YOUR CAREER AS A
Logging truck drivers have responsibility for safely transporting logs from the forest skid site to ports, mills, or interim destinations such as rail yards. Truck drivers are also needed by roading contractors in the forest, mainly for delivering the stone used to construct roads and landing sites.
Specialist drivers are also needed to transport forestry machines.
Class 5 licence
Some physical work e.g. chaining loads
Absence from home
Varies with employer
No academic qualifications are needed but truck drivers need to progress through the NZTA driving licence pathway, first obtaining a learner licence, gaining experience, and then obtaining a full licence in the right class for the type and weight of vehicle you will be driving. For most forestry-related work this is a Class 5 licence. (See the NZTA website for more details.)
Truck driving on forest roads and with large loads involves a lot of skill and attention to detail. Some mechanical skills will be helpful, and drivers need to be reliable as well as safe and courteous on the road. The job may involve early starts and long days.
You may be able to get a trainee position with a large trucking company, with a full driver training programme provided. Qualifications available are:
- NZQA Level 3 certificate in Transportation of Logs by Road
- Level 4 certificates in specialist areas
- Accreditation at four levels on the Land Transport Safety Council's Pathway to Success programme.
The industry training organisation for truckies is MITO. More details of their log-truck driver training programmes available here. Other log-truck training schemes are listed in the Forestry Training Stocktake resource.
If you're still at school, check out ShiftUp, the road transport training programme for secondary school students.
Drivers on wages can progress to owning their own trucks and even managing their own haulage business. There are also roles for mechanical engineers, and in logistics and fleet management with big trucking companies.
Check out the Log Transport Safety Council scholarships on our Scholarships page.