Career Story: Delivery Truck Driver For An Office-Supply Company

Delivery Truck Driver For An Office-Supply Company

Job Title: Office Supplies Delivery Driver

Type of Company: An office supply company that delivers them to customers by truck.

Education: BS, Business Administration, UMass-Lowell

Previous Experience: I worked as an independent delivery contractor for Hartford Office Supply for four years.

Job Tasks: The delivery drivers who work for our company have a very loose leash and work with little supervision. At the start of each day they get a customer manifest, with a list of delivery destinations. But beyond that, they map their own routes and are entirely responsible for the accuracy of the paperwork they generate. Since every driver is a company rep and the company's public face, he has to have excellent people skills and a knack for handling crises.

Driver safety on-road is almost as important as making accurate, prompt deliveries and a daily check of every truck's safety and reliability has to be documented with the Department of Transportation, using a check-out log. Delivery, however, can be physically demanding, requiring drivers to haul and hoist up to 10,000 pounds of supplies every day.

Drivers also assist, as a bonus, in the greening of America, recycling paper, plastic wrap and toner even in areas where recycling isn't mandatory.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is the independence I have as a driver. I'm on my own every day. And it's a great job for people who don't want to sit at a desk; in fact, it's a bit like getting paid to work out. Being outdoors all day is another plus, even when the weather gets nasty.

The worst part of the job is trying to drive these large trucks during winter weather. That can be nerve-wracking.

Job Tips: A driver's position is very demanding physically and can take a lot out of you. It's also a job that does not have a lot of upside to it. There are promotions to supervisor, but even as a supervisor you still have to cover routes and work hard.

Additional Thoughts: Many people whom I meet on my route are surprised when I tell them that I actually worked as an accountant for twenty years. I explain to them that I hated the daily stresses and being cooped up in an office every day. And during those two decades I put on fifty pounds. The delivery job, in contrast, has put me in better shape in my 50's than I was in my 20's. So, if you enjoy doing hard physical work, and don't mind dealing with customers, this is a great job for you.

And it's the sort of job, too, that weathers a recession pretty well: companies always need supplies, much as people need groceries.

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