Becoming a truck driver, especially in the beginning, is an exciting time. However, with this excitement, the beginning is usually the most difficult time in your career as a truck driver. Within your first 6 months, you will learn and be tested on so many things that it can make or break you in your career as a truck driver.
Veteran Truck Drivers give the best advice about this period of time for rookie drivers: “Have Patience”. Patience is what will help you survive during a difficult time. Take things one day at a time and ask for help whenever you need it. What other advice should you take into consideration during these first 6 months of driving?
Keep reading below for our first 6 months trucking survival guide.
Be comfortable with it before you do it
This advice will help you avoid accidents. If a certain load or delivery has something that you are not yet comfortable with, don’t do it. Having an accident on your record from doing something you were not comfortable with can cause increased insurance premiums, inability to keep or maintain a job, or even lack of mentally wanting to continue your career as a truck driver.
Always continue learning new things
The world of trucking has so many different things to learn. As a new driver, even though you are ready to start driving on your own legally, doesn’t mean that you know everything that you need to know. Continue to keep learning. Ask for advice, read, or watch videos online to expand your knowledge on everything that is trucking. Eventually, you will be the teacher to the newest generation of truck drivers, and the cycle will continue.
Once you start driving, always remember to keep safety first. As common sense as this sounds, it is easily overlooked when trying to remember everything else you need to do while trucking. Make safety a priority. Don’t text and drive. Don’t get distracted. Always stay alert. Eventually, this will all become second nature to you, but during your rookie period, this is vital.
Don’t Forget to monitor your mirrors
This is another practice that will keep you safe. Constantly checking your mirrors will help you keep a mental evaluation of the vehicles around you. Also, mirror checking can allow you to keep an eye on your tires, as well as your cargo – if hauling a flatbed load.
Don’t Forget to Pre-Trip
This is one of the most critical things you need to do before your trip. Not only will this simple process keep you safe, it also the law. A simple pre-trip inspection will help you get in tune with your truck before your drive. It lets you know if anything is wrong with the truck or needs to be fixed before starting to drive. Not only will this keep you safe, it helps keep others on the road safe as well.
Plan your Trip before
Planning your trip has great advantages. With this practice, you will get to know not only the weather you are driving through but also if there is any plan for construction. You can plan when and where you will get fuel and where you will park. (Need to reserve safe & secure parking? Start your reserving process by clicking here) This will save you not only time and money but will ultimately help you meet your delivery time as well.
Just Breathe. Though this period is often recognized as the time that will make or break a rookie driver, don’t let the first 6 months scare you away from an awesome career as a truck driver. There are so many benefits and reasons why you should love your job as a trucker.
Comment below what you think should be included in a rookie driver’s trucking survival guide.