All You Need To Know About Lorry Driver Job

All Secrets You Need To Know About Lorry Driver Job

Most lorry drivers are employed as over the road drivers (OTR) which mean that the lorry driver needs to transport freight over long distances. From point A the pickup place to the point B delivery place. The lorry driver career is ideal for people who don’t want to be stacked in one office all day and people who have hungry blood for adventures.


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The lorry driver is the important part for the US economy because they transport the raw materials from the source to the processor, from the processor to the manufacturer and then to the retail and distribution centers.

Without lorry drivers, the world would stop because we wouldn’t be able to get the product we need in the everyday life.

Job Obligations

What do you need to know before you dare to become a lorry driver? Being an OTR Lorry driver in not easy at all because you need to open your eyes while you driving in your cabin and while you are delivering the loads taking care of the freight and the documents that need to be fulfilled properly.

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Here is the list of duties and functions of one lorry driver:

  • Driving and operating different types of trucks
  • Transporting goods for long distances
  • Planning of the route with help of route optimizer
  • Preparing the necessary documents for the freight
  • Ability of proper Pre-trip vehicle inspection
  • Reporting mechanical problems
  • Basic truck repair skills for maintaining the truck in proper shape
  • Loading and unloading the cargo
  • On time delivery to the consignee
  • Filing and taking signatures on the delivery papers
  • Checking on the shipping papers
  • Securing the load by the safety requirements
  • Following the safety regulations for transporting hazardous loads
  • Maintaining Log books
  • Communication with dispatchers
  • Required IT knowledge
  • Respecting traffic laws
  • Skills for driving forklifts

Requirements to Become Lorry Driver

Now you know what would be expected from you and if you still want to get involved in this career than I am here to give you some guidance.

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The requirements to become a lorry driver are:

  • Get a CDL training
  • Clean Medical Exam
  • Get a Commercial Driver License
  • Pass an Air Brake Test (the truck have airbrake system and you need to pass this CDL test to drive a vehicle with air brakes)
  • Get proper endorsements (every type of truck or freight could need different endorsements)
  • Excellent driving record
  • High-level communication skills
  • At least 21 years if you want to drive interstate

Types of Employment

There are 3 types of lorry driver employment:

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  1. Owner Operators (O/Os) – Lorry drivers who own their trucks (or lease from a company to buy it in the end) to transport own loads or they are driving their truck to transport loads for companies but as independent contractors. If you want to become an owner operator you wouldn’t be under the company control. You have free hands to organize your transport but in a case of truck defect you are responsible for covering the repair expenses.
  2. Company Lorry Driver – This driver is under the company regulations. She/he is driving company trucks and it is not responsible for the fuel, the repairs or other expenses connected with the truck. The company for the company lorry driver is covering insurance and payment by the mile or hour.
  3. Independent Owner lorry driver – This driver have own authority to transport loads and it drives own truck to haul loads. In most of the cases, the independent owner lorry driver has more than 1 truck.

Lorry Driver Categories by the Load Characteristics

No matter what type of lorry driver you are, you can choose to get involved in these lorry driver categories:

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  • Dry Van lorry driver – transporting goods that are not liquid and are palletized in separate pieces or secured in one bigger load (transporting machine for one consignee). The load is loaded in closed trailer not exposed to outer conditions.
  • Flat Bed lorry driver – transporting goods that are oversized and not able to be transported by another type of trailer. An interesting thing for this transporting service is that the load can go out of the footprint of the flatbed trailer.
  • Reefer lorry driver – if you choose to get involved in this category you need to know that you will be responsible for temperature sensitive cargo and the load checkups are in a shorter period of time.
  • Truckmovers – Lorry driver that transporting more trucks at ones from the manufacturer to the customer yard.
  • Tanker lorry driver – transporting liquid loads such as gasoline, diesel fuel, oil, milk … for this category of lorry driver you will need special certification.
  • Dump lorry driver – transporting loose materials: sand, coal, gravel with a dump truck that use pressurized air for lifting the trailer and unloading the load.
  • Tow lorry driver – transporting wrecked or defected vehicles from the place of the accident or where the defect occurred to the required place or the repair shop.
  • Auto Transporters – these lorry drivers are specialized for loading, transporting and unloading cars in the specially designed trailer for transporting cars.

Lorry Driver Categories by The Location

Depending on where the lorry driver is performing the trip they can be:

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  1. Local lorry driver – If you are attached to your home and your family this might be a good chance to get involved in Class 8 trucking services without leaving your hometown. Everything you’ll transport will be in the range of your town. So you can kiss your kids in the morning and wish them sweet dream in the end of the day.
  2. Regional lorry driver – If you are not a fan of long hauls the regional transporting may be a good chance for you to have a decent salary and still not leave your home for a long time. The transportation will be trough the states that are near your home.
  3. Interstate lorry driver – In another term: Over The Road Lorry driver is driving long miles like coast to coast transportation. This category is the most challenging for the drivers because they are away from home for few months. That is the reason most of them are getting involved in a team driving with their spouses.


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A lorry driver can be:

  1. Paid by the Mileage – the lorry driver salary that is paid by the mileage can vary from a trucking company to a trucking company because the mileage rate is not the same everywhere. But the system works in a way that the odometer that is mounted on the axle is counting the miles that the lorry driver is making during the transportation.

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This is the best way to be paid as a lorry driver in case the payment includes the actual miles that you are making. I am saying this because some of the companies are having a practice of paying a lorry driver by the short miles. What are short miles?



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