What does a Tractor-Trailer Commercial Driver (638A) do?

Tractor-Trailer Commercial Drivers are licensed (hold a valid Ontario AZ license under the Highway Traffic Act) to drive a commercial tractor-trailer vehicle. They manage the safe transportation of goods and materials on roads and highways within Canada, as well as into the United States and Mexico or internationally.

Job Related Skills, Interests and Values

  • Planning trips; mapping a route to optimize travel time, fuel costs, and potential hazards; ensuring adequate fuel stops, rest stops, and layovers to prevent fatigue
  • Maintaining information/documentation, including daily log and trip data, by recording data electronically (on-board computers, fax, cellular)
  • Demonstrating defensive driving skills, particularly in extreme conditions
  • Performing pre-trip, en-route, and post-trip vehicle inspections
  • Backing and docking tractor-trailers; coupling and uncoupling trailers; securing the load and judging path and trailer clearances
  • Managing and adjusting vehicle speed as well as performing visual searches in various types of traffic
  • Reading and interpreting cab instrumentation and control systems
  • Identifying and reporting malfunctions; dealing with and reporting collisions
  • Preparing documents including driver's daily log, expense reports, customer documents to facilitate border crossing, and bills of lading to document cargo

What Preparation and Training Do You Need?

  • 18 years old with valid Ontario AZ license; those driving into U.S. must be at least 21
  • 2,000 hours of training, including 40 weeks on-the-job and 12 weeks mentor training
  • This is a voluntary trade, so a certified apprenticeship is recommended but not required

What's Your Future as a Tractor-Trailer Commercial Driver (638A)?

  • Non-standard hours, often driving alone on long-distance trips
  • Requires strong sense of spatial orientation, visual acuity, night vision, and excellent driving record
  • Must deal with high traffic volumes and various driving conditions
  • Strong demand for this job expected to continue
  • Employers include owners-operators and commercial fleets of all sizes

Wage Rate

Apprentice wage increases with skill and experience. Fully qualified drivers average $15.00-$28.00 per hour, depending on location.


Tractor-Trailer Commercial Driver (638A)

Ask Yourself: Yes No
Do you have good eyesight, spatial sense and night vision?
Do you have an excellent driving record and an Ontario AZ driver's license?
Are you able to follow Health & Safety guidelines? Do you like driving and operating vehicles safely?
Can you travel for work?
Do you enjoy individual work?
Would you enjoy interacting with site supervisors, customers, suppliers, co-workers and other tradespeople to get the job done?
Are you able to lift 50lbs?

If you checked YES to the majority of these questions, a career as a Tractor-Trailer Commercial Driver may be for you!

You might want to look at these similar trades as well;

  • Truck Dispatcher
  • Dock & Warehouse Operations
  • Truck & Coach Technician

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