Truck Drive Newbie? Here's Our Top Tips from Trucking Pros
Tell Them What You Want!
Before you hit the road, try learning from experienced truckers. There will still be plenty to learn after you buy a new truck and start your first job, but the more you know the better. Here's what veteran truckers want newbies to know:
Fight for competitive starting pay
You may be itching to get behind the wheel. You may need that first paycheck ASAP. Even still, think about your long-term future when accepting your first job. Future raises will build off of your starting pay. Insist on a competitive rate from the beginning.
Be firm about what you want
Don't be afraid to stand up for yourself regarding the hours and miles you drive, the routes you take, and the loads you sit around waiting for. Companies will always focus on their own bottom line, so they might try to push you around.
Learn trucker etiquette
New truckers often believe myths about trucking. For example, you should not flash your brights when someone passes you, contrary to popular opinion. (Switch regular lights off and on, or don't do anything). In general, if you learned something from TV or you're just assuming, think again. Don't make assumptions; ask questions and learn good trucking habits!
Choose safety over pride
Out on the road, other cars and yes, other truckers will tick you off. Avoid getting sucked into the rage of other drivers and driving aggressively. Trucker safety should always be the #1 priority.
Always be professional
Even if you are not an owner/operator, you still operate as your own boss. You're responsible for getting to drops on-time. You're responsible for the way you communicate with dispatchers and companies. Show everyone you do things the right way, and you'll get better loads and better assignments.
Ready to start your career? Look for good deals in our truck listings and follow our blog for tips, tricks, and important trucker news.
- Owner Operators