Starting a new career can make you feel excited and a bit nervous…especially one as thrilling as truck driving and you may feel some pressure to start out on the right note and put your best foot forward (literally speaking). To help you get settled in and comfy behind the wheels, here’s a list of the top pieces of advice for new truckers.
Regulate your Caffeine Intake
Fatigue is an inseparable part of a truck driving career and you’re bound to experience it more often than not. When you do, the only effective solution is sleep, not caffeine. Taking an energy drink or a cup of coffee is fine as a boost or a quick pick-me-up if you’re on the last legs of a haul; however, it is much better to pull off the highway and take a power nap. If you’re truly exhausted, don’t try to trick your body into alertness by doing exercises, playing loud music on your radio, and other such things…they do not work. The only true remedy is sleep.
Take on Lots of Jobs
If you’re new to the trucking industry, it’s best that you take on as many jobs as you reasonably can. It shows dispatchers that you have a strong work ethic while enabling you to learn routes as quickly as possible. Also, you will make more money which is always a good thing; however, you should be careful not to let yourself burn out. Most new drivers usually overcommit, accepting every job that comes their way and as such, they feel exhausted and stretched out for weeks on end. If they do not reserve adequate time for relaxation and sleep, they will eventually burn out. You should learn to say no when the occasion warrants it.
More Mental Than Physical
Although it is generally believed that truck driving is meant for the physically strong, you should be aware that truck driving is more mental than physical. As a truck driver, you must focus completely on the road and your surroundings, even when you’re going through personal or family issues, feeling homesick, stressed, or tired. It is difficult to remain mentally strong and focused on the task at hand but that is what the job demands. You should also learn to be professional and keep calm when faced with irate, inexperienced, or exasperating drivers. Never ever give in to road rage…for your safety and that of other road users.