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Dump truck jobsDump truck jobs are great positions for drivers who want to stay close to home and are happy to be out rain or shine. Dump truck work includes a big range in type of load. Some drivers haul garbage, but others haul paving materials and construction supplies like dirt, gravel, sand, or coal. If you’re new to the dump truck world or are thinking about switching to become a dump truck driver, we have everything you need to find your first job.

1. How To Get Started With A Dump Truck

License and Certifications

As with most types of truck driving, one of the first steps for starting with a dump truck is licensing. Professional dump truck drivers need either a CDL A or CDL B license to get started. A CDL B license will take less time and has a lower cost, but a CDL A allows drivers to accept a greater range of jobs. Before signing up for a CDL licensing program, do a little research to decide which type of license is better for you. 

In addition to a CDL license, there are a few certifications that can be helpful for dump truck drivers. The Dump Truck Operations and Dump Truck Tailgate Removal and Installation CBT Certifications can make drivers more competitive as job candidates. Hazmat, Passenger, and Air Brakes endorsements can also benefit dump truck drivers. Each of these additional certifications opens up job possibilities and makes you a more competitive driver candidate. 

Types of Trucks

As you get started in dump truck driving, take some time to get to know the types of dump trucks. There are a lot of options here. The most common type of truck, a standard dump truck, is a truck chassis with a dump truck body on the frame. The back of the bed is hinged. Also, there is a hydraulic ram under the body that raises the bed to dump loads. We won’t get into all the details here, but there are many other types of trucks that drivers use for specific types of loads or in specific geographies. To see them all, check out this list

Job Details

While the work for dump truck jobs isn’t a light load, there are many benefits to hauling dump truck loads. Typically, dump truck work is local, so most drivers are home daily. For drivers with a family or who are tired of long nights on the road, this is a huge advantage of driving dump trucks. That said, drivers should be prepared to work rain or shine! Depending on where you live, there can be a wide range of weather conditions. As a dump truck driver, you’ll work in all of them. For drivers who are more social, dump truck jobs can be a great fit. Many drivers work with a lot of the same people consistently, so there is a sense of camaraderie on the job. 

2. Company Driver or Owner Operator? 

Company Driver

Dump truck driver Travis

Travis, Dump Truck Driver

A big decision to make if you are getting started in dump trucking is whether you want to be a company driver or an owner operator. If you’re new to the dump truck world, starting out as a company driver can help you get experience while having a steady job. We asked Travis, a dump truck driver from a small company in Southern Oregon, if he had any tips for new drivers.

“Just be confident in yourself as a driver. Take every bit of criticism and knowledge people want to pass down. Research and watch some videos on YouTube just to get some basic knowledge. Try and find a smaller company that will be more apt to help and give drivers a chance,” shared Travis.

Owner Operator

On the other hand, if you are ready to jump in as an owner operator, you will have more flexibility. You can decide what jobs fit your schedule and meet your financial needs. Before you start, make sure you are financially ready. The biggest costs for new dump truck owner operators are in equipment. You will need to decide what type of truck is best for you and will help you get the jobs you need. While a truck is typically the biggest upfront cost, make sure you also budget time and money for licensing and smaller costs like fuel and any technology you want in your truck. 

We spoke with Greg, an experienced owner operator for his company Greg Melendez Trucking, about how to find dump truck work.

“I started in ’99 and the one thing I learned was to NEVER turn down the first job and NEVER cancel due to a second job that might be better. Take the first job and work it and the person your working for will appreciate it, not like the guy that cancels thinking the second job offer is better cause most [of] the time it’s worse. Honesty goes a long way in this type of work. The more honest you are the more respect you’ll get in return,” shared Greg.

Becoming a dump truck owner operator is not cheap, but for some drivers, the payoffs in money and time are well worth it.

3. How to Find Work

Dump truck work

Photo from Dump Truck Driver, Travis

If you take the big step to become a dump truck driver, being able to find jobs is a lifeline! To start your search, use sites that partner with multiple employers. Drive My Way can save you endless hours of job searching by matching you with a company that fits your qualifications and personal preferences. 

If you start your job search in person, it’s all about connecting with the right people. Networking is the key to success. For local work, start with a drive! Keep an eye out for construction companies in your area that might need dump truck workers. Look for developments in your town and nearby and find out what company is paying for the work. Then, reach out to that company and see if they need extra trucks. If you want more information on a company before you reach out, go to safer.fmcsa.dot.gov and look at company snapshots. Enter the name or US DOT number to look at the fleet size and the driver number. If there are more trucks than drivers, that may mean they are looking for people to fill those jobs!

To expand your job search beyond what you find on a drive around town, start looking for construction zones. Then, find out which companies won those construction bids. For local work, contact your local government and find out what companies have contracts. Then, get in touch and ask if any of those companies are looking for sub-contractors. Dump truck owner operators can also bid on state construction contracts. However, these bids are often harder to win because many construction companies are looking for companies with multiple trucks. Start your search close to home, then make your circle bigger if needed.

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Clear Harbors driverToday’s job of the day comes from Clean Harbors Environmental Services

As a Clean Harbors driver, you will be responsible for the safe transport of hazardous waste from a generator/facility to one of our facilities, adhering to DOT and hazardous waste regulations. At Clean Harbors we are passionate about providing premier environmental, energy, and industrial services.

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When you work with the Clean Harbors team, you will perform work that truly makes a difference – not only in people’s lives but also in protecting the planet.  Safety is our No. 1 priority. As a driver, you’ll get the training and support to do your job and return home safely. Change your life for the better.  Apply today.

We are hiring for the following positions:

Why work for Clean Harbors?

  • Work for Top Environmental Safety Company
  • Great company culture
  • Company Drivers: Great pay and overtime after 40 hours
  • Company Drivers: Health and dental care
  • Owner Operators: Good base pay with additional pay opportunities
  • Paid orientation or training
  • Consistent freight
  • Sign-on and referral bonuses for all positions

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garbage truck driver

Garbage truck driver jobs can be a great fit for new drivers and experienced drivers alike. These jobs are typically local, so drivers get regular home time. They’re also great for drivers who like to stay on the move throughout their day. Garbage truck jobs often require some physical labor. As with many trucking jobs, it can be easy to find a garbage truck driving job, but hard to find a good one. Here’s what you need to know to find the best garbage truck driver jobs.

1. Know the Lingo

  • Residential: Residential garbage truck drivers are the ones you see in your neighborhood if you live in an urban area. These drivers are responsible for picking up cans from individual residences. 
  • Commercial: These drivers are the opposite of Residential garbage truck drivers. Commercial drivers pick up waste from businesses or apartment complexes. 

2. A Day in the Life

Garbage truck driver jobs can be quite different from other CDL jobs. Most of these positions are local, so drivers will stay within a relatively close radius. Typically, drivers are home nightly. That said, hours are not always consistent, so a garbage truck driver may find that their schedule does change at times. Another important thing to decide before you take a new job is what level of touch you prefer. Most garbage truck driver jobs call for a high level of touch, and there is usually manual labor required. If you like to be active, this job will keep you moving!

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Kevin, Garbage Truck Driver for EZ Pack

We talked to Kevin, a garbage truck driver for EZ Pack, and asked him if he had any suggestions for other drivers looking for a garbage truck driver job. He shared his perspective with Drive My Way.

“Well I guess everyone is always looking for a good driver with a clean CDL. So if you have those key ingredients you’re bound for success anywhere. Good perks and benefits if you find the right place, they’re out there, if you’re willing to work for it,” shared Kevin.

Commercial garbage truck drivers usually work in urban environments, so if city driving isn’t for you, think twice about this job! Similarly, many garbage truck driver jobs are for residential positions. That means that drivers need to be comfortable maneuvering in tight streets. In addition, because there are a lot of jobs in residential areas, some drivers may have a higher level of interpersonal engagement than in other local positions. 

3. How are Dump Truck Jobs Different?

If you are taking a job as a dump truck driver early in your CDL career, there are a few things to consider. This type of job can be a great way to get started in trucking, BUT you should know that not all employers consider this type of work good experience for other CDL jobs. Also, if you find yourself thinking that garbage truck driver jobs are an easy way to get started in trucking, that’s not necessarily the case! These trucks have a higher center of gravity than many other types of trucks, so it takes skill and experience to avoid incidents. Dump trucks are often considered more dangerous than other types of CDL work.

4. How To Become A Garbage Truck Driver

Once you’ve decided that this is the job for you, there are a few things you’ll need to get started. First, get your CDL A or B license. Some companies will accept either, and deciding between the two licenses will depend a lot on your plans for the future. If you want to drive dry van, tanker, reefer, or other similar jobs, a CDL A is more flexible. Some employers also value mechanical experience. While it may not be the main part of your job, a driver who can fix machines can be valuable. 

If you want to drive dry van, tanker, reefer, or other similar jobs, a CDL A is more flexible.

In addition to the technical requirements, there are some personal attributes that are helpful for garbage truck driver jobs. Often, driving a garbage truck requires a high level of physical fitness, so it’s helpful to be in good physical condition so you don’t strain or injure yourself. Also, it’s important that you like to be outside and are willing to work in different weather conditions. When you’re ready to make your next job change, check out Drive My Way to find companies hiring near you who are a good fit for your lifestyle and job preferences.

5. What Questions Should I Ask Employers?

truck driver holding steering wheelAny time you prepare for a CDL job change, there are a few important questions to ask. These questions will help you find the best garbage truck driver jobs for you at a reliable company. Before you even talk to the company, do your research on compensation, hours, and benefits.

If a company meets your needs, get in touch. Otherwise, stay away and move on to the next company. If possible, ask to speak with a current company driver to get their perspective. 

For garbage truck jobs, ask a recruiter about your route. Then, find out whether you will be working with a partner or solo. Equipment also plays a particularly big role for garbage truck drivers. Older truck models may not have the same grabbing hooks and may require more manual labor than newer models. Similarly, what level of touch can you expect? As you finish your conversation, make sure to ask about opportunities for advancement. You may not be looking for a career move right now, but you may be looking for a promotion in the future.

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roll off truck driver

Even if you’re not a roll off truck driver, there’s a good chance you’ve seen these trucks hard at work. Roll off truck drivers typically handle equipment like dumpsters and usually work local or regional routes. If you think this might be the job for you, keep reading to find out what a day in the life of a roll off truck driver is like. 

Getting to Know the Equipment

Roll Off trucking jobs have a few special requirements. The first is tarping. Like many flatbed jobs, a lot of roll off jobs require tarping, and the amount of physical labor will depend on the company. Some trucks have automatic tarping systems, so the amount of physical work is relatively low. Others require manual tarping. 

Roll off drivers will also usually use a hook or cable system to lift and lower their haul. When loading, you might feel your front wheels lift off the ground. It can be unnerving at first, but it’s actually pretty common. Front wheel lift is not a sign of problems, it just means that your weight distribution is shifted toward the back of your truck. After a few loads, you’ll barely notice the lift. 

Pay and Hours

roll off truck driver at yardMost companies that are looking for a roll off truck driver are hiring for local or regional jobs right now. That can bring a lot of benefits in terms of schedule and home time. Like many other local jobs, it does mean that the pay is lower than a typical OTR position. Pay for a roll off truck driver will vary a little based on where you are geographically, your experience, and your company.

Job demand for roll off trucking is expected to grow 5% between 2018 and 2028, so a career as a roll off truck driver has good job security. 

As a roll off truck driver, your schedule will likely include long shifts. Many drivers work 10-12 hour shifts and often start early in the morning. Because a lot of roll off drivers are paid hourly, overtime pay can add a big bonus to your paycheck. Some companies look for drivers for only Monday through Friday shifts and others require evenings and/or weekends. If you want a specific schedule, make sure you ask the recruiter what the company has to offer.

Job Requirements

For a roll off truck driver position, you will need a CDL license. But, whether you need a CDL A or CDL B license depends on the job. Many companies prefer that drivers have at least a few years of CDL driving experience before taking a roll off position. That said, some places will hire new drivers. You’ll just need to look a little harder. 

Good driving and a patient personality are very important for roll off truck drivers.

Because roll off truckers frequently spend a lot of time in cities, traffic can play a big role in your day. Good driving and a patient personality are key. There are also likely to be frequent obstacles or distractions on the road or when making deliveries or pickups. These can be safety hazards for drivers who aren’t paying attention, so roll off drivers need to be particularly alert to their surroundings. 

A Day on the Job

roll off truck in the citySo what a day in life actually look like? To start, roll off drivers, like all CDL drivers, do a pre-trip inspection. Often, drivers will have multiple sites for drop off and pick up. A dispatcher will be sharing route information throughout the day either on a CB or an iPad. Drivers who haul dumpsters will typically make trips to some type of waste or disposal site to unload throughout the day.

Roll off truck drivers get to see a lot of different places and meet a lot of different people on the job. Depending on the company and the position, there may be some direct customer interaction. That could include employees at a disposal site or homeowners at private houses if you’re delivering a temporary dumpster to a residential address. A typical day ends with returning to the yard and a post-trip inspection.

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CDL B license
Considering getting a commercial driver’s license, also known as a CDL? There are 3 options when first starting: Class A CDL, Class B CDL or Class C CDL. Each type of license has its own training and testing procedures, and there are pros and cons to each. Depending on your career plans, any of these might be the right fit for you. Here we’re going to explore what you need to know when getting a Class B CDL License.

1. The basics of a Class B CDL

Though getting a Class A CDL endorsement may open up the most job opportunities for a driver, a Class B CDL licence can provide a driver with a great career. A Class B CDL is a restricted license as you are not allowed to drive large tractors that tow 10,000 pounds or more.

From the Federal Motor Carrier Association, “Any single vehicle which has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight of 11,794 or more kilograms (26,001 pounds or more). Or any such vehicle towing a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight that does not exceed  4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds).

2. What vehicles a CDL B driver can operate

With a Class B icense, a trucker can drive any vehicles endorsed for Class B or Class C. Some of these vehicles are:

  • Straight trucks
  • Large passenger buses (city buses, tourist buses, and school buses)
  • Segmented buses
  • Box trucks (including delivery trucks and furniture trucks)
  • Dump trucks with small trailers
  • Garbage trucks / Cement mixers
  • Tractor-trailers

3. Age requirements

For a Class B CDL, the driver age requirement in some states is only 18 years or older. In these cases, this is a great opportunity for a new driver to start earlier and gain valuable experience over the road. After only 3 short years, a CDL B driver can be ready to test for the CDL A license if they’re looking to driver bigger rigs, longer distances. Please check with your local state licensing board for the most specific information for your state.

4. Where can a Class B licensed trucker drive?

If you’re a driver looking to stay closer to home, the Class B CDL might be a great option for you. Running routes locally or regionally in the Class B vehicles, can be a good option. Drivers looking to be movers, delivery drivers, bus drivers, garbage truck drivers, etc. will all need a Class B CDL.

No matter what type of license and endorsements you pursue, the key is to make sure you’re matched with the best fit trucking job for you. If you’re a newly minted CDL driver looking for your first gig, or you’ve been driving for years, let Drive My Way help you get connected with the perfect job for you.

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