What do you call a truck driver in German? It is a man who drives a truck.

What does LKW-Fahrer, the term I've been taught, mean in this context?

closed as off-topic by Em1, Robert, guidot, tofro, Jan Oct 11 '16 at 19:14

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  • 1
    it ma ydepend on where you need the word. if it is a jobdescription or translation of a novel... what do you need? – swe Oct 11 '16 at 14:17
  • Yiddish had a nice term for this occupation in the old country: "balagulah" (= ba'al ha-agulah, Heb. "master of the wheels"). Generally a horse-and-wagon driver but i think it would have carried over to a motorized freight driver. – Marty Green Oct 11 '16 at 15:29

This is to long for a comment. Ad Infinitums answer is already very good.

But actually the most common word in colloquial language is LKW- Fahrer as mentioned in the question itself.

LKW- Fahrer is simply a short form for Lastkraftwagen- Fahrer, who is -you guess- the Fahrer of a Lastkraftwagen. A short -and still valid- form ist Lastwagenfahrer as mentioned by Martin.

A Fernfahrer is mostly the same but with the connotation of driving long distances, whereas an LKW- Fahrer could also drive the refuse lorry.

The third suggestion Berufskraftfahrer is an umbrella term for everybody driving a Kraftfahrzeug in his job, that can be a taxi, bus, truck or even a car of a pizza delivery service.

As Perl Dog mentions in his comment, there is an even more colloquial term: Brummifahrer is used in colloquial speech. It is an onomatopoeia and describes the sound of a truck or more general a car: "Brumm" or even "Brumm-Brumm" is, what already very small children will say, if you point to a truck (or any other car) and ask, what it is.

  • Very good summary for all these related words. – Ad Infinitum Oct 11 '16 at 14:26
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    To my experience Brummifahrer is even more colloquial. – PerlDuck Oct 11 '16 at 14:52
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    For persons who don't come home in the evening. Instead doing long travels and sleep in their vehicles is "Fernfahrer" the most common expression in everyday German. – mizech Oct 12 '16 at 6:43

You can just say Lastwagenfahrer.

Remark: It does not necessarily have to be long-distance which Fernfahrer would imply.


The Wikipedia suggests Fernfahrer.


I would like to mention my method to find the best suggestion(s). It works most of the time for me.

For example, if I am looking for a specific word but the dictionary suggests me lots of words (sometimes very irrelevant words) and when I am not sure, which one to pick. In these cases, I follow the following steps;

1.Search the target word in Wikipedia (English)

2.Scroll down a little

3.Click on the Deutsch on the left side under languages section

4.You have the word in German(This works naturally for other languages as well)

I am also not native speaker of German and for your question, I found the word in this way. Lets see what the native speakers will say.

  • 2
    Yes, you are right. I also like this method of translation. – äüö Oct 11 '16 at 13:33
  • @äüö I am happy to see my method works good:) With this method, I can find very specific words. E.g the name of flowers, animals etc.. – Ad Infinitum Oct 11 '16 at 13:40
  • Note that "Fernfahrer" has a connotation that "LKW-Fahrer" doesn't have. Both drive a truck, but the former term indicates that you drive over a long distance, the latter one just states that you drive a truck. – Em1 Oct 11 '16 at 13:42
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    @Em1 could a driver, who drives a "PKW", over a long distance be called as well Fernfahrer? – Ad Infinitum Oct 11 '16 at 13:45
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    Berufskraftfahrer is anyone who drives a "Kraftfahrzeug" in his job. This can be taxi drivers, bus drivers, truck drivers as "Kraftfahrzeug" is not restricted to trucks, but means (almost) everything that uses fuel to drive... – Torsten Link Oct 11 '16 at 14:13

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