At the heart of distribution operations is an essential influence in the success or failure of achieving the triple bottom line of safety, efficiency, and environmental friendliness: commercial vehicle drivers, and the increasingly complex technology with which they interact. To the authors’ knowledge, no hierarchical task analysis exists for commercial distribution driving, and this gap suggests that the first step in clarifying these functional relationships is to fulfill the evident need for a HTA of the commercial driving task. Thus, relevant literature (e.g. the UK Driving Standards Agency; existing hierarchical task analysis of private vehicle driving) is consulted to review procedure and construct a hierarchical task analysis of commercial distribution driving, in accordance with UK standards for C, CE, C+1 and CE+1 licensed driving activities. Preliminary analysis indicates that successful completion of the commercial driving task is subject to a far more complex set of factors than that of private vehicle driving, many of which require input from actors across various contexts, and rely heavily on automated vehicle technology. At present there exists no comprehensive, standardized measure against which to evaluate the quality of content in commercial driver training, and much is left to the expertise and discretion of individual companies to determine content which will create and support an ‘effective’ driver. This hierarchical task analysis provides a normative characterization of commercial driving which informs driver training needs and course content, and supports industry expertise with a functional structure. Furthermore, this analysis may also serve as an input to a wide range of human factors analyses for effective system design.