A truck driver is a vital part of the U.S.’s economy. They are responsible for transferring large loads of commercial goods from one area to another. Without truck drivers, grocery store shelves would be bare, restaurants would have no food, retail facilities would have no goods to sell, hospitals would have no medical supplies, not to mention other items we need and want on a daily basis. Depending on the company, they drive locally or cross country. The need for truck drivers has not faltered over the years, giving drivers stable work and salary.
At Beacon Transport, we pride ourselves on giving our customers the best service. The way we do that is by hiring quality truck drivers. Discover more about the job and how you can join our team.
What Does a Truck Driver Do?
The main focus for a truck driver is safely transporting goods. A critical aspect of being a successful truck driver is getting the load to the destination on time. Truck drivers are responsible for meeting customer delivery requirements. Also, they are to plan the routes they need to take and make sure they are in accordance with applicable state and local laws (specifically related to weight limits and tandem distance), as well as, within the hours of service as regulated by the Department of Transportation, FMCSA-Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Drivers need to be diligent in knowing how many hours they have available to drive. There are many hours spent driving. Observing traffic laws and staying focused is the key to delivering these loads on time.
The trucks driven by drivers are 18-wheeler tractor-trailers. Drivers are responsible for knowing necessary information such as how to do a pre-trip inspection, which includes checking tires, lights, brakes, as well as other issues related to the tractor and trailer. Also, drivers need to know how to hook and unhook from a trailer. Most companies will have some form of roadside assistance in the event of maintenance related issues on the road.
The primary job function of a professional truck driver is to provide safe, on-time transit service.
Requirements to Become a Truck Driver
Having a CDL
Operating a large vehicle with a heavy load requires a special license. It’s called a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), and it’s obtained after participating in an educational program. The program is designed to help drivers understand how to work the vehicle and operate it safely. There are a few different gears, ideal ways to turn with a heavy load, and a particular way to brake that will keep the driver and the truck safe.
A truck driver needs a Class A CDL. The work we do at Beacon Transport involves tractor trailers. The Class A license will give the driver permission to operate one of our vehicles. Beacon Transport requires a Class A CDL with a minimum of 2 years recent verifiable experience and minimum age of 22 years old. We do not require hazardous material endorsements, as we do not haul haz-mat freight. Anyone who hasn’t obtained their CDL can do so, but we recommend reading our blog: What You Need to Know About Getting Your Commercial Driver’s License. The article has useful information about the requirements. Once you’ve obtained your Class A CDL and have been driving for at least two years, then you can apply for a truck driving position at Beacon Transport.
Meeting the Physical Requirements
Safety is an essential aspect of what we do here at Beacon, so all our drivers must pass a Department of Transportation (DOT) physical. The physical and the guidelines are mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). It’s one of the best ways to ensure driver safety. During the exam, they will test vision for 20/40 with or without the use of correctional lenses and measure your peripheral. They also test hearing, blood pressure, and urinalysis. The physical exam includes:
- General appearance
- Eyes (cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, etc.)
- Ears (scarring of the tympanic membrane, perforated eardrums, etc.)
- Mouth and throat (to look for problems breathing or swallowing)
- Heart (murmurs, extra sounds, pacemaker, etc.)
- Lungs and chest, not including breast examination (abnormal breathing, impaired respiratory functions, cyanosis, etc.)
- Abdomen and Viscera (enlarged liver, viscera, muscle weakness)
- And more.
Click here for a complete list of what the DOT physical entails.
The Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) wants to ensure that anyone who needs to access secure areas doesn’t pose a threat, so they developed the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC). Those who qualify will have their fingerprints linked to the card for five years before it needs to be renewed. Drivers who need it are those who need access secure areas of the ports. The Transportation Security Administration conducts a background check to confirm that those who are accessing these areas do not pose a threat. Applicants must bring documents like their driver’s license, social security card, passports, etc. as a form of identification. Beacon Transport pays the $125 fee for their card, provided the employee remains employed for 6 months or longer. Certain felonies automatically disqualify you, which you can learn about here.
Truck Driver Jobs Nashville
The trucking industry is one of the most stable and most important. Nearly 70% of freight within the United States is moved by trucks. A stable industry means there is no shortage of work. At Beacon Transport, we are looking for new members to join our team.
Our deliveries will keep you within the Midwest operating out of Nashville and expanding to the upper parts of Illinois and Iowa and going as far south as Louisiana. Because we don’t transport to each coast, our drivers get a better balance of being on the road and at home. We offer competitive pay and a host of benefits that include medical, dental, and life insurance. Plus, vacation. We operate on a weekly payroll with direct deposits into your account.
Get more information about what we offer our drivers and the qualifications to join the Beacon Team.