If you just finished your CDL training and have your Class A CDL, you need to be prepared for when you go out on the road as a rookie. Being prepared while out on the road can save time, energy, and a headache if something happens unexpectedly. Below is some advice to help entry-level truck drivers successfully begin their trucking careers.
Stay in Touch with Loved Ones
Staying in contact with friends and family can help pass the time and give drivers the sense that they aren’t completely alone. It may not be in person but talking and video calling can improve morale for drivers. One fun thing you can do is to send pictures of any sights you see while driving. You can also collect postcards or magnets at different stops or states you’re in. Little acts like both of these can go a long way and give you something to look forward to.
Another person you should stay in constant contact with is your dispatcher. Always updating them on your location and status will lead to a better relationship with them. In case you run into a problem or delay, being in communication with them can also build a better relationship with your customers. They will appreciate being updated and alerted that you may be running early or late on your delivery and can prepare. Constant communication from you can lead to more loads in the future and a better reputation within your company.
Keep Expectations Real
As an entry-level truck driver, you won’t be making as much money as some of the veteran drivers. This is normal in any industry or job when you first begin. Keep your expectations in check while going through your first year will help keep morale higher and give you the motivation to continue getting better. Being patient and having a good attitude will keep you trucking and, on your way to earning more money.
Every driver’s first priority should be safety, no matter how long they have been driving. Safety as an entry-level truck driver is especially important. Staying free of accidents can make you look like a good and reliable driver. Accidents happen of course, even if they aren’t your fault. Staying alert and being an active driver can help prevent some accidents, or help you avoid getting caught in them. Two of the biggest things that can help you are watching your speed and paying attention to the flow of traffic around you.
One of the biggest adjustments beginner drivers must get used to is driving a tractor-trailer in different weather conditions. Weather like wind, snow, ice, and rain is different than if you were driving in a car. Plan ahead and check the weather before you head out, so you know what is expected.
If you aren’t out on the road yet and are wanting to train to become a professional truck driver, consider National Tractor Trailer School in New York. NTTS has been training students since 1971 and has over four decades of experience. We have multiple campuses and programs students can choose from. Upon graduation, you will be road-ready for a career in the trucking industry.
Along with training, NTTS offers qualified students financial aid options to help pay for the cost of training. Job placement assistance is also offered to help qualified students and graduates find great careers that fit their wants and needs.