Becoming a qualified dump truck driver opens up a range of new possibilities and job opportunities. Obtaining the essential education and on-the-job skills training to safely operate a new or used dump truck will have gained a sense of confidence and should experience greater success in the dump truck industry than an unqualified driver.
It is also important to note that possessing a normal driver's license does not automatically qualify a person to operate a dump truck. Heavy machinery handled by unqualified personnel can cause serious or even fatal injuries to the operator and co-workers; this is exactly why precautionary training courses must be completed before a person can have the necessary qualifications to drive this heavy-duty vehicle.
There are hundreds of schools across the United States that provide the necessary training to operate a dump truck. Successful students will receive a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) once they have completed the program and passed, all necessary tests. Specific CDL's are issued for different types of vehicles, which means that holding a CDL for one type of truck does not automatically qualify the driver to operate another type of heavy-duty vehicle.
These programs involve hands-on training, where applicants are taught how to: properly operate the vehicle; loading and unloading of the truck; comprehensive safety instructions; and general maintenance information.
Not surprisingly, learning about safety is the most important part of becoming a qualified dump truck driver. Vehicles that carry heavy loads are harder to steer on the road and have the potential to cause more injuries and property damage to other vehicles if there is a collision. Under circumstances involving adverse weather conditions or slippery road surfaces, a driver's job becomes even more difficult.
Used dump trucks must be thoroughly inspected before being put on the road. Trainees must also learn to exercise extreme caution not only for their own safety, but also to ensure the safety of co-workers while on the job site. Securing cargo using chains or ropes is also part of the necessary precautions, as is the method of loading of the truck. This may involve using forklifts or even manual loading, both of which require specific training.
In addition to safety, students are taught: how to examine an incoming load; how to calculate the volume and weight of the cargo; and various methods for handling the many different types of material that could be carried. Ensuring that a vehicle is safe to use before putting it into operation is the responsibility of the driver; therefore, most schools include courses about vehicle examination and maintenance, tire replacement, cleaning, and emergency repairs in case of a breakdown while on the road.
It is important to note that there are many different kinds of dump trucks, such as trailers, semi-trailers, off-road, side dump and articulated models, all of which have slightly different operating procedures. There are many truck driving schools across the country from which aspiring drivers can choose to be able to meet all of the essential qualifications required to obtain a CDL for the operation of a specific dump truck. These are the important facts to know how to become a dump truck driver!