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Heavy Truck Driver » Overview

Heavy Truck Driver

Heavy truck drivers drive trucks with or without trailers. They transport materials, livestock, machinery, liquids, general freight, and hazardous substances. They operate 18-wheeler trucks, which is completely different from driving a car, or smaller delivery truck, for example. 18-wheelers – sometimes referred to as ‘semis’ – have air brakes and many gears in the transmission, which are just two of the difference between driving a heavy truck and conventional vehicles. Heavy truck drivers must know what to do when going up or down steep hills so that the truck’s brakes do not overheat, they also need to know how to handle corners correctly, so that the truck’s load doesn’t shift. 

There are different sizes and types of trucks. Small rigid trucks require a class 2 licence whereas larger rigid trucks require a class 3 licence. To drive a large articulated truck a class 5 licence is required. A heavy vehicle theory test must be passed before starting practical driving of a truck and it is important to get the proper supervision and lessons when learning to drive such a big vehicle. 
A heavy vehicle licence can be augmented with numerous endorsements, for example for carrying dangerous goods or performing vehicle recovery (i.e. driving a tow truck - see Tow Truck Driver here).
With the right additional endorsements on your licence career options include driving larger machinery such as mining trucks and earth-moving machinery.
Medium_logo_fb Letiticia "Tish" Gillespie
Truck Driver

Before joining Fletcher Building. I was studying and driving a class 2 delivery truck. I joined Firth, which is New Zealand's leader in... read more »