After earning your commercial driver’s license (CDL), you’re ready to hit the road and enter the trucking industry. A career as a truck driver can be incredibly rewarding and you are making an important contribution to society by delivering freight. The first year as a driver is often the most challenging as you get used to the unique lifestyle and job responsibilities. However, following the trucking tips in this article can help make your journey easier.
Focus on Trucking Safety
Operating a semi-truck is a big responsibility. Your actions can impact not only yourself but also everyone else on the road. Trucking safety should be a top priority and you should keep this in mind at all times. There are many different factors to be aware of. Safety starts with your pre-trip inspection before you even get on the road and continues throughout your journey. It’s also important not to get impatient or drive recklessly. If you are ever unsure of regulations or feel that a situation could be unsafe in the slightest, ask questions and voice any concerns you may have.
Practice Good Communication
Although many truckers spend their days by themselves, communication plays a large role in the job responsibilities of a driver. You will need to be able to communicate clearly and efficiently with many different people. This can include dispatchers, driver supervisors, safety coordinators, shippers, and more. If you become a team truck driver, you will also need to consider your driving partner. Good people skills and a positive attitude will help you work with all of these individuals effectively.
The habits you form as a rookie truck driver can stick with you for the rest of your career, so it’s helpful to focus on your health from the start. Although it takes some planning to stay healthy on the road, it’s worth the effort. Consider packing healthy snacks and meals and if you do eat at restaurants or truck stops along the way, try to pick healthier options. You should also stay hydrated, which studies show can help you stay more attentive. Making a schedule for exercise is a good idea and you can find time during breaks to move around and stay active. Finally, remember that sleep is essential. Driving tired is dangerous and sleep deprivation can impact your health. Your sleep schedule may vary while on the road, but make it a goal to rest up as much as possible.
Find a Trucking Company That Values You
The motor carrier that you work for can influence whether or not you have a positive experience as a professional truck driver. Consider pay, home time, benefits, and company culture when making a decision.
Hiring New CDL Drivers
DSW is hiring new truck drivers and would love to have you join our team. We offer competitive starting pay, paid training, express orientation, and more. Our mentors are ready to help you get started and our management team is made up of former drivers who understand what life on the open road is like. We aim to work as hard for you as you work for us.