Tips for Beginner Truck Drivers: The trucking industry is the backbone of our economy. Transporting raw materials and goods between sites is an essential service they provide. Many industries, including retail and pharmaceuticals, rely heavily on truck drivers.
No matter how enticing the job may seem, becoming a truck driver isn’t easy. One of the effects of driving for days with little rest is that your mental and physical health will suffer. A truck driver, on the other hand, CDL Class B license earns a steady income but also enjoys a certain amount of freedom and flexibility.
If you want to start your career as a driver, here are some tips for beginner drivers.
Tips for trucking schools
Truck drivers must be certified before they can begin their careers. All drivers attend truck driving schools. The following tips offer to choose the right school:
- Do your research before settling on a school, and don’t settle for the first school you come across. Ensure you research all your options and shortlist schools that catch your attention.
- Find out what certifications or training requirements local trucking companies require. If you choose a school, make sure it meets all the requirements.
- It would be best to ask questions about the training programs offered by the schools you have shortlisted. Focus on questions relating to costs, class sizes, practical training, and job placement. Your list will be narrowed down from there.
- You can reduce costs by enrolling at schools accredited by the U.S. Transportation Department. Many of these schools offer scholarships, grants, or student loans.
- Learn a lot. It is hard to keep up with fast-paced training programs.
Job Search Tips
The hardest part of the job search is finding a job. Here are a few tricks to remember when you land a job:
- Placement after training is a key part of a trucking school. After certification, graduates are usually paired with companies right away.
- Online job search. Dedicated job boards and sites are available where you can find vacancies for truck drivers.
- Find out if other students or drivers you trained have any leads.
- You should be familiar with basic accounting and business principles if you plan to be self-employed. You are otherwise vulnerable to an economic downturn.
Tips for Safety
When you are hired as a professional driver, your first goal should be to stay as safe as possible while on the road. Follow these things to stay safe on the road:
- Before you leave, inspect your truck. Ensure the brakes, mirrors, horn, windshield wipers, oil level, fuel level, and cargo are all in good working order during the inspection.
- Please keep it simple. Never use your phone while driving, and wear a seatbelt.
- Observe all traffic rules. Be mindful of road signs, use an indicator when changing lanes, and stay within the speed limit.
- Beware of other drivers on the road, and remember that trucks stop more slowly.
- Avoid aggressive drivers and stay away from them. When you encounter them on the road, let them pass you.
- In work zones and construction zones, drive slowly.
Every truck driver needs to save fuel to maximize his profitability. To save fuel, follow these tips:
- It would help if you avoided speeding because it results in more fuel consumption and more likely accidents. Use cruise control whenever possible and keep a consistent speed.
- Distribute the cargo evenly. Unequally stacked and loaded cargo increases the truck’s load. Consequently, the load will use more fuel and energy.
- Avoid traffic jams and idling; they both waste fuel by planning your route before leaving.
- Become a professional truck driver today!
- Start your training to become a truck driver today if you are serious about being part of a sector that propels the economy. There is a growing necessity for truck drivers to become a part of it.
5 Important Things You Should Know About a Career in Trucking
BEFORE joining the trucking profession, there are five things you should know about a career in trucking.
My personal trucking career has lasted 45 years.
As a result of my trucking career, I’ve learnt a lot that new drivers and CDL drivers in training could benefit from.
This is a realistic look at what to anticipate from a truck driving profession.
#1. Stress is an unavoidable part of the job.
Stress is an unavoidable element of the trucking industry. Don’t get me wrong: I always enjoy the driving side of the job. A truck driving career, however, is stressful.
There’s tension when you’re stuck in traffic, stress when you’re looking for somewhere downtown and can’t find it, and stress when you’re lost.
There’s tension as you try to reverse into a tiny little area with no room for a tractor-trailer.
The customer is unconcerned. He simply wants you to be on the dock.
There’s the tension of being away from home and being concerned about your family while you’re gone.
Driving professionally for a living is a stressful job.
One of the first things you should do is learn how to deal with stress and accept it.
#2. Effective communication is essential
The second thing you must learn is how to interact with and manage the individuals you work with.
Contrary to common assumption, over-the-road trucking involves more than just having the freedom of the road to yourself.
There will be people to deal with at various levels along the road.
You must contend with your dispatcher.
You must learn how to handle and manage him in order to express your needs to him and successfully deliver his load in a timely manner. That way, the trucking company gets money, which is their primary focus.
You must learn to speak with consumers and manage your relationships with them so that they do not abandon you in the back 40 as they unload.
You must make the best use of your time. You don’t always get paid for waiting, or you get paid very little for it, so you want to get in and off of that dock as quickly as possible rather than being ignored by the shipper or receiver.
You must learn how to interact effectively with the repair shop employees. Shop time is often unpaid downtime, so you want to get in and out as quickly as possible and learn to successfully manage that downtime in order to minimize it.
#3. Being a truck driver will not make you wealthy.
Another thing I’ve learnt is that trucking is unlikely to make you wealthy.
You may believe you will because of the number of hours you have put in.
You’d think it would add up to a hefty paycheck, but that’s not the case, especially these days.
The time you put in does not always result in a large return. It’s a reality you must recognize and embrace early in your driving career.
The cost of being on the road has skyrocketed. This reduces your bottom line.
There is no such thing as a $5 meal any longer; instead, it is a $12 breakfast.
A coffee and nothing else costs $2. It’s especially difficult to make rich these days if you’re a sole proprietor.
The expense of maintaining and repairing a truck has skyrocketed.
#4. Relationships Struggle
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is how difficult an over-the-road trucking lifestyle can be on a relationship.
In general, you spend more time away than at home.
This, in turn, puts a lot of burden on your husband and family.
They must manage and administer the household as well as a plethora of other responsibilities such as caring for the children, paying the bills, performing all the housework, and mowing the grass.
They have to do everything while you’re gone. These pressures are especially difficult for the stay-at-home partner.
There is a breakdown in emotional and moral support. It is not something that can be retrieved by phone conversations, and it is frequently lost and never restored if you are gone for an extended period of time.
When the next load takes precedence over your family, you’re doing something wrong, and it’s time to change gears.
#5. Changes Are Sometimes Required
Finally, I’ve learned that, while making a change can be difficult, it is sometimes the right thing to do.
The game’s goal is to put money in your pocket.
You must work with a carrier who not only makes money for themselves, but also allows you to make money.
It has to be a two-way street.
Too often, especially these days, the carrier makes money and the driver does not.
You must be reimbursed for all of your time spent on the road and away. After all, it is also work time.
You can find yourself in a situation where you are not making any money.
You’ve visited with the carrier and expressed your worries about getting compensated for downtime, waiting time, or whatever your issues are.
But you and your carrier don’t appear to be able to come to an agreement. I’d suggest it’s time to start looking for a new job.
There are superior carriers who will compensate you for your time.
Your time is valuable.
While changing professions can be difficult, it is generally the best option because you need to make a livelihood.
Don’t stay at a trucking firm that isn’t treating you properly or paying you fairly just because you’re afraid to move.
Make a move!
I’ve had to do it a few times in my trucking career, and it’s always been the proper thing to do.
Consider a change if you are not being appropriately rewarded for your time.
Make the best decision for yourself.
Finally, it may be difficult to satisfy yourself with the pay available in trucking jobs at times.
In that situation, you may want to leave your over-the-road driving employment and go for a day job.
At the end of the day, you might discover that you’re making more money and spending more time at home.
The importance of living quality cannot be overstated.
If you want to make a career out of trucking, consider these five factors.
Learn to balance your emotions and deal with them appropriately.
A career as a truck driver is a fantastic opportunity, as long as you can manage the challenges that come with it.