Every profession has its own set of challenges and a trucking career is no exception. Trucking can be gratifying but it’s not for everyone as it includes long hours on the road and time away from family and friends. It’s a very challenging job, so for any new driver it’s important to know the pros and cons of the profession before diving in.
If you are a new truck driver or planning to get into this profession, take a look at these 5 tips.
Step 1: Learn How to Manage Stress
In the trucking industry, stress is quite common. Truckers constantly fight against distraction, bad weather, and tough deadlines, which can impact a trucker’s job performance. As a new truck driver, it is important to learn how to manage stress while on the road. Here are a few stress management tactics to try:
- Deep breathing
- Positive self-talk
- Focusing on what is in your control
- Listening to your favourite music
- Calling a loved one
By using these stress-busting techniques, you can concentrate more on your driving and gain confidence on the road.
Step 2: Low Wages
Many people think that the truck driving career offers a good paycheck, and it can under certain circumstances, but the reality is, most new truckers won’t make that much. The wages of new truck drivers vary depending on where you live and what type of load you’re hauling, but entry-level pay for truckers can be as low as $18,000 annually according to ZipRecruiter. So as a newbie in the industry, it is important to be prepared for this. For a couple of years, you may not be able to make great money. But with experience, you may get longer trips that pay better. So, it’s important to have patience while starting your career as a truck driver.
Step 3: Prepare for long hours
As a new truck driver, be ready for long training hours. Although it may be tiresome, the training hours will help you learn how to get better loads that ultimately pay better. In addition to a long training period, you may have to be on the road for several weeks or even more at a time so becoming homesick is common. If you have a family, you may struggle to find time for them. It’s also common for new truckers to feel lonely, depressed and anxious. Be prepared for these emotions and try using some of the stress management techniques mentioned above.
Step 4: Be cautious on the road
Truck accidents can be serious and deadly, in fact, research has found that nearly 500,000 accidents involving trucks happen every year and that almost 5,000 of those incidents are fatal. To minimize your risk of an accident, it's crucial to be cautious on the road. This could be done in many ways. For instance, taking regular breaks, avoid driving when tired or sleep-deprived, avoid talking on the phone or texting, and of course, never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Not only can an accident seriously injure other drivers it could also cost you your job.
Step 5: Stay focused on your goals
For a new truck driver, it’s essential to focus on your goals and have a plan to achieve them. When you start driving, your first year can be full of challenges, but don’t let this overwhelm you. The ultimate goal is to boost your confidence and experience. The more you polish your skills, the more you can add to your resume, bringing in better, higher-paying jobs.
The Key Takeaway
Undoubtedly, a truck driving job is challenging. When first starting out you have to be ready for an emotional rollercoaster. But if you stick with it, you can reap the rewards. Trucking companies are constantly looking for drivers who can make it through tough situations. By following these tips you can find yourself loving your trucking career in no time.