So, you’ve decided to become a trucker! Congratulations! It’s a great industry! However, adjusting to this major life change can be overwhelming. Trucking isn’t just a job; it’s a lifestyle. Your new career will affect many other aspects of your life. As you set off on this new adventure, you’ll have to get used to the truck driver reality. Having knowledge about what to expect from the industry can help you better adjust to the trucker lifestyle. Check out these tips to help you transition into your new trucking career!
Short Versus Long Haul Trucker Lifestyle
When you seek out trucking jobs, you’ll have to determine whether you prefer short haul trucking, long-haul trucking, or a mix of both. Though employers may have slightly different job descriptions, short-haul truckers typically travel less than 250 miles for their assignments, while long haul truckers travel hundreds and even thousands of miles for their assignments.
Tips to Help You Transition Into Your New Trucking Career
Whether you pursue the short or long-haul trucker lifestyle, these tips will help you adjust to your new way of life.
1. Make a Good First Impression
From your first interview to your first day, it’s critical that you make a good first impression with your new employer. When you start out as a new truck driver for a new company, you’ll have to prove yourself. Since you’re the rookie, you won’t have dibs on the loads you get to haul. Your employers may give you the leftover hauls that their more experienced drivers don’t want to load due to the delivery location or a difficult customer. Don’t get discouraged if you find yourself in this situation. The trucking industry is full of growth, and soon enough, you’ll move up the ranks.
2. Combat Loneliness
It can get pretty lonely while you’re on the road. But, truckers use plenty of methods to help manage the loneliness. To stay entertained on the job without losing focus, many drivers choose to listen to podcasts or audiobooks. There are plenty of trucking podcasts to help pass the time and keep you informed about the industry. CB radios allow you to communicate with other drivers as you travel. You may also choose to travel with another driver as team drivers, which allows you to double your driving distance, finish assignments more efficiently, and avoid the loneliness.
3. Learn How to Speak Trucker Lingo
If you choose to participate in conversations on your CB radio, you’ll probably hear some unfamiliar terms being thrown around. Truck drivers have developed their own unique trucking language, which allows for covert discussions. Becoming fluent in trucker lingo can be difficult because many terms are specific to certain types of drivers or situation. For example, chicken haulers will use the phrase “cluck cluck chicken truck” to greet each other. Other terms are more generic, like using “10-6” to indicate to that you’re busy and that the other person should stand by. Learning these more commonly used terms is helpful for new drivers as they start their trucking career.
4. Beware of Industry Trends & Stereotypes
It’s no secret that the trucking industry is predominantly male. However, more and more women are becoming drivers for the benefits the career has to offer. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for women to have sexist encounters, whether it be from fellow drivers or from the public. If you’re a woman looking to enter this lucrative field, don’t let this scare you off. Fight the stereotypes and enjoy this rewarding career!
5. Seek Help When Necessary
Adjusting to the trucker lifestyle can be overwhelming. If you’re struggling with aspects of the trucker lifestyle, seek guidance from more experienced truckers. Some companies have mentorship programs for new drivers. Be sure to take advantage of these opportunities.
Learning how to adjust to the trucker lifestyle can be a fun and refreshing experience. What tips do you have for fellow truck drivers looking to adjust to their new career?