Occupation Summary

Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers

O*NET 53-3032.00


Drive a tractor-trailer combination or a truck with a capacity of at least 26,000 pounds Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW). May be required to unload truck. Requires commercial drivers' license.

Annual Wages:
Employment Rate:
Employment is expected to increase by 17.43%.
Education Level:
High School Diploma (or GED or High School Equivalence Certificate). According to O*Net, the majority of people employed in this occupation have this level of education.
Business and Industry

  1. Follow appropriate safety procedures for transporting dangerous goods.
  2. Check vehicles to ensure that mechanical, safety, and emergency equipment is in good working order.
  3. Maintain logs of working hours or of vehicle service or repair status, following applicable state and federal regulations.
  4. Obtain receipts or signatures for delivered goods and collect payment for services when required.
  5. Maneuver trucks into loading or unloading positions, following signals from loading crew and checking that vehicle and loading equipment are properly positioned.
  6. Drive trucks with capacities greater than 3 tons, including tractor-trailer combinations, to transport and deliver products, livestock, or other materials.
  7. Secure cargo for transport, using ropes, blocks, chain, binders, or covers.
  8. Read bills of lading to determine assignment details.
  9. Report vehicle defects, accidents, traffic violations, or damage to the vehicles.
  10. Read and interpret maps to determine vehicle routes.
  11. Couple or uncouple trailers by changing trailer jack positions, connecting or disconnecting air or electrical lines, or manipulating fifth-wheel locks.
  12. Collect delivery instructions from appropriate sources, verifying instructions and routes.
  13. Check conditions of trailers after contents have been unloaded to ensure that there has been no damage.
  14. Crank trailer landing gear up or down to safely secure vehicles.
  15. Perform basic vehicle maintenance tasks, such as adding oil, fuel, or radiator fluid or performing minor repairs.
  16. Inventory and inspect goods to be moved to determine quantities and conditions.
  17. Remove debris from loaded trailers.
  18. Follow special cargo-related procedures, such as checking refrigeration systems for frozen foods or providing food or water for livestock.
  19. Give directions to laborers who are packing goods and moving them onto trailers.
  20. Install or remove special equipment, such as tire chains, grader blades, plow blades, or sanders.
  21. Perform emergency roadside repairs, such as changing tires or installing light bulbs, tire chains, or spark plugs.
  22. Operate trucks equipped with snowplows or sander attachments to maintain roads in winter weather.
  23. Drive electric or hybrid-electric powered trucks or alternative fuel-powered trucks to transport and deliver products, livestock, or other materials.
  24. Operate idle reduction systems or auxiliary power systems to generate power from alternative sources, such as fuel cells, to reduce idling time, to heat or cool truck cabins, or to provide power for other equipment.
  25. Plan or adjust routes based on changing conditions, using computer equipment, global positioning systems (GPS) equipment, or other navigation devices to minimize fuel consumption and carbon emissions.
  26. Inspect loads to ensure that cargo is secure.
  27. Check all load-related documentation for completeness and accuracy.
  28. Drive trucks to weigh stations before and after loading and along routes in compliance with state regulations.
  29. Operate equipment, such as truck cab computers, CB radios, phones, or global positioning systems (GPS) equipment to exchange necessary information with bases, supervisors, or other drivers.
  30. Load or unload trucks or help others with loading or unloading, using special loading-related equipment or other equipment as necessary.
  31. Wrap and secure goods using pads, packing paper, containers, or straps.

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National Industry Employment Patterns

Industry % of Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers employed Annual Growth Rate
General freight trucking 33.3 0.39
Specialized freight trucking 12.9 0.39
Grocery and related product wholesalers 3.4 1.04
Cement and concrete product manufacturing 3.2 -0.20
Other specialty trade contractors 2.3 1.20
Support activities for road transportation 2.1 1.81
Waste collection 2 2.44

Labor Market Information

2018 Statewide average hourly wage $21.76
2018 National average hourly wage $21.91
2016 National employment 1,871,700
2016 Texas employment 185,215
Texas projected employment by 2026 217,493
Texas projected annual employment and Turnover openings through 2026 24,414

* Due to confidentiality rules, not all regions may have the data displayed. The sum of all the regions may not be equal to the state total.

Top 10 Relevant Knowledge Areas Relevant Importance Levels
Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
English Language
Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Law and Government
Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Top 10 Relevant Skill Areas Relevant Importance Levels
Operation and Control
Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Operation Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Time Management
Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Top 10 Relevant Abilities Relevant Importance Levels
Control Precision
The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Far Vision
The ability to see details at a distance.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Multilimb Coordination
The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
Response Orientation
The ability to choose quickly between two or more movements in response to two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures). It includes the speed with which the correct response is started with the hand, foot, or other body part.
Reaction Time
The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
Rate Control
The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
Spatial Orientation
The ability to know your location in relation to the environment or to know where other objects are in relation to you.
Depth Perception
The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
    -- Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
    -- Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Getting Information
    -- Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
    -- Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes
    -- Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Other Activities

  • Collect deposits, payments, funding, or fees
  • Drive tractor-trailer truck
  • Drive truck with capacity greater than 3 tons
  • Employ weighing or measuring devices in transportation
  • Evaluate compliance of loaded cargo to regulations or specifications
  • Expedite freight movement
  • Fasten attachments or accessories to tractor
  • Implement freight shipping or storage procedures
  • Inform clients of travel restrictions
  • Inspect vehicle to detect malfunctions or maintenance needed
  • Load/Unload containers, materials, or products
  • Load/Unload passenger luggage or cargo
  • Maintain business or financial records, reports, or files
  • Maintain cargo or passenger vehicle
  • Maintain driver log
  • Maintain operational records, reports, or files
  • Maintain transportation or logistical records, reports, or files
  • Move heavy objects
  • Move materials or goods between work areas
  • Observe loading of freight to ensure crew compliance with procedures
  • Operate cleaning equipment
  • Operate Geographic Positioning System (GPS) equipment
  • Operate material moving, loading, or unloading equipment
  • Operate mounted hydraulic lifts
  • Operate tractor with accessories or attachments
  • Perform safety inspection
  • Prepare technical or scientific reports
  • Repair cargo or passenger vehicle
  • Review maps
  • Review navigation charts
  • Route freight shipments
  • Service vehicle with water, air, fuel, or oil
  • Stack containers, materials, or products
  • Supervise subordinate personnel or contractors
  • Transport cargo
  • Transport passengers
  • Verify cargo against shipping papers
  • Wrap products for preservation, protection, safety, and stability

  • Independence
    - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • Support
    - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.


Air compressors: Air compressors;

Blocks or pulleys: Blocks and tackle;

Cargo trucks: Flatbed trucks;

Container trailers: Pup trailers;

Delivery trucks: Trucks greater than 26000 pounds;

Dump trucks: Dump trucks;

Flatbed trailers: Tilt trailers; Lowboy trailers;

Forklifts: Forklifts;

Global positioning system GPS receiver: Global positioning system GPS receivers;

Hand trucks or accessories: Handtrucks;

Hoists: Cargo hoists;

Laser fax machine: Laser facsimile machines;

Lifts: Hydraulic lifts; Johnson bars; Handlifts;

Location based messaging service platforms: Satellite linkup systems;

Mobile phones: Cell phones;

Notebook computers: Notebook computers;

Personal digital assistant PDAs or organizers: Personal digital assistants PDA;

Scanners: Scanners;

Sludge or sewage handling trucks: Refuse collection trucks;

Snowplow attachments: Plow attachments;

Telescoping boom lift: Telescoping boom trucks;

Thin client computers: On-board computers;

Tower cranes: 4-ranger tower trucks;

Trailer hitches: Sliding fifth wheels; Sliding tandem axles;

Two way radios: Two way radios;

Wheel loaders: Wheel loaders;

Winches: Winches;


Analytical or scientific software: Omnitracs Performance Monitoring;

Data base user interface and query software: Truckers Helper software; ddlsoftware.com drivers daily log program DDL; Easy Trucker software; Fog Line Software Truckn2004;

Inventory management software: Computerized inventory tracking software;

Materials requirements planning logistics and supply chain software: PeopleNet;

Office suite software: Microsoft Office software;

Operating system software: Microsoft Windows;

Route navigation software: ALK Technologies PC*Miler; MarcoSoft Quo Vadis;

Spreadsheet software: Microsoft Excel;

Related O*NET occupational titles for Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers include:
  • 53-7032.00 Excavating and Loading Machine and Dragline Operators
  • 47-4051.00 Highway Maintenance Workers
  • 53-3033.00 Light Truck or Delivery Services Drivers
  • 53-4012.00 Locomotive Firers
  • 53-5022.00 Motorboat Operators
  • 47-2071.00 Paving, Surfacing, and Tamping Equipment Operators
  • 47-2072.00 Pile-Driver Operators
  • 53-4021.00 Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators
  • 53-5011.00 Sailors and Marine Oilers
  • 47-5013.00 Service Unit Operators, Oil, Gas, and Mining

Contact Texas Workforce Commission
Labor Market and Career Information  |  101 E. 15th Street, Annex Room 0252  |  Austin, Texas 78778
Official Website  |  1-800-822-PLAN (7526)  |  512.936.3200

** The information in this report may be derived from many sources like O*NET, BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), OOH (Occupational Outlook Handbook), and Career One Stop.