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A delivery service driver is someone who picks up, transports, and drops off packages within a small region or urban area. Most of the time, they transport merchandise from a distribution centre to businesses and households.
Most drivers plan their routes, and have a regular daily or weekly schedule. Others have different routes each day, and these drivers generally receive instructions to go to a delivery location at a particular time, and it is up to them to find a way there. They must have a thorough understanding of an area’s street grid and know which roads allow trucks and which do not. A delivery service driver must:
Light truck drivers, often called pick-up and deliver or P&D drivers, are the most common type of delivery driver. They drive small trucks or vans from distribution centres to delivery locations. Drivers make deliveries based on a set schedule. Some drivers stop only at the distribution centre once in the morning, and make many stops throughout the day. Others make multiple trips between the distribution centre and delivery locations.
Driver/sales workers are delivery drivers with added sales responsibility. They recommend new products to businesses and solicit new customers. For example, they may make regular deliveries to a hardware store and encourage the store’s manager to offer a new type of product. Driver/sales workers also deliver goods, such as take-out food to consumers, and accept payment for those goods.
Delivery service drivers spend most of their time on the road. Delivery service drivers have a physically demanding job; when loading and unloading cargo, drivers do a lot of lifting, carrying, and walking.
Delivery service drivers generally have a high school diploma and go through a few months of on-the-job training. They must have a driver’s license for the state or province in which they work. Some companies prefer a delivery truck driver or driver/sales worker to have a high school diploma or equivalent, although it is not required. Companies train new delivery service drivers on the job, usually in two to three months. This may include driving training with a driver-mentor who rides along with a new employee to ensure that a new driver is able to operate a truck on crowded streets.
New drivers also have classroom training to learn company policies about package drop offs, returns, taking payment, and what to do with damaged goods. Driver/sales workers must learn detailed information about the products they offer. Because delivery service drivers sometimes take payment, they have to be able to count cash and to make change quickly. When completing deliveries, drivers often interact with customers and should make a good impression to ensure repeat business.
When driving, delivery drivers have to observe their surroundings while operating a complex machine. When driving through heavy traffic congestion, delivery drivers must be calm and composed. They are expected to convince customers to purchase new or different products from them. Drivers have to be able to speak English well enough to read road signs, prepare reports, and communicate with the pubic and law enforcement officials.