What Does a Yard Driver Do?

A yard driver is someone who drives tractor trailer trucks around a yard or space, connects trailers to tractors, disconnects trailers, and organizes trailers and tractors within a company’s yard space. This job typically entails assisting with the quick and easy loading and unloading of trucks, as well as inspecting and preparing those trucks for transport. Although a yard driver does not require a specific level of education, it is a good idea to obtain a high school diploma if one is seeking employment in this field.

The requirements for becoming a yard driver are relatively low, but the candidate must have prior tractor trailer truck driving experience. A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is frequently required, but this is not always the case. A yard driver may be able to operate vehicles without a CDL because he or she will not be operating the trucks on public roads, but rather on the property of the shipping company or trucking company, obviating the need for a CDL entirely. A valid driver’s license is required at all times, and a clean driving record is usually preferred or required.

Many trucking companies around the world will impose age restrictions on applicants who want to work as yard drivers. To work in this position in the United States and many other countries, a candidate must be 18 years old or older. Many employers will also require drug testing; if a candidate fails the drug test, he or she will usually be disqualified for employment. Once hired, the yard driver will need to go through several weeks, if not months, of training to ensure the safety of the equipment and those operating or surrounding it.

The yard driver must be able to hook trailers to trucks, unhook them, stabilize them, load and unload them, and maneuver them through tight truck yards. Job candidates must be familiar with the technology used on such trucks, but once hired, they can receive on-the-job training to learn more about the equipment. Safety regulations must be followed to the letter, as the risk of accidents in this job is quite high. During the process of driving through the yard, the driver will need to learn communication methods such as radio communication, hand signals, and verbal cues.