Tips for Rookie Truck Drivers
After you get your Class A CDL, you might wonder what it’s like to drive as a career. Here’s more on surviving your first year on the road.
Tips for Rookie Truck Drivers
You’ve finally made it. You earned your Class A CDL, and now you can start your career as a Professional Truck Driver. What now? What’s it really like to be a Professional Truck Driver? There may be challenges to face, so here is more to learn about surviving your first year on the road.
If you haven’t started yet and are just curious, we can help you get your Class A CDL!
means getting all required sleep and being in top shape mentally for long hours of drive time.
Safety First, ALWAYS!
It’s safe to say that avoiding accidents is an utmost priority. There are many rules to help you avoid getting into an accident, but one of the most important is speed. Driving faster than necessary, even when you have a schedule to keep, is never okay. Of course, you need to slow down or find a safe haven during rain, snow, road construction, and other traffic anomalies, but even on perfect driving days, decreasing your speed greatly reduces the chances of an accident. You know the adage stopping on a dime – it’s something a semi can’t do. When you slow your speeds, you can react faster and stop quicker.
You also want to be well-rested and alert at all times. This means getting all required sleep and being in top shape mentally for long hours of drive time.
Learn To Park
You learn to park your truck while receiving your Class A CDL training. Yet, you learn more every day – especially being on the road. Yet, parking is often difficult, no matter how long you’ve been doing it. Peak times make it especially difficult since spots go quickly.
One way to negate the difficulty in finding a spot is to time your stops to be able to park early. Not only does this allow you to find a spot easier, but you can rest for longer periods, helping you with the above tip.
Keeping In Touch With Family
One aspect of being on the road is being alone. However, there are ways you can stay in touch, keep mentally engaged, and enjoy your down-time. Travel makes us happier. You get to see the country right from your truck while doing your job and getting paid for it. Use this to your advantage to keep up with others. You can take photos of your adventures or write them down to share with others.
Stay in touch with family members by using video chat as often as possible while you are parked. It allows you to see your family and hear their voice. This makes a world of difference in how you feel about being on the road. Family is important, and you don’t have to forego time with them. Modern technology has allowed us to do things we never thought possible. And today, anyone with a smartphone can use video chat features.
Some carriers even allow you to bring a family member or friend along. If possible, take advantage of this. Whether it’s every so often or all the time, this works twofold. You get to be with your family member or friend, and they get to see what life is like on the road. You get to share that experience with someone else.
Keeping your mind engaged is crucial as well. But you can do that in several fun ways. Play video games on your downtime, read a book or listen to books or podcasts. These things allow you to focus on positives. You have things to do when you’re not driving and some you can do while driving as long as it’s safe.
According to Scientific American, there are more ways games help other than just curing boredom. They may also help our minds stay sharp.
As Glenn Smith of Mayo Clinic and her colleagues report, cognitively normal older adults who trained their brain could improve their auditory information processing speed by about 58 percent (versus 7 percent in controls).
Manage Your Expectations
Once a carrier hires you, take things at an acceptable pace. Some drivers want to rush right out of the gate and take jobs with a quick turnaround or those with high mileage. But, remember that you’re new to this lifestyle. You haven’t been on the road long enough to master everything as a rookie. It takes experience and time to continue to build your skill level. Veteran truck drivers can do it, but as a rookie, you’re not a veteran yet. Experience allows you to hone your time management skills – there’s no simple way around that. Know that you can manage your expectations. It makes life easier on the road.
You Can Do It
Everyone starts as a rookie driver. You have more experience than some and less than many but that changes. As you get more secure in what you’re doing, you can handle more of these issues we’ve discussed. The stress will lessen, your expectations will change, and you’ll master driving, parking, and everything in between. The crucial thing is that you’ve made it this far. You’ve completed your training, and you’re ready to be on the road.
Train For Your Class A CDL
If you’re not on the road yet but reading this to learn more, Roadmaster is a hands-on truck driving school helping prepare students to take their Class A CDL driver’s license exam. To get started on the path to a new career with plenty of potential, call us at 1-800-831-1300 or fill out our online form. Roadmaster can help you start a new life in 4 weeks, and some carriers offer 100 percent tuition reimbursement. Many of our students have a high-paying job waiting for them before they even graduate from school.