Truck driving in Australia – Sector Overview
Road transport is the main method of moving goods around the vast continent of Australia. It is a vital link in moving imported goods from ports to warehouses, factories and retail. While not for everyone, truck driving can become a profitable lifestyle for those who don’t mind the solitude and monotony of the job. An ageing working force, the fact people don’t see truck driving as a long-term career prospect and the pull of the mining industry means drivers will always be in demand, especially with the number of trucks on the road expected to increase over the next two decades. People wanting to migrate to Australia and work as a truck driver may find getting sponsorship is the best option.
Truck driving in Australia – Location
Truck driving jobs can be based anywhere in Australia, and the nature of the job means you can travel to all manner of destinations. Drivers can expect to work irregular hours, make early starts, and spend days on the road making deliveries across the massive states, as well as going interstate.
Truck driving in Australia – Skills and Qualifications
It goes without saying that to become a truck driver in Australia, you need a current drivers licence. States have their own requirements, but for different classes of truck you need difference licences or endorsements, as well as certificates to carry different loads such as hazardous goods. In Western Australia, for example, there are five classes – light rigid, medium rigid, heavy rigid, heavy combination and multi combination. Those learning to drive will also have to pass a Competency Based Assessment. Some mechanical skills are helpful, as is common sense.
Truck driving in Australia – Key recruiters and employers
Major transport companies include Linfox and Mainfreight (Owens Transport). There are dozens of smaller companies across the country. Mining companies and their contractors are also major employers of truck drivers.
- ATS Recruitment
- Driver Recruitment PTY
- Trans Jobs
- Silk Logistics
- Career One
- Australian Driver Register
Truck driving in Australia – Pay
Wages can begin at around the $35-40,000 mark, and can head upwards of $150,000 for those in the mining industry. Any wage has to be balanced against what can be a punishing lifestyle, such as “fly in fly out” where you work seven days, followed by seven nights, then seven days off. Drivers operating out of main centres still have to complete long hours, and time spent on the road can make the “hourly rate” not as high as one may imagine. Breakdowns and holdups can make the job stressful and affect pay also.