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Route Driver Duties and Responsibilities

Job duties for route drivers vary depending on the number of deliveries and pickups they make and the materials they transport. However, these core duties are common despite those factors:

Review Route Sheets Route drivers review daily route sheets to get a sense of where they're going and how many pickups and deliveries are scheduled for the day.

Transport Supplies and Materials Route drivers transport supplies and materials, which may include waste and hazardous materials, safely and in accordance with company policy and all local and federal laws. This involves loading and unloading the delivery vehicle and ensuring that all cargo is safely secured before transport.

Talk to Dispatch Route drivers check in with dispatch before and after pickups and deliveries.

Maintain Logs Route drivers fill out delivery and pickup logs with accurate, detailed information.

Perform Vehicle Maintenance Route drivers perform daily vehicle maintenance and report any maintenance issues to the dispatcher. This includes topping off vehicle fluids and checking the air pressure in tires.Route drivers also keep the delivery vehicle fueled up, ready to travel, and clean inside and out.

Communicate with Customers Route drivers interact with customers during pickups and deliveries, and maintain professionalism at all times.


Route Driver Skills and Qualifications

Route drivers are detail-oriented and communicate regularly with dispatch while following all company policies and road rules. Employers hire route drivers who have all the following skills:
  • Driving - route drivers need exceptional driving skills to drive safely and within all the boundaries of the law
  • Communication skills - route drivers need good verbal and written communication skills to maintain open dialogue with dispatch and keep accurate delivery logs
  • Physical fitness - because route drivers load and unload supplies and drive in all environmental conditions, they need strength and stamina
  • Customer service - route drivers need good customer service skills to interact with clients during delivery and pickup stops
  • Organization skills - route drivers must keep the delivery vehicle and all paperwork well organized
  • Computer skills - because many companies maintain digital records, some computer skills are required
  • Mechanical skills - route drivers perform basic maintenance on delivery vehicles, so employers prefer professionals with some mechanical skills

Route Driver Education and Training

Employers run thorough background checks on route drivers and require them to have a valid driver's license. Candidates also need a clean driving record with no DUI convictions and no moving violations or accidents within the past six months. Some employers may require that route drivers have a CDL license in order to drive larger delivery vehicles. No formal education or training is required for route drivers, as this is an entry-level job. Paid training is provided by employers so drivers can become familiar with company pickup and delivery policies. However, route drivers must already know how to drive and should be very comfortable behind the wheel, as driving training is not usually offered.

Route Driver Salary and Outlook

PayScale data shows that the current median salary for route drivers is $15.95 hourly. Data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, however, shows that delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers earn $29,250 in median annual pay, or $14.06 hourly. The number of these professionals is estimated to rise 4 percent through 2026. This growth rate is slower than the national average. Many employers provide route drivers with full benefits packages that include medical, dental, and vision insurance coverage. Paid holidays, sick days, and vacation leave are also typically offered.

Helpful Resources

Get tips, skill-building help, news, and information for route drivers with these helpful books and websites:

The Association for Delivery Drivers - find current information on traffic and road conditions, review driving laws and regulations, and get updates on delivery industry news at the ADD website

2014 Deluxe Motor Carriers' Road Atlas - this laminated, spiral-bound road atlas is designed to be folded and resistant to daily wear and tear

Customized Logistics and Delivery Association - get news and updates about the delivery industry at this website designed for all types of drivers

Auto Repair and Maintenance (Idiot's Guides) - this book teaches readers the basics of automobile maintenance using full-color photos and illustrations

American Trucking Associations - find upcoming events, read news updates, and look at driving reports and trends relevant to the trucking industry at this website

The Driving Book: Everything New Drivers Need to Know but Don't Know to Ask - written for teen drivers, this book covers all the scenarios that drivers typically face, from driving in bad weather to changing tires

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