If you are a new driver, getting through the first year or two can be incredibly challenging. Driving cross country in a big rig truck is no easy task. You are likely to end up lost, exhausted, stressed out, or all three at the same time. However, there are some tips that can help new drivers to succeed in this very rewarding freight bill factoring industry.
Possibly the most important part of being a successful truck driver is knowing how to deal with getting lost. No matter how meticulous you are about planning, all it takes is a bad set of directions or road construction and detours to get even the best drivers turned around. In these situations, it is important that you stay calm. While getting frustrated is easy, it’s not going to help you get back on track any sooner. The first thing you should do is figure out where you are. You should also keep physical maps in your truck, not just a GPS. GPS does not always account for trucking routes, and if you have signal problems, it will not work at all.
The next tip for any new driver is to stay alert and be aware of your limitations. If you are driving for long periods of time, you may want to stay awake and keep going to finish a job. While that is admirable, it can cause problems if you are driving while unable to stay focused. This can lead to easily avoidable accidents that could get you fired. Therefore, it is important that you try to get as much sleep as possible, even if you have to take hour-long naps occasionally. Also, if you start to feel like you are losing your edge, drink coffee, walk around or do something that will get your blood flowing.
Finally, keep in mind that trucking is a stressful job. You are working under time constraints, dealing with equipment malfunctions, and a laundry list of associated issues. That said, it is important to not take out your problems on other people. You are less likely to become a top priority for your company or dispatchers if you call in simply to vent, not offering suggestions and solutions to help get you back on the road. Keeping things in perspective will help you keep your head and build a solid reputation as a truck driver.