How Do You Become a Dump Truck Driver?

Dump truck drivers can look forward to the potential of having a decent career with advancement opportunities. However, before making the decision of working towards this as a career, it’s important to know what to expect. For anyone who is interested in becoming a dump truck driver, the information below should help you decide.

What Does a Dump Truck Driver Do?

The job description of a dump truck driver is to transport garbage or other materials using a truck with an open-bed. Most drivers will work in the construction field moving materials back and forth, although there are many other industries that require dump truck hauling as well. Dump truck drivers may work at construction sites where they would move debris from natural disasters or transport materials at agricultural industries; there is a big range of job places where they are needed.

As a dump truck driver, you spend your workday:

  • Picking up bulk loads at one location.
  • Hauling loads to other sites, and.
  • Tipping or dumping out the contents of the truck bed.

Why Choose to Become a Dump Truck Driver?

A dump truck driving job can give you the best of trucking and construction equipment careers. In this job you have a lot of freedom because you do not have to share the cab of your truck with coworkers, and you don’t have a supervisor standing over you. Other benefit for dump truck drivers is regular work hours where you clock in every moment and head back home every night, being able to see your family and friends every day, which is not the case of many other truck driver job positions. Here you usually get paid by an hour rather than per mile, where all the time truck drivers are waiting for the cargo to load or unload they are not getting paid. Truckers are in short supply so there will be demand for them in the future. Driving a dump truck can lead to other opportunities in construction, management, training, and business ownership.

What License do you Need to Drive a Dump Truck?

Class B Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) is required to drive a straight dump truck. Class B CDL allows you to drive heavy and tractor trailer trucks and buses. Depending on the dump truck you drive, you need at least a Class-B CDL and any relevant endorsements. If you are an experienced truck driver with a Class-A CDL driver’s license and the appropriate endorsements, you are well qualified to drive a dump truck.

As with any type of certification, there is a process to operating a dump truck. For those who choose NSTS Truck Driving School to get their CDL, the process can take 4-6 weeks before participants are certified and given a chance to take the CDL skills test. It’s only after they pass the skills test that they actually obtain their CDL license.

Some endorsements that might be required for a dump truck driver:

  • Combination vehicles
  • Air brakes
  • Tanker vehicles
  • Hazardous materials
  • Double and triple trailers

How Much Do Dump Truck Drivers Make a Year?

Just like any other career, the salary of a dump truck driver will vary based on a number of factors, including which industry the driver is working in. If there is any construction or resource extraction activity in your community you will be able to work locally 40 hours a week. As you gain experience, you can earn more per hour. If you join a union, you can make even more, and receive as much as twice the average.

According the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that most dump truck drivers earn a median salary of $34,000 per year. This means the hourly rate can vary greatly, from $11.79 to $20.69.

Taking a career path in the trucking industry is a good choice. With a high demand for truck drivers, a projected growth in the industry for many years to come, as well as a decent salary, truck driving – whether it’s a dump truck or an 18 wheeler, is a great job to have.