Are you interested in pursuing a career as a truck driver in Western Australia? KEE’s Transport Manager Hale Preston-Samson believes it is an exciting profession that offers a variety of benefits, including the opportunity to explore the beautiful landscapes of WA.
Hale said, “Our truck drivers and operators are the lifeblood of our transportation system, connecting communities and delivering vital equipment to projects across Perth and beyond. Becoming a truck driver in Western Australia offers a fulfilling career with excellent prospects.”
However, like many jobs, it is not without its challenges, as the industry experiences high demands for long hours and time away for long haul drivers. It is an industry with many facets that can work for people within different parts of their life. From young singles wanting to put in the hours doing fifo work, to people supporting families and working locally or husband and wife teams driving pilot and 2up seeing the great state and what it has to offer.
The Path to Becoming a Truck Driver
Welcome to our comprehensive guide on embarking on a career as a truck driver. Throughout this blog we will lead you through the step-by-step journey of becoming a skilled truck driver and provide invaluable insights into this profession. Let’s kick off your journey!
- The Pathway to Truck Driving Success: As a novice driver, it’s important to acknowledge that initial pay might be low. Yet, with accumulating experience, your earning potential will steadily rise. Pay scales fluctuate widely within the industry, contingent upon qualifications and experience. Currently, in Australia, Perth boasts the highest remuneration, with operators potentially earning over $100,000 annually, while in New South Wales, the wage hovers closer to $60,000.
- Acquiring a Truck Driver’s License: To establish yourself as a truck driver in Australia, securing an unrestricted driver’s license from your state’s licensing authority is essential. Moreover, completing a Certificate III in Driving Operations at TAFE or a local private institution will equip you with indispensable skills and knowledge. Private training colleges throughout the nation also offer specialized truck driving courses to prepare you comprehensively for your role.
- The Surging Demand for Truck Drivers: Truck driving stands as a highly coveted profession in Australia, currently grappling with a scarcity of adept drivers due to two primary factors: the escalating significance of road freight and the retirements of seasoned drivers. This scarcity sets the stage for a promising future for aspiring truck drivers in the years ahead, contingent upon economic conditions and competition from alternative transport modes like air and rail freight. The government’s Job Outlook website indicates robust job prospects for bus, coach, and truck drivers.
- Perks of Embracing a Truck Driving Career: Several compelling incentives make a career as a truck driver worth considering:
- Opportunity to traverse the captivating landscapes of the country.
- A robust demand for truck drivers ensures stability and job security.
- Flexibility to define your personalized work schedule.
- Enhanced control over your working hours compared to various other professions.
- Essential Attributes Needed as a Truck Driver: Excelling in the role of a truck driver hinges on the following crucial attributes:
- Enjoyment of practical, hands-on work.
- Profound understanding of road regulations.
- Physical fitness and the capability to handle heavy loads.
- Proficiency in forklift operation.
- Effective communication and superior customer service skills.
- Capacity to work seamlessly in teams and collaborate harmoniously.
- Competence in driving trucks during nocturnal hours and under demanding conditions.
- Mastery in operating, steering, and maneuvering trucks.
- Proficiency in conducting mechanical inspections and showcasing mechanical aptitude.
- Adherence to safe driving practices and adept speed management.
- Ability to tackle the physical demands of the job while prioritizing safety.
- Prerequisites for Becoming a Truck Driver in Australia: While formal qualifications aren’t obligatory, certain prerequisites must be met for a truck driving career:
- Completion of at least Year Ten education.
- Attainment of an unrestricted driver’s license from your state’s licensing authority.
- Maintenance of an impeccable driving record.
- Selection of the vehicle class you aspire to operate (e.g., Light Rigid, Medium Rigid, Heavy Rigid, Heavy Combination, or Multi Combination).
- Successful completion of the Heavy Vehicle Competency Assessment test in your chosen vehicle category to secure the specific truck driving license.
- Contemplation of a Certificate III/IV in Driving Operations to elevate your skills and acquire strategies for managing fatigue stemming from extended driving hours.
- For transporting hazardous substances, additional licenses, a medical certificate, an eyesight test, and pertinent training are mandatory.
Here at KEE we are trialling our very first training program and have just employed a new team member. Our newest recruit will receive his licence and industry qualifications from on-road mentoring and coaching by our own skilled drivers. He will be aiming to gain a HR (Heavy Rigid) licence after learning everything there is to know about basic maintenance, reversing and the myriad of other things a skilled truck driver needs to know, or be able to do.
Hale said, “KEE has very specialised knowledge needed within our driver group. With operation of the trucks and trailing equipment along with the requirements for oversize. There is also the knowledge needed around how to safely load and unload all the machines for hire and surfacing, along with keeping keys of each asset. Therefore it makes sense for us to be able to train someone right from the get-go.”
KEE Fuel drivers need to be trained in the use of the pumping equipment, fuelling of all the asset types along with the run and customer requirements of each shift. Bringing a new driver in can take weeks of one on one training to build confidence to cover all areas.
By following the outlined steps and developing the necessary skills, you can embark on a rewarding journey in this growing profession. Remember, the road to success begins with obtaining the required license, gaining experience, and continuously honing your skills.
If you are interested in becoming a low-loader operator, Here are some further sources to assist you with acquiring the correct accreditation:
Source: Oz Studies, WA Gov, DoT