So you’re a rookie truck driver who’s eager to find success doing this new venture. Whether you’re a business owner or truck driver (or both!), becoming a truck driver takes time. First, you must master the art of being on the road. And you also shouldn’t be afraid of roadblocks along the way — quite literally!
As a newbie truck driver, you have an edge over other truck drivers. You get to form new habits right out of the gate. In contrast, seasoned drivers are working hard to correct their bad habits.
Are you ready to thrive as a new truck driver? You’ve got this! Check out five tips to spur you along.
1. Become the Best Driver You Can Be
As a trucking newbie, all your energy should go to perfecting your driving skills. If you’re new to driving a semi-truck, recognize that it will take time to learn how to drive it. Therefore, you must be patient with yourself and pay attention to the road at all times.
The more you focus on perfecting your skills, the better driver you will become. And by excelling as a driver, you’ll be able to take on more jobs and make more money.
2. Get Enough Sleep
As a rookie truck driver, you must get enough rest. Initially, focusing on the road will take some getting used to. Getting enough sleep every night will ensure you safely make it to each destination.
It’s especially important to get plenty of rest while you’re learning. It already takes extra brainpower to adopt new skills. So, receiving at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night will make your job safer and easier.
3. Exercise And Eat The Right Foods
Again, it’s essential to care for yourself as a new truck driver. Even when you become a seasoned driver, you should still make healthy choices!
To ensure you stay healthy physically and mentally, fuel your body with the right foods. It’s easy to grab a bag of chips and a candy bar while on the road so much. But instead of heading inside the gas station for junk food, opt for healthy snacks.
Other foods you can bring are granola bars (watch the sugar, though!) and other fruits and veggies. You’ll likely stop along the way to get breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Try to plan your stops ahead of time so you can control the menu.
Since you’ll be sitting a lot, it’s also vital to get exercise. Make sure you pull over often so you can get out and stretch. Stretching will also improve your driving skills as it’ll give you a chance to wake up.
For more cardio-like exercises, bring along a jumping rope and some weights. You may not always have access to a gym. So, creating a makeshift gym will make it so you won’t have any excuses not to work out!
4. Improve Your Communication Skills
It’s a common misconception that truck drivers don’t communicate a lot. On the contrary, you must be an excellent communicator to excel at trucking!
While driving to and from a destination, you will communicate with a dispatcher. Likewise, you may also communicate with customers during your drop-offs.
Being an excellent communicator will ensure each job goes smoothly. Even if you have to deal with a grumpy customer, put a smile on your face and be polite.
In the long run, perfecting your communication will improve your trucking skills.
5. Look Into Getting A Grant
If you’re looking for a grant to run a trucking business, grants are available for truckers. For example, as a female truck driver, you can apply for federal grants for women.
Securing a grant can allow you to grow your business. For example, you may be interested in buying your own truck. Or, you may want to run a trucking business with employees. A grant can get you the cash flow you need to formulate a business plan.
Being a rookie truck driver isn’t a bad thing. It allows you to learn from other experienced truck drivers. And it gives you the chance to improve your skills along the way.
As a side note, even though you’re driving alone doesn’t mean you have to be alone in your work! Buddy up with other truck drivers, so you have friends to chat with about your life on the road.
You’ll find you’re no longer a rookie as you hone your skills. Even experienced drivers become rookies again when they drop the ball. So it’s up to you to stay on top of your game and thrive!