver’s license class equivalent to the one professional semi-truck drivers have. The class number for the license will vary by jurisdiction. To begin work as a shunt driver, it is often recommended to have operating experience in a truck yard or inter-modal facility such as through a forklift position. After all, the value of a forklift payload is a lot less than the value of a 53-foot trailer and the freight it may be carrying inside. Shunt drivers earn between $15-$20 per hour.
Lumpers are third-party workers whom unload and load trailer contents. Lumpers are needed where truck drivers, as part of their contract description, do not help load or unload trailers. Lumpers are very common in the food industry and can be contracted either by the shipper, receiver, or the owner operator.
Truck and Trailer Mechanic
Truck and trailer mechanics are responsible for the correct working order of semi-trucks and trailers. They are tasked with responsibility of repairing and maintaining all types of commercial truck and trailers. Many jurisdictions have strict regulatory requirements for certification of truck and trailer mechanics which is why this career carries an average wage of $30 per hour. Attention to detail is a key skill to possess in this trade. Truck and trailer mechanics work closely with trucking companies and government transport ministry officials to ensure safe working order of the vehicles they repair and maintain.
Truck and Trailer mechanical trades programs will often have government subsidies available through grants and scholarships. These financial aid options help aspiring mechanics obtain certification and begin servicing the trucking industry. Much of power-train, hydraulic transmission system, and air brake topics are covered in a transport mechanical trades training program.
The dispatcher is responsible for coordinating driver and truck schedules, ensuring compliance with safety and permit regulations, and more. At smaller carriers the dispatcher’s role is synonymous with that of a fleet manager. They must manage vehicle maintenance schedules and ensure the correct equipment is matched with each specific load.
Rate clerks are equipped with an accounting background and are responsible for calculating and determining the rates a customer will pay to have their freight moved. They may also be tasked with the duty of determining cost of operations and factor that into freight rates charged to the customer. Often, rate clerks will have to have a deep grasp of the National Motor Freight Classification system since it is considered a standard in the industry. The NMFC groups commodities in 18 classes which range between 50-500 and factor in a freight’s density, stow-ability, liability, and handling to determine freight rates.
A service employee is given the duty to complete minor tasks that can include picking up truck parts from suppliers, depositing cheques or making bill payments at the bank, open, sort, and distribute incoming mail, maintain office supplies availability, transport driver(s) to and from work location clean office, clean interior cabin of truck as needed, and perform miscellaneous job-related duties as assigned. It is usually a part-time job with a few hours required each day with an average wage of $12.
There are many other careers in the trucking industry that are suitable for people of all backgrounds.
For example, some job titles in trucking include:
- Pickup and delivery driver
- Short-haul truck driver
- Long-haul truck driver
- Owner operator
- Truck parts sales representative
- Trucking factoring company credit manager
- Truck GPS/ELD sales representative
- Collision auto-body repairperson
- Safety compliance officer
- Freight claims specialist
- Maintenance manager
- Terminal manager
- Licensing and permits coordinator
- Fuel tax administrator
- Truck driver recruiter
- Freight broker
- Truck stop attendant
- Trucking citation attorney
- Cargo customs broker
- Freight forwarder
- Trailer repair technician
- Truck insurance broker
- IFTA representative
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