There are many different and necessary positions in the construction industry where each trained operator must know their vehicle extremely well in order to provide the best service. Even though it may seem easy, driving used dump trucks and other similar heavy-duty commercial vehicles is not always as simple as it may seem since every operator is responsible not only for the huge vehicle being operated but for everything being carried and dumped. Today, a good living can be made from driving these vehicles once the right training has been taken and the driver has been demonstrated to be a valuable part of a construction crew.
Driving is actually the easiest part of operating one of these vehicles. Operators are responsible for a load from start to finish and must know exactly where the load should be dumped as a specific location. This wide variety of materials could be anything from construction site waste and dirt to gravel, coal, rock, bricks and sand – basically anything that can be shoveled, scooped or poured into a truck bed.
Unlike many other drivers, those who run these trucks must often work in wintery conditions if the work site is located in regions where there is ice and snow; fortunately, most dump trucks can be outfitted with snow plow blades and road-salting equipment. With an entire bed full of road salt or gravel, drivers can work quickly to help get roads clear of ice and snow. Many of these workers also become qualified to operate other types of heavy-duty machinery once they are in a job position where such experience can be gained.
All that is technically required in the United States to become a dump truck driver is a CDL license. It is recommended that some sort of professional training course related to trucks be completed in order to learn more about the job of driving a dump truck or any other large truck in general. Those enrolled in such a course will also learn safety procedures, which is extremely important in this line of work.
It will be also be easier for a driver to get a better job with more training, although many companies provide in-house training as well, which is always a benefit to any new employee. There are still many companies who want applicants to already have some on-the-job experience, so that such training will not have to be learned after employment which could slow down productivity. Some operators buy their own trucks and lease their services to various companies for a fee as an owner-operator.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) provides recent job information which shows that the general hiring of construction operators has been on the rise over the past few years and is expected to continue to rise through 2020 at the rate of approximately twenty-three percent, which is higher than the average rate of increase in other areas of the labor force. The median salary is listed as roughly $19.00 per hour, or $39,000 per year for construction operators, as there is no category specifically for dump truck drivers. Other job site lists show dump truck drivers earning an average of $26,000 to $34,000 per year, with higher salaries when operators are also owners. Salaries are also likely to fluctuate by location, the hiring company and other factors as well.
Becoming an operator of a used dump truck can be a challenge; however, if a person enjoys being out on the road and likes the idea of operating heavy equipment, this may be the right position. All it takes is the right training, proper certification, and the willingness to put in a hard day’s work for an honest day’s pay!