Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers
Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers in the South Plains
Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers drive a tractor-trailer combination or a truck with a capacity of at least 26,000 pounds Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW). Drivers may also be required to unload truck. This occupation requires a commercial drivers’ license.
Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers in the South Plains are typically employed in these industries:
- General Freight Trucking
- Specialized Freight Trucking
- Support Activities for Mining
- Warehousing and Storage
- Grocery and Related Product Merchant Wholesalers
In 2016 there were an average of 3,364 Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers employed in the South Plains. This occupation is expected to grow by 13.6% in the next ten years.
Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers earn an average of $41,100 annually in the South Plains. Entry level workers earn approximately $26,200, compared to an average of $48,500 for experienced workers.
Education, Experience and Licensing
People in this career usually begin with an industry-recognized certificate or credential. State-issued commercial driver’s license is also required for this career.
- Hand-eye coordination. Drivers of heavy trucks and tractor-trailers must be able to coordinate their legs, hands, and eyes simultaneously so that they will react appropriately to the situation around them and drive the vehicle safely.
- Hearing ability. Truck drivers need good hearing. Federal regulations require that a driver be able to hear a forced whisper in one ear at 5 feet (with or without the use of a hearing aid).
- Physical health. Federal regulations do not allow people to become truck drivers if they have a medical condition, such as high blood pressure or epilepsy, which may interfere with their ability to operate a truck. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website has a full list of medical conditions that disqualify someone from driving a long-haul truck.
- Visual ability. Truck drivers must be able to pass vision tests. Federal regulations require a driver to have at least 20/40 vision with a 70-degree field of vision in each eye and the ability to distinguish the colors on a traffic light.