You went through the training, you’ve probably spoken with your fair share of industry vets, and now it’s finally time for you to debut your new skills on the road. As with any other job, there’s always a learning curve and plenty of information that you just can’t get from a book or a course. As a free load board, we know that no matter how much you study or practice, there are some aspects of becoming a trucker that are acquired through lived experiences.
As you prepare to start your new career driving truckloads take a look at our top tips for newcomers and hopefully replace any second-guessing with complete confidence.
Survive Your First Year in Trucking with These Tips
To help you adjust to this new job, we’ll go into some pointers that cover everything from safety practices to acclimating to life on the road. Here are some of our favorite tips for newbies:
- Adopt a Hobby: Find something that you enjoy doing in your downtime so that you can still have a life while on the road. Reading, playing an instrument, exercising, or even photography are all simple activities that you can do anywhere. It’s essential that you find things you enjoy so that you don’t slip into lazy habits, or feel too lonely when you first start.
- Be Mindful of the Season: While this isn’t exactly a tip you can take with you through your career, we do think you can make things easier on yourself by choosing a warmer season to start driving. Driving in wintery conditions is more challenging, so if it’s possible, give yourself a few months of practice rather than taking your first job smack dab in the middle of winter.
- Respect Your Space: This will be easy at first while things are new and shiny, but as the excitement wears off, you may become a little lazy about keeping your cab in good condition. Take pride in your truck, regularly clean it out, get yourself some accessories, and give yourself weekly “chores” so that you don’t let the interior of your cab get too messy, especially if you’re an OTR trucker. This space will become your home.
- Have a Contingency Plan: You should never solely rely on GPS. Today’s technology is amazing, but you never know when it may fail you. Take the time research and plan out your routes ahead of time and keep a map handy.
- Schedule Time with Loved Ones: Whether you’re married, dating, have kids or loved ones that you’re away from for long periods, we suggest making schedules to speak with them. It doesn’t have to be the same time every day or week but commit to regularly calling and video chatting with your loved ones. This will make things easier on everyone.
Preparation is Key
The first year on the road is the most challenging and trucking is all about preparation.
Take some time to prepare yourself, your truck and your routes, and you’ll pass with flying colors. If you’re curious about what a load board is or need other important tips for successful driving, check out our blog.
The FreeFreightSearch.com blog has a section exclusively for truck drivers, which you can find here.
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