Commercial driving careers refer to driving a commercial vehicle like a truck. If you’re a commercial driver and want to pursue truck driving as a career choice, you must have the necessary skills and training to ensure you can safely operate the vehicle and do your job properly. Although truck driving is a great career, it does not have to be your only career move. Whether you are a newbie or an experienced driver, there are several trucking tips that you should know.
Here are ten tips for excelling in this career path:
1. Become Familiar With DOT Regulations
First, you must be up-to-date on all Department of Transportation (DOT) requirements related to trucking. You must be fully aware of all the regulations and requirements of being a commercial driver, as these tend to change over time.
2. Keep Open Communication
Effective communication is crucial for success in almost every profession, including commercial truck driving. Focus on building good relationships with your dispatchers and the trucking company. Maintaining open and clear communication is important to excel in the trucking profession. Furthermore, coordination is paramount for seamless operations in this industry, and ignoring communication can result in costly issues.
3. Maintain Your Schedule
As a truck driver, it’s important to be punctual. Customers relying on truckers to make their deliveries need them to be reliable and punctual. If you do run into unexpected delays, communicate these with your dispatcher. This will ensure the customers are well-informed about your problems, and both parties can work together to minimize disruptions.
4. Focus On A Healthy Diet And Lifestyle
Commercial drivers, including truckers, tend to develop unhealthy diet habits due to limited access to kitchens. Plus, they’ve limited opportunities for exercise, and they’re sitting for long periods. Even taking a walk is challenging for truck drivers as they’re always on the road with tight deadlines.
While there is little you can do to change the amount of time on the road, focusing on a healthy diet can help you stay fit and improve your physical and mental health. Ensure you get adequate rest each day when on the road. Fatigue can be extremely dangerous and could result in fatal accidents.
5. Have A Good Work-Life Balance
Always focusing on work will make you stressed and sluggish. Dedicate a fixed amount of time to relax every day. Additionally, find ways to keep yourself entertained while driving. While listening to music is common with truckers, combine it with audiobooks or podcasts to make it interesting. You may also learn something new. Additionally, to make things enjoyable, read a book, play video games, or watch a movie. Stay in touch with loved ones via call, video chat, text, or email, as it gives you the support, love, and strength to cope with the tough life on the road.
6. Keep A Backup GPS
Getting lost in the middle of nowhere is a terrible feeling, and it’s even worse when it happens at work and you’re on a tight schedule. We recommend you keep a backup GPS device since technology tends to fail when we need it most.
7. Keep A Clean Driving Record
Maintaining a clean driving record is crucial to ensure a successful career as a truck driver. This includes both your CDL record and your personal vehicle record. Avoid getting tickets as much as possible, logbook violations, and getting involved in accidents. Additionally, keep your insurance up-to-date.
8. Put Safety First
Always prioritize safety. Conduct a pre-trip inspection before every trip to ensure the truck is in proper working condition. Not inspecting the vehicle or ignoring mechanical problems can endanger the driver and other drivers. Keep an eye on speed limits and other road rules for safe driving.
As a truck driver, be prepared for the unexpected. You may face unforeseen circumstances, such as sudden snowstorms or mechanical issues. Prepare for such situations by keeping an emergency kit packed with food, supplies, and tools that could help.
9. Practice Parking
Practice makes perfect. As trucks are big and heavy vehicles, it’s not always easy to park them. So, practice parking, especially parallel, whenever and wherever you can. This will make your job easier and safer. You can practice parking in empty lots or abandoned sites. With enough practice, you can park your vehicle in any situation.
10. Keep Learning and Updating Your Skills
Truck driving and the trucking industry, as a whole, are constantly changing. So, updating your knowledge and learning new skills is crucial. For instance, attending training sessions and seminars can help you stay up-to-date on safety regulations and other industry updates. The technology used in the trucking industry is also rapidly changing, so keep yourself updated on the latest technology and trends.
There you go—some important tips to help you excel in your commercial driving career. Whether you’re a truck driver or how long you’ve been driving, stay focused on safety and communication while finding ways to keep yourself entertained. This will ensure that you have a successful career as a truck driver. With dedication and hard work, you can enjoy a lucrative and rewarding career in the trucking industry.