We’ve compiled a list of 10 great tips for new truck drivers. These tips come directly from experienced employees:
1. Become Friends with your Dispatcher:
Dispatchers are your lifelines to loads, which in turn equals miles and miles directly affect your paycheck. Get to know them, get to know what they like. Pay your dispatcher compliments. My dad always told me you will get farther with a teaspoon of sugar than a gallon of vinegar.
2. Make your own Food on the Road:
A crock-pot is a great tool for making meals while driving. Simply put your meal in an oven-roasting bag and pour some water around the bag (just a little). It cooks just like at home, saves money, is healthy and makes little to no mess. When done, just throw out the bag.
3. Never refuse a load:
Refusing a load can leave a bad image of you and your work ethic. By not refusing a load you show the company that you are valuable and dedicated and will help the company when needed and besides you just never know what kind of load is waiting for you when you get where your going (it might be a 3000 mile load, you never know)
4. Make Diet/Exercise Plans:
New drivers need to keep a steady diet plan, keep it light on the carbs for 6 days and treat yourself on the 7th. Exercise twice a day for 15 minutes, once before your shift and once during the mid day break.
5. SAFTEY FIRST.
Always get out and look before backing up. Better to explain why your load was late than to explain why you wrecked your boss’s truck.
6. Love your Safety Department:
Recognize that your Safety department is always looking out for your best interest. The Safety Department unfortunately is viewed like a police officer. When you need an officer, you love them, when they tell you that you did something wrong they’re horrible people. Always remember that your safety department has nothing to gain by your loss or failure. Your continued success and compliance is what they are most concerned with. They will always be in your corner!
7. Explore your Company:
Every Company has different divisions that you are able to move through to improve your experience. Certain companies have a different division that requires certain skills, this allows you to change divisions and gain more experience instead of changing jobs (the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence). By doing this you show value and dedication to your new employer. It allows you to stay with your current company, maintain seniority and gain experience valuable to future endeavours.
8. Hard work really does payoff:
Success is measured by what you put into your job. Do a mediocre job and you’ll get a mediocre return. Strive for more and you’ll get more. Your efforts never go unnoticed in the transportation industry. Every fleet manager, dispatcher, or terminal manager will go the extra mile for that driver that gives 110%. Operations always know whom they can count on for the important jobs or priority promotions.
9. Get the Experience you Need:
Over the Road (OTR) is the key to fast tract your career as a professional driver. The major carriers want drivers as soon as they are professionally trained, and will give them the OTR experience they need to be successful. Remember; If the Wheels are Turning, YOU are Earning!
10. Be Prompt and on Time:
Your timeliness will set the tone with you and your carrier, so be on time always. It’s always better to be an hour early than one minute late. Call ahead – advance your pickup with the customer, advance your drop with the receiver. It could mean the difference in you getting to your next load 12 hours early and another load on your paycheck this week. It could also bring you the critical loads that pay more. Run the truck like you were the owner/operator