Are you a rookie truck driver? Congratulations! You’re about to embark on a new chapter in an industry that is always evolving. The demand for truck drivers is high, and the benefits are widespread. Plus, the work you do is so incredibly important in making sure the global supply chain is always moving!
Before you head out on your first day, here are 3 of our best tips so you know what to expect when it comes to truck driver jobs.
1. Focus on your truck driving skills
Some new drivers wonder when is the best time to start driving a truck. Some say to start in the summer to build experience and then move into the winter, which is more of a challenge.
Others say to start in the winter, so you face all of the challenges head on and quickly learn how to handle them. When it comes down to it, it’s up to you and how you feel!
Backing up or reversing a long haul truck is a fairly difficult skill that new truck drivers must learn to master quickly. The supply chain slows down for no one, and safety is paramount, so you’ll want to put in the extra time to practice when you’re not on the job.
2. Practice good hygiene
These days, practicing good hygiene is more important than ever. You’ll be spending a lot of time in your truck cabin- a small space that requires organization. You’ll have electronics and paperwork to handle, so it helps to create a separate space to keep papers filed and easily accessible.
Bundle up a few cleaning supplies and microfiber rags and always keep them onboard. Dust and sweep regularly, cleaning the truck windows inside and out. Invest in a mini vacuum to stay on top of dirt and place a small trash can inside your living area. Use antibacterial wipes to clean the steering wheel and door handles frequently.
3. Stay safe
It goes without saying that safety needs to be at the forefront of everything you do as a truck driver. Start by educating yourself on the mechanical basics and take care of your truck to ensure it’s always in fine condition. Never skip out on pre-trip inspections and learn how to check your landing gear.
Purchase a quality GPS to protect yourself in a number of situations. Your GPS can let you know where gas pumps are located, which routes to avoid and whether or not you’ll be able to clear a particular underpass that’s on your way.
Finally, always maintain a safe speed- no matter how close you’re cutting it with hours. Stay calm and drive defensively, making sure speed is always controlled.