Being a new truck driver is a period of adjustment. New drivers must grow accustomed to their truck, their trailer, their new lifestyle, and the intricacies of their new career. Truck drivers that know what to expect before they start driving will be prepared to succeed in their new position.
1. Exercise Patience to Build Experience
The more hours that a truck driver accumulates behind the wheel, the higher their earning potential will be. This principle is important to remember during the earliest days of driving. Dealing with a driver trainer can be a trying time as you must learn to live with another person in a small space for little pay. However, do not forget that this experience is the first step to building your resume and advancing your earning capacity.
2. Take Things Slowly
Many first-time truckers approach their first haul earnestly. While the trucking industry does reward speed, it also places immense importance on efficiency. Making sure you check blind spots, reverse slowly, and double check your work will increase your efficiency and ensure a successful trip. Take your time, cover your bases, and be aware—these practices will make you the best driver on the road.
3. Know Where You Are Going
While GPS devices are amazing tools of navigation, their databases are not perfect. Look at your full route on a map so you can visualize exactly where you are heading. Call your destination to speak with the shipping and receiving team that will be working with you. These are the people who have the most experience with the area you are delivering in. Minimizing the chances for navigational mistakes increases your efficiency as a driver and mitigates the risk of financial loss for late delivery.
When you arrive at a delivery’s destination, do not quickly pull into the property. Instead, park your truck on the street, walk up to the property, and identify the unloading location for your truck. Doing this will help you avoid finding yourself in a difficult situation with your large vehicle. You will learn which objects to avoid hitting, where the delivery will be loaded, and any other complications that need focus during unloading.
4. Check Your Equipment
Check every aspect of your vehicle before a trip. A thorough pre-trip inspection will not only make your trip easier, but it could also save lives. Lights, tires, pins, fifth wheel, and other components need to be examined for functionality and safety. The cost of an accident is never worth treating maintenance as an inconvenience worth skipping.
No Trucker Has a Perfect Start
Trucking is an industry that is drastically different from most other jobs. Besides needing to meet strict deadlines while following regulations, truck drivers face the challenge of spending hours alone. Frustration is common for new truck drivers, and those who can face their frustrations with solutions are frequently the drivers who flourish in the industry. If a driver expects to grow, they will be taking the first steps toward a sucessful career.