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Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Driver

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What Do Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Driver Do?

Occupation Description Drive a tractor-trailer combination or a truck with a capacity of at least 26,000 pounds Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW). May be required to unload truck. Requires commercial drivers’ license.

A Day in the Life of a Heavy & Tractor-Trailer Truck Driver

  • Drive trucks to weigh stations before and after loading and along routes in compliance with state regulations.
  • Maintain logs of working hours or of vehicle service or repair status, following applicable state and federal regulations.
  • Check vehicles to ensure that mechanical, safety, and emergency equipment is in good working order.
  • Drive electric or hybrid-electric powered trucks or alternative fuel-powered trucks to transport and deliver products, livestock, or other materials.
  • Crank trailer landing gear up or down to safely secure vehicles.
  • Maneuver trucks into loading or unloading positions, following signals from loading crew and checking that vehicle and loading equipment are properly positioned.

Heavy & Tractor-Trailer Truck Driver Skills

When polled, Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Time Management: Managing one’s own time and the time of others.

Troubleshooting: Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

  • Trailer Driver
  • Dray Truck Driver
  • Pick Up and Delivery Driver (P & D Driver)
  • Car Pilot
  • Transit Mix Operator

Job Demand for Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers

In the United States, there were 1,871,700 jobs for Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Driver in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 5.8% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 108,400 new jobs for Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Driver by 2026. The BLS estimates 213,500 yearly job openings in this field.


The states with the most job growth for Heavy & Tractor-Trailer Truck Driver are Utah, North Dakota, and Idaho. Watch out if you plan on working in Delaware, Maine, or Vermont. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

How Much Does a Heavy & Tractor-Trailer Truck Driver Make?

The average yearly salary of a Heavy & Tractor-Trailer Truck Driver ranges between $28,160 and $65,260.


Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers who work in Alaska, North Dakota, or District of Columbia, make the highest salaries.

How much do Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $40,580
Alaska $57,630
Arizona $45,430
Arkansas $41,980
California $47,300
Colorado $48,840
Connecticut $49,880
Delaware $44,160
District of Columbia $52,760
Florida $42,020
Georgia $43,260
Hawaii $48,910
Idaho $42,010
Illinois $48,650
Indiana $46,210
Iowa $43,820
Kansas $46,180
Kentucky $45,550
Louisiana $42,090
Maine $40,040
Maryland $47,940
Massachusetts $50,310
Michigan $43,450
Minnesota $48,710
Mississippi $41,900
Missouri $45,070
Montana $46,100
Nebraska $44,710
Nevada $50,920
New Hampshire $45,030
New Jersey $49,080
New Mexico $44,460
New York $50,460
North Carolina $44,030
North Dakota $52,080
Ohio $45,010
Oklahoma $43,880
Oregon $47,410
Pennsylvania $46,650
Rhode Island $48,360
South Carolina $44,270
South Dakota $41,590
Tennessee $43,660
Texas $45,260
Utah $45,600
Vermont $45,250
Virginia $42,660
Washington $48,620
West Virginia $39,520
Wisconsin $45,950
Wyoming $50,200

Tools & Technologies Used by Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • SAP
  • Microsoft Windows
  • YouTube
  • Computerized inventory tracking software
  • ALK Technologies PC*Miler
  • ADP ezLaborManager

Becoming a Heavy & Tractor-Trailer Truck Driver

Education needed to be a Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Driver:


How many years of work experience do I need?


Who Employs Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers?


Below are examples of industries where Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers work:



Image Credit: Hic85 via Public Domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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