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Route Sales Driver Duties and Responsibilities

While route sales drivers work in a number of industries, many of their responsibilities remain the same:

Transport and Deliver Goods The foremost duty of a route sales driver is moving materials along their assigned route and bringing these goods to customers. They should have excellent driving skills and be able to safely operate and maneuver a large vehicle. Additionally, route sales drivers need to comply with rules and regulations for freight transport, such as height or weight restrictions or guidelines for transporting hazardous materials.

Follow Routes and Schedules Route sales drivers use GPS technology to maintain their scheduled deliveries and respond to factors that may affect their route, including traffic and weather conditions. As part of this aspect of the job, the route sales driver also determines the most efficient delivery schedule based on expected delivery times. Route drivers also adjust their schedules for unexpected road closures or hazards.

Collect Customer Payments Many route sales drivers collect payment from customers at the time of delivery. For customers paying with a check, the route sales driver ensures that the check is properly filled out and that the amount is correct; for cash customers, the driver may need to make change and securely store the payment in their vehicle. In any case, the route driver ensures that they provide a receipt and record the customer's payment.

Perform Vehicle Inspections and Maintenance While on the road, route sales drivers may need to inspect and maintain their vehicles to ensure safe operation. In some cases, route sales drivers may also conduct regular maintenance, inspections, and emergency repairs. Route sales drivers should be familiar with protocols and practices for removing their vehicles from the road due to mechanical failure.

Maintain Records Finally, many route sales drivers maintain detailed records related to their activities on the road. This may include daily logs of stops and deliveries, records of payments and transactions, and information about customers who refuse delivery. Route sales drivers may also need to maintain records of mileage, amounts they pay for fuel and tolls, and information about deviations from their usual route due to road or weather conditions.


Route Sales Driver Skills and Qualifications

Route sales drivers must safely operate their vehicles and interact with customers. Companies tend to hire candidates with valid licenses, excellent driving records, and the following skills:
  • Driving and vehicle operation - route sales drivers need to safely maneuver large vehicles such as tractor trailers and box trucks. They also need the stamina to operate a vehicle for several hours a day
  • Route logistics - most route sales drivers follow set routes but frequently need to plan and alter routes to drop off items efficiently and according to schedule and customer expectations
  • Cash handling - because they collect payment from customers, route sales drivers should also have excellent cash management skills and be able to quickly make change and maintain payment records
  • Vehicle maintenance - basic familiarity with vehicle inspection and maintenance is also helpful in this role, since route sales drivers may need to inspect their vehicles while on the road to make sure they are safe
  • Communication skills - route sales drivers interact with customers and dispatchers throughout the day, so communication skills (particularly verbal communication) are a necessity
  • Reporting and documentation - this role also requires the route sales driver to maintain records of deliveries, payments, damaged goods, and returns, so they should be able to maintain accurate daily logs and reports

Route Sales Driver Education and Training

Typically, route sales drivers have at least a high school diploma or GED. Additionally, many workers in this role attend truck driving schools to gain expertise safely operating oversized vehicles. Route sales drivers who operate tractor trailers also need to pass the written examination and road test to attain their commercial driver's license (CDL), although vehicle operators who drive smaller vehicles like box trucks may not need a CDL.

Route Sales Driver Salary and Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), light truck or delivery services drivers earn a median annual salary of $31,450. The lowest-paid 10 percent of workers in this role earn less than $19,610 per year, while the highest-paid light truck or delivery services drivers earn more than $61,120 per year. While employment for sales drivers is expected to grow at a slower-than-average pace of 4 percent by 2026, the BLS found that light truck or delivery services driver employment will grow at a slightly higher rate of 7 percent in the same period due to the continued growth of e-commerce.

Helpful Resources

If you'd like to learn more about working as a route sales driver, there are many resources on the web with helpful information:

RouteXL - this online tool is designed to help route sales drivers and other delivery professionals optimize their routes to increase efficiency and customer satisfaction

Income Tax Guide for Rideshare and Contract Delivery Drivers: How to Prepare Your Tax Return When You Have Uber, Lyft, DoorDash or other Contract Driving Income - this book explores tax considerations for route sales drivers who work as contractors, which is becoming increasingly common

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration - the FMCSA sets laws and guidelines for commercial vehicle operators, including hour limits and guidelines for breaks and daily mileage to ensure safe roads

CDL: Commercial Driver's License Exam - read this book to prepare for the CDL exam and learn useful tips for operating large commercial vehicles

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