Occupation Summary

Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators

O*NET 53-7051.00


Operate industrial trucks or tractors equipped to move materials around a warehouse, storage yard, factory, construction site, or similar location.

Annual Wages:
Employment Rate:
Employment is expected to increase by 16.22%.
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. Move controls to drive gasoline- or electric-powered trucks, cars, or tractors and transport materials between loading, processing, and storage areas.
  2. Move levers or controls that operate lifting devices, such as forklifts, lift beams with swivel-hooks, hoists, or elevating platforms, to load, unload, transport, or stack material.
  3. Position lifting devices under, over, or around loaded pallets, skids, or boxes and secure material or products for transport to designated areas.
  4. Perform routine maintenance on vehicles or auxiliary equipment, such as cleaning, lubricating, recharging batteries, fueling, or replacing liquefied-gas tank.
  5. Weigh materials or products and record weight or other production data on tags or labels.
  6. Operate or tend automatic stacking, loading, packaging, or cutting machines.
  7. Signal workers to discharge, dump, or level materials.
  8. Hook tow trucks to trailer hitches and fasten attachments, such as graders, plows, rollers, or winch cables to tractors, using hitchpins.
  9. Turn valves and open chutes to dump, spray, or release materials from dump cars or storage bins into hoppers.
  10. Inspect product load for accuracy and safely move it around the warehouse or facility to ensure timely and complete delivery.
  11. Manually or mechanically load or unload materials from pallets, skids, platforms, cars, lifting devices, or other transport vehicles.

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National Industry Employment Patterns

Industry % of Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators employed Annual Growth Rate
Grocery and related product wholesalers 4.3 1.04
General freight trucking 2.5 0.36
Building material and supplies dealers 2.2 0.49

Labor Market Information

2018 Statewide average hourly wage $16.15
2018 National average hourly wage $17.54
2016 National employment 549,900
2016 Texas employment 57,839
Texas projected employment by 2026 67,220
Texas projected annual employment and Turnover openings through 2026 7,795

* 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
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.
English Language
Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
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.
Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
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.
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.
Personnel and Human Resources
Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

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.
Equipment Maintenance
Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Time Management
Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
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.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Judgment and Decision Making
Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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.
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.
Manual Dexterity
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Far Vision
The ability to see details at a distance.
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.
Reaction Time
The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
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.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Static Strength
The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.

  • 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.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
    -- Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Handling and Moving Objects
    -- Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Getting Information
    -- Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Other Activities

  • Adjust industrial, manufacturing, or production equipment
  • Construct wooden frameworks or structures
  • Count products or materials
  • Determine dimensions or characteristics using measuring devices
  • Don/Doff Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Drive automobile, van, or light truck
  • Drive truck with capacity greater than 3 tons
  • Employ weighing or measuring devices in transportation
  • Fasten attachments or accessories to tractor
  • Follow safety procedures and regulations
  • Inspect machinery or equipment to determine damage, defects, adjustments, repairs, and suitability for use
  • Load/Unload containers, materials, or products
  • Maintain cargo or passenger vehicle
  • Maintain production or work records
  • Manage handling of hazardous, toxic, or non-compliant materials
  • Measure items, parcels, materials, and products
  • Measure products or materials
  • Move heavy objects
  • Move materials or goods between work areas
  • Operate cargo handling gear
  • Operate hand or power tools
  • Operate heavy construction equipment
  • Operate hoist, winch, or hydraulic boom
  • Operate material moving, loading, or unloading equipment
  • Operate mounted hydraulic lifts
  • Operate packaging or banding machine or equipment
  • Operate tractor with accessories or attachments
  • Package goods for shipment or storage
  • Perform safety inspection
  • Repair cargo or passenger vehicle
  • Review schedules to obtain cargo loading information
  • Signal directions or warnings to coworkers
  • Stack containers, materials, or products
  • Verify cargo against shipping papers
  • Weigh products or materials

  • Relationships
    - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • 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.


Belt conveyors: Belt conveyors;

Bulk transporters: Bulk liquid trucks;

Cargo handling equipment: Straddle carriers; Container reach stackers; Container top handlers; Reach stackers;

Cargo trucks: Top loaders; Hustlers;

Conventional truck cranes: Industrial crane trucks;

Dock plates: Bridgeplates;

Dock ramps: Dockboards;

Dollies: Dollies;

Flatbed trailers: Flatbed trailers;

Forklift or elevator accessories or supplies: Metal dump hopper attachments; Lift beams; Crane attachments; Booms; Scoops; Shovel attachments;

Forklifts: Sliding boom forklifts; Rough terrain forklifts; Straight-mast forklifts; Lift trucks; Extended-reach forklifts; Forklifts; Forktrucks; Cantilever trucks;

Grapples: Fork-grapples;

Hand trucks or accessories: Motorized hand trucks;

Hoists: Overhead hoists;

Industrial shrink wrap equipment: Shrink wrap machines;

Jacks: Jacks;

Lifting hooks: Lifting clamps;

Lifts: Combination vacuum lifts; Counterbalanced front/side loader lift trucks; Reach type outrigger trucks; Rider trucks;

Manlift or personnel lift: High-lift order picker trucks; Reach rider trucks;

Non temperature controlled tanker trailers: Tank trailers;

Pallet trucks: Pallet trucks;

Personal computers: Personal computers;

Platform lift: Personnel and burden carriers; Platform lift trucks;

Snowplow attachments: Snowplows;

Swivel hooks: Swivel hooks;

Telescoping boom lift: Telescopic forklifts;

Thin client computers: On-board computers for sending/receiving instructions;

Wheel chocks: Wheel chocks;

Wrapping machinery: Banding equipment;


Computer aided design CAD software: Autodesk AutoCAD;

Enterprise resource planning ERP software: SAP software;

Inventory management software: SAP warehouse management software; Midland Information Systems inventory management software; Motek Priya; RedPrairie DLx Warehouse; BarControl Enterprise Manager iBEM; IntelliTrack Warehouse Management System WMS; Inventory management software; Lilly Software Associates VISUAL DCMS; ATMS StockTrack PLUS; Argos Software ABECAS Insight WMS;

Materials requirements planning logistics and supply chain software: Aldata G.O.L.D. software; SSA Global Supply Chain Management;

Office suite software: Microsoft Office software;

Spreadsheet software: Microsoft Excel;

Related O*NET occupational titles for Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators include:
  • 51-9191.00 Adhesive Bonding Machine Operators and Tenders
  • 51-2021.00 Coil Winders, Tapers, and Finishers
  • 51-4031.00 Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
  • 53-7032.00 Excavating and Loading Machine and Dragline Operators
  • 53-3033.00 Light Truck or Delivery Services Drivers
  • 51-9195.07 Molding and Casting Workers
  • 51-4052.00 Pourers and Casters, Metal
  • 51-5113.00 Print Binding and Finishing Workers
  • 51-7041.00 Sawing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Wood
  • 51-4121.06 Welders, Cutters, and Welder Fitters

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.