Although a truck driver doesn’t have to know everything, in terms of the mechanics of their vehicle, it is wise to know as much as possible about how it runs, and what issues may turn up on the road. A simple tire change, or engine malfunction, could cause far more havoc on the road, if the driver does not have at the very minimum, the basic mechanical knowledge to do some work on the truck as is required.
Necessary for employment?
Although it is not required with most employers, for a trucker to have the basic mechanical knowledge of how the truck operates, and how to perform simple tasks (such as change a tire), these basic skills will help. Not only in job placement, but the drivers who do have this experience, are more likely to land the best driving routes, and are more likely to land the best position, and possibly even earn higher pay rates in terms of the knowledge they bring to the table, when they are hired by a particular employer that they want to work for.
What should they know
At the very least, knowing how to change a tire, spot issues with a gas leak or oil leak, issues in terms of tire pressure, or something as simple as spotting a loose gas gasket, are a few of the skills any trucker should have. It is not only going to allow them to perform basic tasks as they are needed, but the driver will also be able to inform the employer earlier on, if there is something that may be wrong with the truck, so that the cost to repair does not pile on. And, drivers do not have to rely on the assistance of others, when they have the proper equipment, as well as the knowledge, to perform the basic mechanical functions that might falter, when they are on the road for longer periods of time.
Will it earn you higher pay?
There are no guarantees; it depends on the employer, what their requirements are when hiring, and what skills they are looking for in their drivers. But, more often than not, the more skill sets you can present, the more knowledge you hold, and the more you can offer to an employer, the higher your pay will be. Even if it is not higher early on, the more you work with the company, and the more you show you can do, the more you can expect to earn with them in the future as a driver.
Even though it is not essential to get hired with most employers, having the basic mechanical knowledge is a given, and is generally expected for a trucker to hold. It not only helps them while they are on the road, it is also going to allow them to perform their job better, as they will be able to spot issues with the truck or performance, when they are making deliveries and working on route for the employer they work with.