Life on the road can be tough for rookie truckers. Although you may know how to drive a rig, the realities of driving each day are challenging. Here are ten tips for new truck drivers that will help you adapt to the road.
1. Become Friends with Your Dispatcher or Driver Manager
This individual, no matter what his or her title, is your lifeline for loads. Get to know them and what they like as these are the individuals who will have your back and will ultimately affect your paycheck.
2. Be Prompt and On Time
Timelines sets a tone with every employer and client. Call ahead and advance pickups with customers and advance drops with receivers. These little things will help you get better-paying loads.
3. Love Your Safety Department
Instead of looking at your safety department like a police officer about to fine you, realize that they are looking out for your best interests. They are concerned with your continued success and the safety of all, yourself included.
4. Be Prepared for Anything
Mishaps will happen on the road. Keep a gallon of oil, anti-gel treatment and other truck essentials on hand. Keep food, water, toilet paper and other things you may need in your cab.
5. Stay Compliant
Keeping correct logbooks, maintaining your CDL and retaining a good driving record go a long way toward a high Driver Fitness Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) score.
6. Eat Healthy
Eating right can be challenging, but it’s not if you bring your own food. Choose healthy options at truck stops instead of fast food.
When you are on the road daily, it can be challenging to find time to work out. Find exercises that you can do to keep yourself in shape.
8. Don’t Rely Only on GPS
GPS doesn’t always give the best routes. Keep a map in your cab.
9. Look at Everything
Read every road sign and marking. Focus on your route, look in your mirrors. Be aware of everything, all the time.
10. Rest Before You Become Too Exhausted
Your body needs time to recover. The longer you are exhausted, the longer it will take to recover. Someone who is awake for 24 hours is just as dangerous on the road as someone who is legally drunk.
For more information on the trucking industry, contact Pay4Freight for all of your needs.