New Truck Driver Tips
Are ready to get out on the road and begin your career as a truck driver? We bet you are. However, there are a few things that all new truck drivers should be aware of before diving in.
Truck Driving is More Mental Than Physical
- A truck driver must actively manage their mental state. This is the secret to trucking success. Truck driving can be frustrating as well as depressing if a driver does not carry the right mindset. Over the road drivers must learn to manage being away from family and friends for weeks at a time. This can be a hard concept for some drivers to learn.
- The first job that you get out of school will likely not be your only job. Use your first job to learn everything that you need to be safe and compliant.
It Takes Time
- The first year of truck driving is the most chaotic. A new truck driver must take time to get a good handle on the rules and regulations in the trucking industry. Some points to focus on are following distance, knowing the Smith System of driving, and trip planning.
One Year No Accidents
- Always focus on safety. Finishing a year accident-free is a victory in itself. The acronym “G.O.A.L. Get Out And Look”, should be used any time that a driver is backing up. Using this rule of thumb will help a driver avoid backing accidents.
Know Your Goals
- A new truck driver will need to set specific career goals. They must decide what they want out of this career. As a new truck driver, are you looking for high income? What benefits and health insurance do you and your family need? Is home time a top priority? These are just a few of the questions that a driver will need to ask themselves before committing to a company.
Do Not Job Hop
- The grass is not always greener on the other side. Many young people tend to switch jobs frequently in their first year. This is not a good strategy in the trucking industry. A driver’s time of service matters greatly. Having time under your belt, with few job changes, will more likely land a driver a good paying carrier position.
Focus on Your Attitude
- We all know about the driver shortage. It is important to build a good relationship with the company that you work with. Jobs are not always guaranteed. Therefore, having a good relationship with the company that you work for is very important and will help a driver continue to build their reputation.
Find a Mentor
- A driver needs to have a few solid resources that will help them to avoid making common rookie mistakes. Find a few trusted, experienced drivers to tell it to you straight. This will help you to grow into the driver that you want to become.