For many novice truck drivers, anticipating their first cross-country trip is the most exciting part of entering into the profession. The idea of being able to do things on your own without continual supervision, criticism, or assistance is enticing.
It’s no secret that driving a truck is a great way to get out of the house and explore the world while making money. There is, however, a learning curve and sometimes painful realization that truck driving has its drawbacks. Here are a few pointers from San Diego trucking companies to make the life of a new driver a little bit simpler.
As a veteran truck driver, here are the top things you should know:
When you first start out as a truck driver, it’s easy to get disheartened. When you get your first driving job, don’t expect to be at the top. Instead, see it as an opportunity to build a solid foundation. When it comes to safety precautions, there’s a lot to learn and adjust to. The most important thing is to get used to driving and to be known as a safe and responsible driver.
- Prioritize safety above all else.
It’s fantastic to have long-term career goals, but it’s imperative to keep safety at the top of the list. G.O.A.L., the time-tested safety abbreviation, should always be followed (Get Out and Look). If you’re backing up in an unknown place or leaving after a night of parking, get out of the truck and look about for any potential hazards. Having a clean driving record will help you rise up the trucking job ladder.
- Achieve your career objectives
You’ll learn a lot in the first year of driving a truck, so think of it as a learning curve. Driving an 80,000 lb. truck and logging 120,000 miles in the first year is a lot of experience, but you won’t learn everything there is to know about driving in that time. Getting through the first few months of your profession will help you get to where you want to be in the long run.
- Remain Committed
During the first year, resist the temptation to change employment. Inexperienced truckers frequently make this mistake, and it is strongly discouraged by the trucking business. Drivers who work for companies that don’t always place a high priority on them will nevertheless gain a lot from the experience. If you work hard and have your sights set on the prize (YOUR specific professional goals), you can realize your greatest ambitions and become a sought-after candidate for the highest-paying positions.
- Protect Your Emotional and Mental Well-Being
Regardless of one’s profession, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is essential. Physical stamina is necessary, but maintaining mental and emotional health can be even more difficult when driving for long periods of time. You’ll meet new people, visit interesting locations, and take in stunning vistas as you travel, but you’ll also be on your own for a significant portion of the time. Remember to carry a souvenir for long-distance travel, as well as set aside some time each day for phone or video chats with loved ones. It is important to cultivate these behaviours in order to maintain a happy outlook and avoid becoming lonely.
- Customize Your Vehicle
Make your truck your own by adding your own personal touch in addition to a memento of your time together. Because you’ll stay there for numerous hours or even days at a time, treat it like a second home. Add curtains and a nice mattress to your room to help you sleep better. Setting up a designated cooking area with all the necessary appliances is also an excellent idea. These upgrades will not only help you avoid hotels and fast food restaurants, but they will also help you avoid homesickness.
- Become a Master of the Art of Communication.
On the road to success, you will, without a doubt, run into some roadblocks. For example, you can experience a flat tyre or run out of diesel during a planned refuelling stop, or you might be stuck at a loading station for longer than expected. Whatever happens, it’s imperative that you keep your manager informed. Always communicate with the maximum degree of professionalism, courtesy, and openness. By working together, you and your manager will most likely find a solution as well as improve your reputation.
- In order to maintain a strong network of friends and family
You will not gain any points by venting to your bosses. When it’s time to call your loved ones that evening, you can let your guard down around those who matter most to you. After a heart-to-heart talk with that special someone, you’ll feel rejuvenated and relieved to tackle the next day.
- Self-compassion Has a Big Impact
Don’t put your health or safety in jeopardy because your driving assignments are due on a specific day. Eat healthily and avoid processed meals wherever feasible, but also find time to exercise. You’ll stay in better shape, both physically and mentally, and you’ll be less prone to car sickness as a result. Be sure to stop and enjoy your surroundings on a frequent basis, even if it’s just for a few minutes to watch the sun go down or admire a view. Don’t be afraid to give yourself a gift or spend some time relaxing at a spa if you so choose. It is only you who knows what gives you a lift.
- Read and Stay Up to Date.
Keep up with the industry you’ve chosen to be a part of, whether it’s through trucking news sites, trucking advice sites (like this one), or email newsletters (sign up here). Keeping up to current with what’s occurring in the trucking sector means you’ll be aware of new regulations, laws, and other significant alterations. You’ll be a seasoned pro before you know it if you’re well-informed and observant.