Lots of drivers first hit the road with their own expectations of what life as a trucker will be like. When reality sets in, you may find that what you had in mind and what you’re actually experiencing aren’t the same. These truck driver tips and tricks are some rookie truck driver mistakes you can avoid.
1. Establish Expectations for Your Family
Whether you have a family at home or plan to have a family in the future, understanding what a trucker’s life is really like is important so your family can plan for how it will affect your lives. Establish expectations, and plan for how you will prioritize family time in your daily life.
Discuss what you will do for vacations, holidays, family gatherings, religious events, and more. This will make living the life of a trucker much easier and make your life more enjoyable
2. Know that Experienced Drivers Get Better Loads
This trucking tip will help you set expectations for the kinds of loads you will get. When you’re new, you won’t get the best or highest paying loads. This is because experienced drivers have their track record to back them. Once you get more experience, you can start getting better loads too.
3. Don’t Turn Down Loads
This goes along with the point above. Taking on as many loads as you can as a new truck driver is one of the best ways to get good truck driver skills and prove yourself in the industry. The more loads you’ve hauled, the more experience you have. Getting this experience early on will help you make much more money in the future.
4. Be Considerate at the Pump
It may be tempting, but other drivers won’t appreciate a rookie parking at the pump while they wait for you to move on. Everyone needs to get gas, so be considerate of their time.
5. Give Other Drivers Some Space
Parking right next to other drivers when there’s plenty of space in the parking lot isn’t appreciated. Take this trucking tip and give other drivers some space when you park, whenever it’s available.
6. Help Your Fellow Drivers
Helping other truckers on the road is a great trucking tip that shows you can be considerate. Let other trucks pass you if needed, give them some space, and generally be polite to other truckers on the road.
7. Be on Time
Always being on time will go a long way towards establishing trust with your carrier. Making calls and arriving early or right on time will help you get more loads in during the week and help you make more money in the long run.
8. Keep Going!
Your first year of driving will be tough. Expecting difficulties and a steep learning curve will help you face your first year with the right mindset. The best truck driving tip and trick you can learn isn’t a tip or trick at all, it’s simply to work hard and don’t give up. Like most jobs, the more experience you have and the harder you work, the more money you can make and the easier your job will get over time.
Hard work is highly valued in the trucking industry. Do a great job, and you’ll reap the rewards of your work down the road.