8 Tips As You Start a Trucking Career
There’s never been a better time to be a truck driver. Truck driving jobs have never been more available. If you’re thinking about CDL driver school or taking other CDL classes, here are some important tips you need to know as you start out.
Know the Limitations of CDL Driver School
Truck driver training is just that: it’s training. There’s another level to trucking that comes with experience. You need to pass your truck driver test and you need to attend CDL driver school to position yourself for the best jobs and the brightest future. But don’t be satisfied with just that. Practice, ask advice from the pros, and consider finishing CDL driver school as a beginning, not an ending.
Choose Your Start Time Wisely
Have you got a trainer driving with you? Then start driving in winter. Once you master driving in bad conditions, everything else will be easy. But if you don’t have a trainer with you, it’s not a good idea to start in winter. You may find yourself in a situation you’re not ready for.
Don’t Compromise Your Health
It’s not uncommon for drivers to fall prey to obesity and subsist on a steady diet of junk food. It’s all too easy to lay down at the end of the day and flip on the tube rather than trying to exercise. Commit to healthy eating from the beginning, and invest in the coolers, inverters, and other things you need to keep that commitment.
When it comes to exercise, remember that you need to move, but you also need to protect your knees, back, and shoulders. You can do this only by building muscle. Since you’re already putting your joints through plenty, explore a Super Slow method or a similar way of gaining serious muscle without stressing joints.
Make Sure You Can Read a Map
It’s important to have a good GPS and preferably one that is designed for truckers in particular. But don’t let that keep you from having a good atlas with you all the time. Make sure you get familiar with it and know how to find your location on it at all times. You never know when the GPS will give out.
Respect Yourself and Your Cab
Keep things clean. Make sure you have the cleaning supplies you need to keep the cab in good shape. This will keep you from hating yourself and your ride. And don’t neglect your own cleaning rituals. It’s easy to do this when you’re on the road for extended periods, but you’ll drive better and be more alert if you’re in good shape in every way.
It gets cold in the cab during the fall and winter. Don’t skimp on the heated blanket and your joints will thank you later. You can put the blanket over your legs, but you can also put it over your neck and shoulders.
Speaking of shoulders, make sure you get a seat wedge or other support pillow for your back and neck. This one is well worth the investment.
Never Forget the Consequences
Truck accidents are almost always deadly. Trucks are so much larger than cars, so much less wieldy, and take so much longer to stop and turn that a truck accident can easily become a tragedy on a monumental scale. Remember this when you get frustrated with the cars, and resist the temptations to road rage. You might just save your own life as well as the life of others by being the bigger person.
To stay safe, always listen to the pros, pay attention in CDL driver school, never drive tired, and always err on the side of caution. You’ll never regret taking this advice to heart.
Help Out a Friend
You need the other truckers out there, and they need you. Give a passing truck a break, and take a moment to make sure other truckers are ok if you notice anything odd. Be polite about where you park and how you gas up. This is another time when you’ll never regret taking the high ground and acting with some class.
Trucking can be a great career move, especially in the modern shipping climate. Get the training you need and follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to a great career.