New to Trucking? Remember These 7 Important Tips.

  • New to Trucking? Remember These 7 Important Tips.

    New to Trucking? Remember These 7 Important Tips.

    Truck driving can be an excellent career, but it is also hard work. It may take several years to establish your reputation and gain the proper experience to get the best routes. You have to start somewhere, though. There are several key steps to take as you earn your trucking stripes. From training at trucking school and earning your commercial driver’s license to getting your first real jobs behind the wheel, it’s important to learn from every step of the process.

    In this article, we want to highlight some tips for new truck drivers. You may have already earned your CDL or are in the process of your training or apprenticeship. You might be in the early stages of one of your first trucking jobs. Or, you could be simply considering a career as a commercial truck driver and wanting to know what to expect from this lifestyle. 

    Here are a few important tips for new truck drivers:

    1. Take Your Education Seriously

    Attending a reputable truck driver training school like America Truck Driving School is a good place to start. Pay attention throughout your courses and take advantage of practical learning opportunities in real trucks. Study hard for your CDL tests and know your education doesn’t end there. Every time behind the wheel is a chance to learn and grow your skills as you work your way up to the better jobs.

    2. Know Your Truck Inside and Out

    Whether you purchase your own truck or are driving a company vehicle, you need to know everything possible about your truck. Know the blind spots, practice backing up often and figure out how to repair or adjust certain things out in the field. Know the weights and ideal load distributions for trailers. Practice pre-trip inspections and mid-trip checks of important things like tire pressure, fluid levels and load security.

    3. Plan Ahead

    Before you hit the road, make a plan. Know your primary route and backup routes in case you encounter anything unexpected. Research weather reports, road construction, peak traffic times in metropolitan areas, steep grades, speed limits and weigh station locations. Plan your stops for food, fuel and rest. Know when your ideal driving times are and where you are going to stop for sleep. 

    4. Be Prepared for Anything

    The more you can plan ahead, the smoother your trip will likely be. At the same time, you can always come across surprises out on the road. You may have a problem with your truck or accidents can cause unplanned delays. Give yourself plenty of time to make sure you reach your destination on schedule. Be prepared with the equipment, support and knowhow to handle any unexpected problems or changes you encounter.

    5. Follow the Rules of the Road

    Speed limits for large trucks exist for a reason. Just a few miles over the limit can make your tractor trailer much harder to control. Pay attention to all road signs, know the traffic laws and practice safe driving habits. This is how you get safely to your destinations and build up a quality reputation for future job opportunities.

    6. Don’t Neglect Your Mental and Physical Health

    Life on the road can be very lonely. Staying physically healthy can be tricky, as well. Pack healthy meals and snacks ahead of time to minimize how much you are eating fast food and fatty snacks. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Minimize your intake of sugary sodas and energy drinks. Practice stretching and find time to get a little exercise in to help mitigate the effects of sitting in a truck cab most of the day. Mentally speaking, find ways to keep yourself engaged and entertained (but not distracted) while driving. Stay connected with your loved ones as much as possible to stay grounded. You may be away from home a lot, but you can find ways to touch base and remind yourself why you are doing this job.

    7. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

    No new truck driver knows everything. Most experienced truckers still have things they can learn. Never be afraid to ask questions of your trainers, colleagues, employers, dispatch support team and others you encounter in your trucking journeys. Learn from the experience of others. Look for every opportunity to grow your own knowledge and skills. This is how you get better at your job and evolve your career as a commercial truck driver.

    For all your questions about a career in trucking and to get started with the best training available, contact America Truck Driving School. Visit our website for more information about CDL prep and trucker training programs offered in your area.

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