Careers in dump truck driving

Written by simon fuller
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Careers in dump truck driving
A dump truck driver must decide which industry he'd like to work in. (dump truck image by studio vision 1 from Fotolia.com)

A dump truck is a vehicle that’s used for collecting and moving loose pieces of material, such as gravel. Driving a dump truck may seem a simple job, but much variety exists in this career path. Since dump trucks are big vehicles with a gross weight that’s more than 11793kg, federal law means that in the United States, an employee needs to acquire a commercial driver’s license — or CDL — to operate a dump truck.

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Construction Industry

The construction industry is where many professional dump truck driver begin their careers, with on-the-job training at the construction site after acquiring their CDL license. The driver will shift materials such as gravel and sand around the site, usually working exclusively within a set area during the course of a day. At other times, the truck driver may need to use the highway to move her loads. Key to a construction driver’s job is a responsibility for the safety of her own vehicle and her fellow employees. The average dump truck driver in the construction industry is likely to earn between £18,850 and £30,550 as of 2010, according to the PayScale website.

Mining Industry

A dump truck driver who is a little bored of the construction industry might want to take the plunge and head instead to the mining industry. Many drivers relocate to countries with large mining sectors, such as Australia, to follow this career path. While this relocation might put people off, on the upside, few mining companies require prospective employees to have much experience in working in mining, as noted by the Dump Truck Driving Jobs website.

Mining dump truck drivers transport both ore and waste products from the mines to either processing plants nearby, or else to drop-off points where other forms of transport collect the materials. The drivers typically work long shifts, often 12 hours or so in length. Many mining companies give their drivers long holiday periods to make up for these shifts, as the Dump Truck Driving Jobs website points out. Another thing to consider is that the trucks used in mining can be very large, and some drivers may take time to get used to them. The average wage for a mining dump truck driver in Australia is £61,750 per year, according to the Get A Job In The Mines website.

Freelance

An option for dump truck drivers is to buy a vehicle and then work as a freelancer, performing work here and there for a number of construction companies, as well as for other clients who might need the services of a dump truck for a few days at a time. Such drivers are popular with clients who perhaps can’t afford to retain many vehicles or don’t always have a use for a dump truck all year round. The earnings enjoyed by a freelance driver are also around £18,850 to £30,550, based on data from PayScale.

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