Dump truck drivers play a crucial role in the construction industry. They ensure that materials get from point A to point B. Have you ever wondered what it takes to get behind the wheel of a dump truck? Here at ReAgg, we explain what dump truck drivers do as well as what it takes to have a career as a dump truck driver.
Dump Truck Driver Job Description
First, it is important to understand what a dump truck driver does on a daily basis. The construction industry makes up the largest percentage of dump truck driver employment, as 33% of all dump truck drivers work in construction. However, dump truck drivers don’t just work in construction. Other industries that utilize dump truck drivers include manufacturing, retail, and transportation.
Dump Truck Drivers employed by the construction industry typically haul materials such as crushed stone and aggregates, recycled concrete, sand and gravel, larger quarry stone, landscape products, and other materials.
In addition to hauling materials, dump truck drivers must tend to their machines. Many construction companies require drivers to comply with all aspects of truck maintenance, cleanliness, and repair. This includes ensuring that their truck is up-to-date on all state inspections, as well as complying with state guidelines by performing daily pre- and post-trip inspections with appropriate documentation. Most construction companies have strict standards of interior cleanliness, so dump truck drivers are often responsible for keeping their cab in tip-top shape.
Requirements for Becoming a Dump Truck Driver
There are no education level requirements for most dump truck driver positions. However, to operate a dump truck, drivers will need a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). CDLs are required to operate any large commercial vehicle in the United States, but their requirements and what they allow may vary from state to state.
There are two types of CDLs that allow drivers to operate dump trucks. CDL Class-A allows an individual to drive almost any vehicle (including 18-wheeler tractor-trailer units) as well as any truck and trailer combination, such as doubles, triples, or any trailer of more than 10,000 lbs. A CDL Class-B permits the operation of straight trucks such as 10 or 12-wheelers, as well as straight trucks of 26,000 lbs or more combined with a trailer of not more than 10,000 lbs.
Obtaining a CDL is a more intensive process than obtaining your typical driver’s license. First, individuals must undergo a medical examination and submit a Medical Examiner’s Certificate form, proving that they are healthy and capable of operating heavy machinery. Then, applicants must pass both a vision and knowledge test. After completion and passing of these two exams, drivers are issued a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CPL). The CPL allows a driver to practice operating a truck on public roads while a qualified CDL holder sits with them. It allows the CDL applicant to gain the necessary experience and confidence in operating a dump truck or other machinery. Once the driver feels ready, they may schedule their CDL road skills examination. All applicants must wait for a minimum of 14 days between obtaining their permit and taking the road skills exam.
During the road skills exam, applicants must prove that they are capable of operating, taking care of, and maintaining their vehicle in addition to being able to operate it. A pre-trip inspection must be passed in order for the road skills examination to begin.
To obtain a Class A or Class B license, which is necessary to operate a dump truck, individuals must complete all of the above as well as apply for and pass any necessary Class A or B endorsements such as double and triple trailers, air brakes, tankers, hazardous materials, and combination vehicles.
CDL applicants must bring their own vehicle for both their road skills and driving exams. While this may be a barrier for some individuals in obtaining their CDL, there are resources available for individuals who are trying to get their CDL. There are many schools that help teach individuals the basics of driving large commercial vehicles and assist with loaned vehicles for testing. It is also important to note that if an individual is applying for a Class A or Class B license they need to bring a respective vehicle to the road skills testing.
Soft Skills of Dump Truck Drivers
In addition to holding a CDL and being able to perform necessary maintenance on their trucks, dump truck drivers must possess several soft skills. They need to be able to manage their time well, as they may have to run many different routes within a single day. In addition, they are often the ones interacting with clients, suppliers, and dispatch personnel each day. Therefore, they must be able to communicate well and work with many different people. Dump truck drivers also require the ability to think on their feet and react quickly. They are responsible for very heavy machinery and construction sites are hectic, so it is important that dump truck drivers are able to make decisions quickly when responding to a changing environment.
Benefits of a Career as a Dump Truck Driver
Although the path to becoming a certified dump truck driver may be extensive, it has many benefits. For those with previous driving experience, such as over-the-road truckers, it offers a welcome change by allowing drivers to work closer to home. It’s also a great way for rookies to break into the driving industry and gain experience on the road without having to travel far distances.
Another benefit of a career as a dump truck driver is the pay. Dump truck drivers are paid by the hour or by the load. Dump truck drivers make a competitive salary, with a median salary of $45,260 per year according to a 2019 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In addition, a career as a dump truck driver guarantees strong job security. The unemployment rate of dump truck drivers has decreased every year since 2010, and currently dump truck drivers face an unemployment rate of 3.68%. This indicates that demand for this position is continuing to grow.
Begin Your Career as a Dump Truck Driver With ReAgg
A career as a dump truck driver can be extremely rewarding. If you are looking for the chance to operate heavy machinery and interact with a variety of people, you may enjoy a career as a dump truck driver. At ReAgg, we’re currently looking to expand our fleet. If you currently have your CDL and have experience operating dump trucks, we’d love to hear from you! To submit an application, head to our Careers Page or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org . At ReAgg, we’re more than just stone – we may be your next career!