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Delivery Truck Driver Duties and Responsibilities

The duties performed by delivery truck drivers vary from company to company, but in general all drivers are expected to perform certain core tasks:

Deliver Items Delivery drivers deliver a wide range of items on a regular basis. Some of these items may require careful handling or refrigeration, and most drivers adhere to a company schedule. Drivers may deliver to private homes, companies, retail stores, and government offices.

Load and Unload Cargo Loading and unloading items are a regular part of the job for most delivery truck drivers. Delivery truck drivers may work in pairs during the busy season or when they are required to lift especially heavy objects. They must also deliver fragile objects directly to individuals or their place of work.

Contact Customers Some items, such as foods, medicines, and expensive electronics, must be delivered directly to a person (they cannot be left on a desk or doorstep). To ensure these items are delivered without a problem, delivery truck drivers may call customers to arrange a time for delivery. They may also help customers reschedule deliveries if they are unable to receive an item.

Accept Payment Many delivery truck drivers accept payment upon delivery. They carry credit card scanners that can accept credit and debit cards, and most of these scanners allow them to accept payments remotely. Once a payment is made, they must keep track of the receipt or ensure a record of the payment has been electronically stored.

Maintain Delivery Truck It is usually the responsibility of the company to perform heavy routine maintenance on delivery vehicles, but most drivers have some responsibility to ensure their trucks are properly maintained. They are expected to report any mechanical or operational problems to the appropriate person.


Delivery Truck Driver Skills and Qualifications

Delivery truck drivers should feel comfortable spending most of the day behind the wheel of a truck and have a strong penchant for customer service. The licenses and certificates required to enter this field vary by state and depend heavily on the type of delivery truck being driven. A high school diploma is usually required (but not always), and employers look for delivery truck drivers with the following skills and qualifications:

  • Responsible driving – since most of a delivery truck driver’s time will be spent behind the wheel, most employers only hire drivers with a clean driving record. Drivers with DUIs or prior traffic violations on their record will not be hired usually. Even if a person already possesses a commercial license, the company they work for may require them to complete training sessions before they can make deliveries
  • Customer service – delivery truck drivers often interact with customers, and they should know how to respond cordially and professionally if a problem or conflict arises. Since truck drivers are often the face of a company, they should be able to effectively communicate with customers
  • Time management – most drivers need to adhere to a strict delivery schedule established by their employer. If they do not deliver packages in a timely manner, customers can become disgruntled
  • Physical strength – delivery truck drivers need to be able to properly lift heavy packages without sustaining injury. The profession has a high rate of on-the-job injuries, so drivers must exercise caution when lifting extremely heavy and fragile items

Delivery Truck Driver Education and Training

To become a delivery truck driver, prospective candidates usually need a high school diploma or GED. They may be required to obtain a CDL (commercial driver’s license) if they drive a truck that is over a certain weight. Companies usually seek employees with relevant experience, but entry-level truck drivers may be able to enter the field if they have the appropriate licenses and are willing to learn.


Delivery Truck Driver Salary and Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for a delivery truck driver is $31,450. Those in the top 10th percentile earn more than $61,120 annually, and those in the lowest 10th percentile earn less than $19,610. Many delivery truck drivers, especially those employed full time, receive benefits such as health and life insurance coverage, retirement options, and pension benefits. Some truck drivers also receive bonuses based on their job performance. Employment for delivery truck drivers is expected to grow 7 percent by 2026. This rate of growth is on par with the national average. As more consumers begin to shop online, companies will need to hire additional drivers to deliver orders.


Helpful Resources

Ready to become a successful delivery truck driver? Look at the following list of helpful career resources to learn more:

American Trucking Associations – this professional association is designed specifically for truck drivers, so it’s perfect for anyone thinking about becoming a long-distance delivery truck driver. Its site provides helpful tips for safe driving and fuel efficiency, as well as information about outreach programs and important issues faced by truckers

Delivery Driver – part of the Red-Hot Career Guide series, this book strives to help individuals obtain employment. It contains over 2,500 real-life potential interview questions, as well as the best responses to those questions. The book also contains basic information about working as a delivery driver

Light Truck or Delivery Service Driver Career – too often delivery truck drivers become stuck in dead-end jobs at companies they hate. Fortunately, this book aims to turn the trend of job dissatisfaction around for delivery drivers. Written by Anne Johnson, the book addresses common career topics such as finding the right company, knowing when to ask for a raise or promotion, and acing job interviews