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Get in the Driver’s Seat of Your Future: What It Takes to Have a Career as a Dump Truck Driver

May 27, 2022

Filed Under: Hiring

Looking for a new career? Want to use your talents in a new context? Ready to add skills to your resume? You might be the perfect candidate to fill our open Dump Truck Driver position here at Gray & Son! 

No matter where you are in your career, working as a dump truck driver offers competitive pay, opportunity for advancement, and job security. For young drivers, it’s a great way to gain experience behind the wheel, increase skills, enhance your resume, or make connections in the industry. Experienced drivers can also benefit from this opportunity, as it allows drivers to stay closer to home and avoid long trips away. Here, our team at Gray & Son shares what it takes to start your career as a dump truck driver. 

Why You Should Consider Dump Truck Driving

Working as a dump truck driver offers the best parts of both the trucking and construction industries. It’s the perfect job for those who are looking for variety and autonomy in their career, as every shift is different and you are given independence in the cab.

Dump truck driving is also great for truckers who don’t want to spend too much time on the road. While over-the-road (OTH) truckers may be out driving for days or weeks at a time, dump truck drivers return home at the end of each day once their shift is finished. For drivers with families or pets, or for those who don’t prefer to be away from home for long, this position can offer a more manageable schedule than that of OTH drivers.

Dump Truck Driver Qualifications

In order to be hired as a driver for any heavyweight commercial vehicle, including dump trucks, one must meet several qualifications. While the list below details a general guide, always check with your state’s department of motor vehicles to determine if there are any additional requirements.

Licenses

In February 2022, a new federal rule for entry-level CDL training went into effect. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations for entry-level driver training (ELDT) for CDL licenses were mandated under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act. 

These ELDT regulations establish the baseline training for entry-level drivers. They apply to anyone seeking a Class A or Class B CDL for the first time, upgrading an existing Class B CDL to a Class A CDL, or obtaining a first-time school bus, passenger, or hazardous materials endorsement. These regulations are not retroactive, so those who were issued a CDL or one of the related endorsements prior to February 2022 are not required to complete additional training. 

In order to operate various dump trucks, drivers will need at least a Class-B CDL. However, if you are an experienced driver and already hold a Class-A license, you are automatically qualified.

Class A licenses allow you to drive almost any vehicle, including eighteen-wheeler tractor-trailer units or any truck and trailer combination. 

Class B licenses allow you to drive straight trucks, such as ten or twelve-wheelers, or straight trucks of 26,000 lbs or more combined with a trailer of no more than 10,000 lbs. 

To earn a commercial license, you must provide a clean driving history in addition to passing a drug test and medical examination.

Endorsements

When taking the written examination for a Class A CDL, you have the option to complete endorsements, which are additional knowledge tests that allow drivers to operate special types of motor vehicles. Endorsements like double and triple trailers, combination vehicles, air brakes, tanker vehicles, and hazardous materials can apply to dump truck drivers. Endorsements are not only a method for improving your skills, but also a way to make your job application stand out as a driver. Consider choosing an endorsement (or several!) that interest you or might apply to your driving career.

Finding Employment with a Company

If you’re looking to begin working as a driver quickly, being hired through a truck driving company is the ideal method of employment. This style provides drivers with more stability and security. Company drivers are ensured reliable pay, overtime opportunities, benefits and health insurance, and schedule flexibility. When working for a company, drivers are also provided a truck and other necessary resources. Some companies will even support, provide, or pay for drivers’ training.

In addition to the benefits of company-provided resources, working for a company allows drivers to make connections and learn from other experienced drivers. This allows new drivers the opportunity to network with and learn from other seasoned professionals. Some drivers advocate for driving for smaller companies exclusively, as their community of drivers often fosters a better environment for teaching and helping drivers. 

Dump Truck Drivers’ Salary

The driver salary potential ranges based on location and style of employment. While other types of truckers are compensated by mileage, payment methods for dump truck drivers range from hourly rates to flat fees per load. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS, the median pay for heavy truck drivers in 2020 was $47,130 per year or $22.66 per hour. 

Benefits of a Career as a Dump Truck Driver 

There are countless benefits to being a dump truck driver. For many drivers, the flexibility in schedule and the chance to stay close to home are the most valuable parts of the job. Local routes allow drivers to forgo long over-the-road trips for reliable shifts and a consistent schedule. 

The competitive salary and job security also contribute to the job satisfaction many drivers experience. Whether they are paid by the hour or by the load, a driver’s income properly compensates their hard work. Beyond the strong salary, job security for drivers is quite strong. Currently only 3.68%, the unemployment rate for drivers is low, and has continued to drop since 2010. The consistent decrease suggests a growing demand for drivers, which means now is a great time to begin pursuing such a career.

Start Your Career as a Dump Truck Driver with Gray & Son

A career as a dump truck driver has proven to be both fulfilling and convenient. Drivers have a chance to make a competitive wage, connect with other drivers, and work with a great company, all while staying close to home. At Gray & Son, we know the value of talented drivers and are always looking to add more to our fleet. If you have a CDL and are ready to start your career as a driver, we’d love to hear from you. Check out our Careers Page for more information on how to join our team.