Career Development

16 Truck Driver Skills for Your Career and Resume

Learn about the most important Truck Driver skills, how you can utilize them in the workplace, and what to list on your resume.

Truck drivers are responsible for transporting goods across long distances. They must have a valid commercial driver’s license and a clean driving record. In addition, truck drivers must be able to safely operate their vehicles and adhere to hours of service regulations. If you’re interested in becoming a truck driver, it’s important to understand the skills that are necessary for this career.

Work Well Under Pressure

Truck drivers often work under pressure to meet deadlines and deliver shipments on time. This can mean working long hours, which requires the ability to stay focused and calm in stressful situations. It’s also important for truckers to be able to manage their time well so they can complete all of their tasks before a deadline.

Truck Tarping

Truck drivers need to know how to tarp their cargo. This is especially important if they’re driving long distances, as it can help them protect the goods they’re transporting and ensure that they arrive at their destination safely. Knowing how to tarp a truck correctly can also help reduce the risk of damage from rain or snow.

OTR Driving

OTR driving is the ability to drive a truck from one location to another. This involves navigating highways and roads, which can be challenging for some drivers. Having excellent OTR driving skills ensures that you can get your cargo to its destination safely and on time.

Load Bar Operation

Truck drivers use their knowledge of load bar operation to secure cargo. This involves knowing how to operate the equipment that secures and moves freight, as well as understanding safety regulations regarding weight limits for different types of cargo. Truck drivers also need to know how to read shipping documents so they can properly secure shipments.

Customer Service

Customer service skills are important for truck drivers to have because they often interact with customers directly. They need to be able to provide information about their products, answer questions and resolve issues that customers may have. Customer service skills can help a driver build rapport with their customers and ensure the customer is satisfied with their experience.

Safe Driving

Safe driving is a necessary skill for truck drivers, as they spend most of their time on the road. Truck drivers need to be able to drive safely and follow all traffic laws in order to avoid accidents and keep themselves and other drivers safe.

Safe driving also includes defensive driving, which involves anticipating potential hazards and taking action before an accident occurs. This can help prevent accidents from happening in the first place.

Clean Driving Record

A clean driving record is a necessary skill for truck drivers to have. A clean driving record means that the driver has not committed any traffic violations or caused accidents while operating a vehicle. Having a clean driving record can help ensure that the driver will be able to continue working as a truck driver and may even allow them to advance in their career.

Vehicle Inspection

A vehicle inspection is a skill that can help you maintain your truck and ensure it’s safe to drive. You may need to inspect the truck before accepting a load, during a trip or after completing a delivery. This skill can also be useful if you plan on buying a new truck because you’ll know what to look for when inspecting the vehicle.

Attention to Detail

Truck drivers must be able to follow directions and notice details about their routes. They need to know where they’re going, what time they should arrive at each destination and how long it will take them to get there. This requires attention to detail so that they can plan accordingly and keep track of the many locations they visit every day. It also helps them stay safe on the road by knowing when they need to stop for fuel or rest.

Log Book Record Keeping

Truck drivers use a log book to track their driving hours. The U.S. Department of Transportation requires truckers to take breaks after they drive for certain amounts of time. A driver’s log book records the total amount of time they’ve driven and how much rest they need before continuing to drive. Keeping accurate records in your log book can help you comply with regulations and ensure your safety on the road.

Hand-Eye Coordination

Hand-eye coordination is the ability to use your hands and eyes together. This skill can help you when operating a truck, as it allows you to drive safely while also performing tasks like changing gears or using controls on the dashboard. It’s important for truck drivers to be able to operate their vehicles accurately so they don’t endanger themselves or others.

Physical Stamina

Truck drivers often work long hours and drive for extended periods of time. Physical stamina is the ability to endure physical activity, which can help you stay alert while driving and reduce your risk of injury on the job. To improve your physical stamina, try exercising regularly and eating healthy foods. You may also consider taking breaks throughout your shift to rest and stretch your muscles.

Time Management

Time management is the ability to plan and execute tasks in a way that ensures you meet your deadlines. Truck drivers often have strict delivery schedules, so it’s important for them to manage their time effectively. This includes knowing how long each task should take and scheduling breaks accordingly. It also means being aware of any delays that may occur during travel and planning ahead accordingly.

Unloading Freight

Unloading freight is the process of removing cargo from a truck and transferring it to its final destination. This involves driving the truck to the location, opening the trailer and using equipment like forklifts or pallet jacks to move the cargo. Having strong unloading skills can help you save time by ensuring that your deliveries are accurate and on time.

Vehicle Maintenance

Truck drivers must have the knowledge and skills to maintain their vehicles. This includes understanding how to perform basic maintenance, such as changing oil or fixing a flat tire. It also involves knowing when to repair a vehicle rather than replace it. For example, if an engine is still functioning properly, truck drivers should know when to invest in repairs rather than buying a new car.


A CDL is a license that allows you to operate commercial vehicles. It requires passing written and practical exams, which can include knowledge of safety regulations, defensive driving techniques and other aspects of trucking. Having a CDL can help you advance in your career or find new opportunities as it shows employers you have the necessary skills for the job.

How Can I Learn These Truck Driver Skills?

There are a few ways that you can learn the necessary skills to become a truck driver. You can attend a truck driving school, which will teach you the basics of driving a truck, as well as how to perform essential tasks such as tarping and unloading freight. You can also get on-the-job training by working with an experienced truck driver, who can show you the ropes and help you to learn the necessary skills. Finally, you can also read truck driver manuals and guides, which can give you an overview of the skills that you need to learn.


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