Are you a new over-the-road truck driver? Congratulations! Now that you can legally drive a truck, do you know what it takes to survive your first year?
For most newbie truck drivers, your job requires you to travel vast distances for long periods. This means you can be away from home at weeks at a time. If you’re ready for the challenge, here are some pointers:
Build a good reputation
Building a good reputation in the trucking industry won’t only land you better opportunities and possibly bonuses. It can also help you land proper trucking schedules. The thing is, newbie truck drivers often get the leftover assignments. This usually means long-distance deliveries that occur during late hours or can even last for a week or more. Once you gain experience and build a good reputation, you can now start getting the assignments you prefer.
Know your rights
Truck drivers have rights. This is something you need to know as early as now. You are entitled to payment for all the hours you spent to finish your job. You get to have a 10-minute break every four hours you spend working. You also have the right to have adequate insurance in case you get injured while on the job. Learn more about your rights by talking to a lawyer in Washington.
If you think that finding a parking space for your car is a bit frustrating, wait till you experience having to park a truck during the peak season. As truck drivers try to cram and find the best spots on truck stop parking lots, the latecomers often find themselves finding a parking space. One pro tip is to park and hit the road early.
Tighten your belt
One can’t expect a huge paycheck, especially if you’re still a newbie truck driver. Sometimes, even experienced drivers can get a crappy salary. So prepare yourself by spending your money wisely. Invest your time to gain the necessary experience, and you’ll increase your chances of landing a trucking job that you’ll love.
Make sure to plan your trip before starting your engine. Drive and proceed with caution at all times. Move slowly to prevent accidents from happening. Also, if you think that something is wrong with your truck, never think twice about taking it for a routine checkup.
Keep yourself fit and healthy
Driving long hours at a time won’t do your body any good. So make sure to get enough rest, eat healthily, and try to exercise during your free time. Also, keep yourself dehydrated. Truck stops are full of unhealthy food items, so prepare healthy food whenever you can. You can bring a portable stove and a cooler where you can store your food.
Don’t forget to bring some entertainment
It can be annoying to stay on the road for weeks at a time. So make sure that you have something to keep you entertained. Fill your playlist with all of your favorite songs. You can also listen to podcasts, play games, or watch your favorite series while you’re on break. Just make sure never to let these items distract you from driving.
Being a truck driver is not easy. It can be tedious, exciting, and challenging. If you want to thrive and survive, remember this guide.