Truck driving is so much more than climbing into a seat, turning a key, and driving long miles. This list of qualities of a good company driver will help set you up for success. Let’s see how many you have and identify a few you can work on as you grow in your career.
Top 11 Qualities of a Good Company Driver
1. Able to meet the basic requirements to be a truck driver.
You can’t be a good truck driver unless you can actually become a truck driver. Know the basic requirements to become a driver (like being 21 years old if you want to drive interstate), get your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), and complete the training needed to hit the road.
You’ll be on the road by yourself quite a bit. Even though you’ll have accountability to deliver freight in a timely fashion, there won’t be a boss over your shoulder checking your every move. If you’re self-disciplined, self-dependent and a self-starter, truck driving could be the perfect fit.
3. Always alert.
You’ll spend many hours on the road, and you’ll need to focus every second behind the wheel. Whether it’s distracted drivers around you, animals trying to cross the road, changing weather conditions, or even sudden mechanical issues, awareness is critical. Good drivers have the mental discipline to stay alert while driving long distances.
4. Clean driving record.
Beyond the basic requirements noted above, your overall driving record can be a good indicator of how you’ll handle a big rig. Different carriers have different requirements when it comes to the driving records of the drivers they hire.
As a company driver, you’ll be given a truck owned by the company. They will task you with hauling freight owned by another company. Both companies will expect quality execution of the job at hand. Company dispatchers and customer consignees greatly appreciate working with responsible, trustworthy drivers.
6. People skills.
Speaking of dispatchers and consignees, you’ll be talking with them regularly. You’ll spend lots of time alone on the road. However, it’s important that you’re able to create a positive customer service experience. You are ultimately the face of your company to everyone you deliver to. This is why your interpersonal abilities will go a long way to retaining a great relationship with customers.
7. Mechanically inclined.
You won’t be expected to be a diesel mechanic and fix major issues that come up. However, you can certainly save time by making simple repairs with basic tools. Every trip you take should begin with a thorough pre-trip inspection and a truck maintenance checklist, but any mechanical skills you have could come in handy if anything does come up.
Unfortunately, the truck driver stereotype isn’t always good as far as health, but good truck drivers recognize that their physical and mental health is important for driving stamina, alertness, and general effectiveness on the job. Thankfully, there are many resources out there to help truck drivers get and stay healthy.
9. Good sense of direction.
GPS technology is wonderful, but a good company truck driver should always trip plan, be aware of any construction detours, weather concerns, and of course low bridges or any non-truck-friendly routes. Sudden road closures due to an accident can put you in a position as a driver to think fast. If you’re prone to get lost, you’ll want to brush up a little extra on where you’re going before you get rolling.
Company drivers might have trucks governed slower than the traffic around them. You might get stuck in rush hour traffic in a major city or a customer may be slow in unloading your trailer. You can certainly do things to help things stay efficient, but the less bothered you are by things outside your control, the easier you’ll be able to handle life as a truck driver.
As noted above, as a company truck driver, you will be the most visible person many others will see representing your company. More importantly, you’re representing yourself. The way you dress, talk, represent the other 10 qualities of a good company driver noted above, and how you drive, will all be things that can portray you in a professional light. Be what you want others to see!What qualities do you have? Browse jobs here!
Schneider has been a leader in the trucking industry since 1935, offering a wide variety of truck driving jobs throughout the country that allow you to pick your freight type, number of drivers, and driving style. Schneider offers a multitude of pay packages, benefit offerings, home time configurations, leading equipment, and military-specific benefits.