As a new commercial truck driver, you should know that there is much more to the job than just driving the truck. Because you are responsible for a vehicle weighing in the 10s of thousands of pounds, it is important to recognize the extra work that must be put in by long-haul drivers. Here are some tips for new commercial truck drivers to make the first portion of their careers easier.
Be Aware of Your Truck
Driving a delivery truck is nothing like driving a car and requires you to stay alert to the road around you at all times. Keep an eye on your mirrors to make sure that you are staying between the lines while on the road. Always do a visual inspection after parking to make sure you are in the spot. Check fluid levels of the vehicle. All of these things prevent accidents if followed diligently.
You also need to be aware of the warning signs of trouble. Being able to diagnose what is causing your transmission to start slipping or knowing why your truck is overheating can keep you on the road instead of being off the road, not earning anything.
Keep Rested and Nourished
As anybody who has done a long drive before can tell you, staying focused during a trip is no easy task. Knowing when to stop to get out and stretch your legs or where you can pull off to catch a quick nap will come with experience, but you should keep your physical health in mind. If you start to feel tired, find a safe place to pull over and sleep. It could save your life and keep other drivers safe.
In that same vein, keeping nourished is critical to staying on the road. You can save money and be healthier by not exclusively eating at truck stops and fast-food joints. It can be difficult to get your daily recommended nutrients while on the road, so be sure to take a multi-vitamin and keep fresh fruit and vegetables in your cab for snacks.
The Mental Game
Commercial driving is just as much mental as it is physical. Drivers must be able to cope with the stresses of the road and being away from home for long periods. It can also be frustrating at first because the good money is earned, and the best routes are taken by more experienced drivers. Keeping a positive attitude and knowing when to ask for help can make all the difference in this profession. Other drivers are a great source of information and tips for new commercial truck drivers.