Joining the trucking force can be very intimidating in the beginning; there’s a lot you will you learn very fast and if you don’t keep up, you can get swallowed.
We’ve compiled a list of points to focus on when starting out.
Practice, Makes Perfect
Backing a truck is going to scare the crap out of you, as it should. You will have to relearn what you thought you knew; because your steering will be flipped the opposing direction. When you steer right, your trailer will go left, and vice versa. Take your time, and practice whenever you get the chance. Empty parking lots, docks that aren’t busy, or truck stops will be good places to learn. Take advantage of it when you’re given the chance in a quiet and safe place.
Fellow Trucker Road Rules
Be courteous to your fellow truck drivers and respect the rules in place. That goes for on the road, at truck stops, and at customers. If you are in a governed truck, make sure to keep yourself in the right lane when another truck comes up to pass, allow another driver to get over when you see he’s having a hard time, and watch the on ramps for merging big trucks. When at the truck stops, fuel in a timely manner and pull up in the designated spots when you’re done.
Truckers already have a bad name tied to them; overalls, overweight, and overly stinky. Practice good hygiene, dress appropriately, and take care of yourself. Some customers are famous for having little to no driver facilities, but if you don’t take care of yourself - you shouldn’t expect anyone else to take care of you. Don’t come out here to further the negative stigma around truck drivers.
Learn Your Equipment
Ask question about your equipment whenever you’re given the chance - trainers, diesel mechanics, and fellow drivers. Take whatever you hear or are told with a grain of salt, hence why we recommend asking multiple opinions or level of expertise because you can never be too sure. It’s important you know your equipment and be proactive on how to be legal and keep yourself and others around you on the road safe.
Follow the Money
A common complaint in the industry is incorrect driver pay, and I’m sure if you’ve looked up your company review site than this isn’t you’re first time reading this. When you start out as a company driver, you will be assigned a dispatcher, but don’t rely on your dispatcher to fix your paycheck along with every other problem you come across. It’s highly recommended that you learn who to talk to about your paycheck because if you’re not getting paid, then what are you doing out here?
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