How Can I Become an Independent Delivery Driver?

Explore job duties of independent delivery drivers, and find out how you can prepare for this career. Also, learn where you can find job opportunities as an independent delivery driver. Schools offering Global Operations & Supply Chain Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Independent Delivery Driver Job Duties

You could be responsible for picking up and delivering various types of freight. You may specialize in delivering one type of freight, such as groceries or flowers; some drivers deliver different types of goods for multiple businesses. Job duties might include loading and unloading freight, using a map or mapping technology, managing schedules to ensure prompt deliveries and keeping delivery logs. In some cases, you may accept payments. You might make deliveries to businesses or customer's homes.

How Do I Prepare For This Career?

An independent delivery driver is also a business owner. This requires handling all aspects of your business, including taxes, budgets and legal matters. You may want to take some introductory business courses or enroll in a business administration bachelor's program to learn more about the responsibilities of business ownership.

Most independent drivers also own a delivery truck. You may need to meet your state's truck licensing, registration and insurance requirements. Depending on the kind of truck you have and the type of freight you carry, a commercial driver's license (CDL) in addition to a CDL endorsement could be necessary.

Enrolling in a truck driver training program might help you prepare for the CDL exam. These programs explore topics like truck maneuvering techniques, special laws pertaining to heavy truck operation and technical skills for truck drivers.

Some companies set additional requirements for their delivery service or contract drivers. According to May 2011 job ads from CareerBuilder.com, companies may have requirements pertaining to a truck's age, features and condition. A clean driving record and some delivery experience could be mandatory. Some companies expect applicants to pass a criminal background check as well as a drug screening test.

Where Can I Find Job Opportunities?

Job opportunities can be found with businesses of all sizes in almost every industry. You may work under contract to provide services for a specified period or work as needed. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), eight percent of truck drivers were self-employed in 2008 (www.bls.gov). Your competition for work could include larger trucking companies and other delivery drivers.

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