Do you enjoy driving heavy vehicles, traveling to different locations, and working with people? If so, a career as a truck driver in Australia might be the perfect fit for you. In this complete guide, we will explore how to become a truck driver in Australia, even if you have no prior experience.
Truck drivers are licensed workers who operate heavy vehicles, such as tankers, trucks, and tractor-trailers, to transport goods, food, automobiles, materials, and cargo across the country. They play a crucial role in the supply chain by ensuring the safe handling, loading, unloading, and transporting goods. Truck drivers can work as self-employed contractors or for transportation companies, dispatching agencies, or commercial fleets.
Before pursuing a career as a truck driver, it’s important to consider whether it’s a good fit for you. Here are some reasons why becoming a truck driver in Australia can be a rewarding decision:
The daily tasks and duties of a truck driver include:
To succeed as a truck driver, you need the following skills:
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need formal qualifications to work as a truck driver (General) in Australia. However, obtaining a state-issued truck and heavy vehicle license is necessary. Here are the requirements to qualify for this role:
To transport dangerous substances, additional licenses, a medical certificate, eyesight test, and relevant training courses are required.
The process of becoming a truck driver may vary depending on the state you’re in. However, the general steps to follow are:
Step 1: Obtain a Car Driver’s License You need a valid car driver’s license before pursuing a truck driver’s license. Different classes of vehicle licenses have specific requirements and minimum holding periods.
Step 2: Obtain a Heavy Vehicle License Progress through a step-wise process to obtain a heavy vehicle license. This involves obtaining a Light Rigid license, followed by a Heavy Rigid license, and then a Heavy Combination license. The Multi Combination license is the highest class, allowing you to operate any road-registered vehicle.
Step 3: Pass the Medical Test Undergo a written eye examination and practical knowledge test. If you have any medical conditions or take medications, you may need medical clearance from the state-level authority.
Step 4: Take the Driver’s Training Course Complete the formal training course specific to the license category you wish to obtain. Check the requirements of your state and book your on-road and off-road heavy vehicle license course with an accredited provider.
Step 5: Take the Written and Practical Assessment Pass the Heavy Vehicle Competency Based Assessment with a Registered Training Organization (RTO) or a Roads and Maritime Testing Officer. Upon successful completion, you will receive a certificate of competence.
Step 6: Get Your Heavy Vehicle License Visit the relevant state-level Roads and Transport Department to endorse your heavy vehicle license. Pay the required fees to receive your endorsed driver’s license.
Step 7: Find a Job Identify the industry you want to work in and apply for relevant truck driver positions. Familiarize yourself with necessary tools and technologies used in the industry, and stay updated with the latest developments. Utilize online job portals and consider registering with recruitment agencies or approaching logistics companies directly.
Completing a Certificate III or IV in Driving Operations can enhance your prospects as a truck driver. These courses provide practical training on driving heavy vehicles, fatigue management, safe shifting of materials, and communication between vehicles. Certificate III focuses on entry-level driving operation jobs, while Certificate IV prepares you for skilled work in a truck driving environment.
Truck drivers often face early starts, strict deadlines, and long shifts that can extend up to 14 hours a day. They may have to travel long distances to remote or rural locations. The profession requires physical endurance, and drivers are frequently exposed to harsh weather conditions. Many drivers spend several days away from home, and their trucks are equipped with sleeping bunks, refrigerators, and other amenities for comfort.
Truck drivers are in demand across various sectors, including commercial, mining, manufacturing, transport, construction, government authorities, agriculture, and more. They can work for different types of employers, from large transportation companies to smaller businesses and owner-operators. Truck drivers have a range of job options, including roles such as agitator drivers, line haul drivers, fuel tanker drivers, bus drivers, and more.
The trucking industry in Australia is experiencing a shortage of skilled drivers, primarily due to the increasing significance of road freight and the retirement of current drivers. This shortage indicates promising job prospects for truck drivers in the coming years. According to the Australian government’s Job Outlook website, the number of truck drivers is expected to grow steadily from 196,000 in 2020 to 208,800 by 2025. Truck drivers may work as owner-drivers or drive company-owned vehicles, and employment opportunities exist across various regions and industries.
The average salary of a truck driver in Australia is $79,465 per year or $31.49 per hour. Full-time truck drivers earn around $1,509 per week, with salaries gradually increasing with experience. Earnings may vary depending on factors such as location, experience, and type of trucking job. For example, truck drivers in Perth, Western Australia, can earn an average of $108,412 per year, while those in Melbourne, Victoria, may earn around $76,934 per year.
The article concludes with a section addressing common questions related to truck driving in Australia, such as obtaining a truck driver’s license, visa options for foreigners, average age of truck drivers, and more.
Becoming a truck driver in Australia involves obtaining the necessary licenses, completing relevant training courses, and finding job opportunities in various industries. While the profession offers job stability and the opportunity to explore the country, it also requires physical endurance and adherence to safety regulations. With a growing demand for truck drivers, the industry provides promising prospects for those interested in pursuing this career path.