Truck driving is a well-paying and exciting job. It allows you to see many new places and meet fascinating people. If you are new to the profession, you may feel overwhelmed by all of the details and skills that you must master. While there is indeed a “learning curve,” there are a number of things you can do to successfully ease your way into the business.
Consider the following tips to help you integrate smoothly into your new career field:
- Avoid getting ripped off – Some trucking companies will help you pay for your truck driving lessons but will exploit you later with low wages. Current standards dictate that a truck driver should get at least 28 cents per mile of driving. Don’t settle for anything lower.
- Don’t believe everything the recruiters tell you – Some company recruiters become so desperate for drivers that they make false promises. If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Thoroughly investigate recruiters’ promises before signing anything. Once you commit, it may be difficult to get out of your agreement.
- Don’t be too hasty – Don’t be in such a hurry to get your first driving job that you lower your standards. Though you may need quick money to relieve debts or support your family, note that recruiters can often smell desperation and take advantage of you with substandard pay and benefits. Ask other drivers about potential employers before you sign up.
- Do not flash your bright lights – You may have seen drivers flashing their lights after making a safe pass. This practice is annoying to approaching drivers and may also cause accidents. The bright light could temporarily blind the approaching motorist, causing him to run off the road.
- Get over when passing – When passing drivers, be courteous by returning to your lane in a safe manner. Otherwise, you may create turbulence that can endanger yourself and others.
- Know what to take on the truck – Don’t leave home without some important items. Take a trucker’s map or an app equivalent as well as a truck stop guide so you know where you can take your next break. Pack enough clothing to last you a week and a reliable CB radio. You should also take a log book, tape, jumper cable, calculator and some mechanical tools for simple troubleshooting.
Don’t expect to be an expert all at once. Be patient with yourself. Prepare carefully and be willing to learn as you begin an exciting new adventure.