Top Delivery Driver Skills
The backbone of our economy, commercial delivery drivers are the skilled workers that give us access to anything from food to the products that line store shelves. They’re also responsible for delivering equipment required to run businesses, government agencies, and healthcare services.
By pursuing an intensive education, such as an advanced truck driving program, graduates can build the practical knowledge and real-world skills they need to reach their professional goals and enter the workforce with confidence.
What’s a Delivery Driver?
Delivery drivers are the skilled workers who ensure that consumer and commercial goods arrive safely to their destination. They may work within their local area, driving a car or small truck and making daily deliveries. Those who advance their delivery driver skills by obtaining a commercial driving license (CDL) for large vehicles, trucks, and tractor trailers can become eligible for long-haul, or over-the-road, trucking opportunities. Over-the-road commercial driving contracts can take them across the country and even internationally.
Operating a delivery truck safely requires the appropriate CDL. Over-the-road commercial delivery drivers need a Class A CDL, which allows them to operate tractor-trailers. With a Class B CDL, drivers can operate straight trucks and delivery trucks. Most local delivery drivers who deliver packages, furniture, and other small shipments need a CDL-B.
Depending on the type of cargo, whether it be fragile or perishable, being able to keep to a strict schedule and work efficiently can be essential to the success and satisfaction of both drivers and their employers. With the right skills and experience, delivery drivers are able to ensure that both businesses and individuals receive their items on time, performing an essential service in supply chains and business models nationwide.
Delivery Driver Responsibilities
Delivery drivers have various responsibilities beyond simply driving from one location to the next. Drivers are often expected to perform duties such as the following:
- Loading and unloading the vehicle
- Handling perishable or fragile items safely
- Ensuring that items are delivered to the correct address and customer
- Taking payment when required
- Completing and organizing documentation
- Working on a specific schedule or timeline
- Maintaining a clean vehicle and equipment
- Communicating timelines and discrepancies to the company dispatcher
Five Delivery Driver Skills
Delivery drivers must have a well-rounded skill set to balance the hard skills of truck driving with the soft skills, such as communication, time management, and administrative tasks.
1. Time Management
Delivery drivers are often required to meet strict schedules and timelines. Whether they’re transporting fragile or perishable items or they’re simply required to reach their destination by a deadline, they’re responsible for managing their schedule effectively and ensuring that they complete their contract on time.
Being able to communicate professionally and effectively reflects on both the driver and their employer. Whether interacting with their employer or with a customer, drivers who are respectful and professional can improve their prospects for long-term or repeat employment. Additionally, delivery drivers must report any incidents or accidents to their company in a timely manner.
Not all contracts and deliveries run smoothly. Drivers may encounter various challenges, such as mechanical issues, traffic and route changes, or administrative challenges. Since drivers often work as independent contractors or complete deliveries on their own, problem-solving is an essential delivery driver skill, enabling them to think critically about their options and make important decisions on the road.
4. Patience and Concentration
Spending hours at a time on the road can be challenging and the way that a delivery driver conducts themselves on the road can have consequences for both themselves and their employer. While it may not seem like an obvious delivery driver skill, maintaining patience and concentration over long periods and regardless of the actions of drivers around them is essential to a commercial driver’s success.
5. Attention to Detail
Delivery drivers must make sure that deliveries not only arrive on time but also go to the correct address and the correct person; they must also receive payment when required. Drivers who are diligent and pay attention to the details of their deliveries can save themselves a significant amount of time and ensure that their job is done correctly.
Benefits of a Commercial Driving Training Program
Completing a commercial driving training program can have many benefits for prospective graduates. These programs can provide students with a foundational knowledge of commercial driving and better prepare candidates to earn their commercial driving license.
Additionally, by completing a commercial driving training program, drivers demonstrate to employers their dedication to their field and their preparation to take on the many challenges of delivery driving. With the addition of workplace experience, educated and skilled licensed drivers have the opportunity to seek out desirable roles and the benefits or salary that come with them.
Delivery Driver Job Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), overall employment for delivery truck drivers is expected to increase by 10% between 2022 and 2032, higher than the national average for all occupations. By completing a training program and advancing their skills, delivery drivers have the opportunity to improve their earning potential and reach their goals.
Reach Your Professional Goals as a Skilled Delivery Driver
Earning practical delivery driver skills can be the key to beginning a challenging new career as a commercial driver. With opportunities to work for larger companies or as independent contractors, experienced and educated delivery drivers can begin to shape a career for themselves that allows them to balance their personal and professional goals.
By earning an education through programs such as the Advanced Tractor Trailer Driving program from Fortis, graduates can build the practical skills they need to take control of their future. Designed to prepare graduates for both the licensing process and the challenges they may face in the real world, completing a certificate or diploma program from Fortis can help you get set for success. Discover how you can build a promising future as a delivery driver.