A wise trucker once said that the first year on the road isn’t about the money, it’s about survival. Those who have made it past their first year on the road know just how true that statement is. Life on the road is not for the weak of heart. Regrettably, a lot of drivers fail before they get all 18 wheels spinning down the freeway.
So why do so many rookie drivers fail? Perhaps it’s the long hours alone with your thoughts, or maybe new drivers simply get lonely. There are plenty of things that could hinder your love for the open road. This is why we’ve put together some rookie driver tips to make your rookie year is the first of many memorable years to come.
Is Driving the Right Career for You?
Before you read up on rookie driver tips, it’s important to find out if driving is the right career for you. There are many benefits of being a truck driver. From competitive pay to vacation and the opportunity to be out on the open road. Truck drivers are very special. You need to be okay with being by yourself for long stretches of time. In time, you will to learn how to handle stressful situations well. You never know what to expect!
If this sounds like you, then trucking might be for you! Now that you have decided to be a rookie driver, you may be nervous. Read our rookie driver tips to calm those nerves and get trucking!
5 Rookie Driver Tips to Know
Don’t be distant with dispatch: Your dispatcher is like the holy grail of loads, and loads = miles = money. Ask your dispatcher how their day is going, or what they plan to do during the holiday weekend. Above all, work to build a genuine relationship, not solely dishing out compliments for the sake of gaining mileage.
Prepare food on the road: On-the-road truckers are at risk for poor health due to minimal exercise. Something as simple as taking a 15-minute walk before a long drive will do wonders for your physical and mental health. Some drivers even recommend taking a crockpot on the road for healthy, homestyle meals.
Never refuse a load: If you’ve come down with pneumonia, that’s one thing, but don’t be quick to turn down driving opportunities. Truck drivers need to have dedication. If they refuse a load, it can show a serious lack of motivation and work ethic. Stay motivated and get excited—dedication is worth it.
Remember that hard work actually pays off: Trucking is an industry where hard work doesn’t go unnoticed. When on the road, you will only get what you give. If you exude minimal effort, you’ll get minimum reward. But put in extra effort and you’ll be rewarded and feel valued.
Don’t choose time over safety: Sure, we want to impress the first week on the job, but that can’t always happen without risking anyone’s personal safety. Although it’s great to be early, the safety risk just isn’t worth rushing. Be safe, watch out for other drivers, and enjoy the ride.
It goes without saying that truck drivers are tough. It takes a lot of hard work and devotion to be successful in the industry. Just remember that if you make it through your rookie year with a good work ethic and respect for the industry, you’ll soon understand the affinity for the open road. Now that you have all of the rookie driving tips you need, you can browse our list of trucking jobs and get started!
What are some additional tips for rookie drivers? Share with us in the comments below!