It is an exciting feeling to start a career in truck driving. This can be a fantastic career for anyone that enjoys spending time behind the wheel and does not want to be tied down to a 9-5; plus, truck driving can allow you to travel to all areas and meet new people, among many other benefits. This is also a unique role, so it is important that you know what to expect and how you can excel as a truck driver. It will always take a while to get used to, but this post will offer tips for new truck drivers that should help you hit the ground running.
Plan Routes With GPS
First, you need to master route planning. It is important to plan your routes in advance to identify the most efficient route to take – this will allow you to save time, keep your customers happy (and potentially increase tips), and keep your fuel costs down. With the use of a GPS system, you can easily identify the best routes to take and benefit from vocal directions so that you only have to focus on the road ahead and follow the instructions.
Perform Basic Truck Maintenance
You also need to know how to perform basic truck maintenance and keep a close eye on your vehicle. You should always perform inspections of your truck and get any issues addressed as soon as possible. Performing your own basic maintenance can reduce the likelihood of breaking down on the road and disrupting your work. Basic maintenance can also prolong the life of the vehicle, increase efficiency, and ensure that it is safe to drive. There are lots of maintenance tasks that you can do yourself, but you also need to have a reliable mechanic in your area that you can take it to for any repairs and servicing.
Safety must be paramount when it comes to truck driving. When you spend as much time on the road as you do as a truck driver, the chances of being involved in some kind of accident will be higher. Additionally, being such a large vehicle, a truck can cause significant damage and harm. Therefore, you must always prioritize safe driving. This means paying attention to speed limits, maintaining a safe distance, and abiding by traffic laws. Additionally, you should never drive when you are feeling tired or drowsy. You also need to avoid distractions like loud music or using your phone (this is also illegal).
Be A Good Communicator
It is an often overlooked aspect of the job, but it is important that you have strong communication skills in this role. It is true that most of the time, you will be working independently and by yourself in the truck, but there will be important communication at the beginning and end. You need to put effort into all communication so that you can develop a positive reputation as a truck driver. It is also important to provide updates if there are any issues or delays on the job.
Look For Jobs In Your Local Area
When getting started as a truck driver, finding jobs in your local area is a good idea. This is so that you can drive in familiar areas and do not have to spend a significant amount of time away from home. One of the best ways to do this is to join job boards for your local area, such as class B driver jobs in St. Louis if you live in this area. This allows you to browse available jobs in the area so that you can find ones that fit your needs and abilities. This allows you to find local routes, build up your experience, make contacts in the area, and sharpen your abilities as a new truck driver.
Develop A Healthy Work-Life Balance
You must also prioritize a healthy work-life balance as a truck driver, which can be challenging at first. Taking on as much work as possible is tempting, but this can take its toll physically and mentally. Burnout can be a serious issue in this industry, so you need to make sure that you develop a healthy balance and use your free time to relax, lead a healthy lifestyle, spend time with loved ones, and recharge before taking on your next job.
It can take a while to get to grips with truck driving, but this post’s advice should help you hit the ground running and enjoy all the benefits this career can bring.