Being a truck driver is a noble and helpful career choice. Truck drivers transport important cargo and help keep this country running. If this is a career choice you think would be a smart move for you, you should know how to be the best you can be. Here are five ways to be successful as a truck driver that can help you put your best foot forward in your new career.
1. Prioritize Safety
Understandably, driving a several-ton truck 70 mph down a highway for hours a day isn’t always the safest thing in the world. Truck drivers need to follow the rules of the road and ensure that they’re driving defensively to protect themselves and other drivers on the road. Go at the speed limit, stay in your lane, and always use your signals when turning or merging.
2. Practice Communicating
Communication is one of the most vital skills for any truck driver. While you may be alone in your truck, you have phones and radios because being able to convey information is crucial. Truck drivers regularly communicate with their clients, their headquarters, and other truckers. If you want to be a trucker, you need to understand the basics of radio contact and professional conversational etiquette.
3. Learn Basic Mechanical Knowledge
Nothing can ruin a truck driver’s day like losing daylight because something happened to their truck and they had to pull over. Basic mechanical knowledge of your rig can help you identify the cause of problems and maybe even fix them yourself instead of waiting for roadside assistance. Learning some of the basics of how to maintain a semi-truck engine can help you get back on the road and save valuable time. Engine repair is a useful and practical skill that greatly benefits you in your professional field.
4. Mind Your Surroundings
We live in an era of GPS navigation that can get us anywhere we need to go, but one way to be successful as a truck driver is to learn some orientation skills for yourself. If you only rely on the GPS, you may get lost if your phone dies or you’re going through an area with poor reception. Knowing how to read a map, navigate road signs, and identify landmarks will surely help you succeed.
5. Watch Your Health
An unfortunate risk that many truck drivers face is that the job can take a major toll on their physical and mental health. Many truck drivers don’t get lots of physical exercise behind the wheel and eat fast food or greasy diner meals. We recommend doing some stretches when you pull over at a rest area and trying to eat healthy whenever possible. Truckers can improve their mental health by staying in touch with friends and family when they’re on the road.