Knowledge base

Truck Driver Job and Risk Profile

What does a truck driver do?

Truck drivers' jobs

Truck drivers are employed by a range of industries, including manufacturing, retail and agriculture, to safely and efficiently deliver goods to a destination. Aside from driving long distances, truck drivers may have other responsibilities including preventative maintenance, safety checks and route planning.

There are over 173,000 truck drivers employed across Australia, 21.2% of which are based in Queensland.

Average salary & career progression

With freight levels expected to significantly increase in Australia over the next decade, there is a growing demand for truck drivers at all experience levels.

The average truck driver salary is $27.14 per hour, with advertised annual salaries varying from $34,500 to $86,100. Truck driver salaries generally increase with experience and skills.

To become a truck driver in Queensland you must hold the right licence for the size and weight of the truck you wish to drive. It may take several years to progress to the highest vehicle class. Read about the exact requirements for upgrading your licence. Many companies also offer apprenticeships and traineeships for aspiring truck drivers.

Truck drivers' unions membership badge

Unions and industry organisations

Common injuries and risks for truck drivers

Australian truck drivers are highly trained for their jobs and have an outstanding safety record overall, however, accidents do happen both on and off the road.

  • Musculoskeletal injuries of the neck and back, often caused by overexertion during loading and off-loading of a truck. Nearly 50% of reported workplace injuries are sprains and strains.
  • Vehicle-related injuries, including collisions and rollovers.
  • Falls and slips from the same level or at elevation, such as falling out of a vehicle.

Long-term injuries include:

Wearing a facemask to prevent fume exposure
  • Repetitive strain injuries These include neck and back pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Diseases of the circulatory system Between 2014-15, Australian truck drivers had one of the highest rates of workers’ compensation claims of the circulatory system, including stroke, heart failure, and coronary artery disease.
  • Gas and fume exposure Truck drivers are more likely to be exposed to airborne hazards than workers in other industries.

Risks for truck drivers include:

  • Fatigue due to long hours and shift work
  • Time pressure
  • Working at heights
  • Gas and fume exposure

Truck driver safety in Australia

The trucking industry is highly regulated and there is significant legislation in place across Australia that is concerned not only with the safety of truck drivers, but that of the public as well.

Truck drivers' safety gear

Road freight transport workers have been identified as a priority in the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-2022 due to the high number of injuries and fatalities in the industry. The strategy aims to reduce serious and/or permanent injuries for truck drivers, and other road freight workers, by 30% nationwide by 2022, and fatalities by 20%.

How helpful was this article?

Not at all
Not much
Sort of
Thanks for your feedback! This will help us improve our content.
If you still need help or guidance:
Contact us
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Last update on:
September 10, 2020
Disclaimer: This information is designed for general information in relation to Queensland compensation law. It does not constitute legal advice. We strongly recommend you seek legal advice in regards to your specific situation. For expert advice call 1800 266 801 or chat via live chat to arrange free initial advice with our Principal lawyer, Greg Smith.

Next steps — get advice now

It’s important to get advice for your specific situation. Check if you can make a risk-free compensation claim and get free initial advice from our Principal lawyer, Greg Smith.

Get Advice Now