For those just coming to it for the first time, the world of trucking can be a bit intimidating and overwhelming. There's a lot for new drivers to learn in a relatively short period of time, and even if you do great in your CDL training, there are undoubtedly some rules of the road you won't pick up on right away. For that reason, a little extra help will always be appreciated.
In addition to relying on the advice of some more experienced drivers, the following tips should help you start your new career off on the right foot:
1) Know your worth
While there's not really a hard rule about what you should accept in terms of pay, benefits, perks and so on, the general advice drivers would give is need to know your worth, according to Smart Trucking. There may be a little bit of wiggle room here, given that you're new, but think of it this way: It may not seem like there's a huge difference between 0.28 cents per mile and 0.21 cents, but the latter number is actually 25% less than the former. At the end of a pay period, that's going to add up to a huge difference.
The good news, though, is that given the current trucker shortage, low pay probably won't be an issue. Still, it's something you need to be aware of.
2) Inspect your truck after you park
One of the most common issues new truckers will experience as they drive along the nation's highways and byways is parking difficulty according to Schneider. After you park your truck, take a careful look at it from a distance. Are you between the lines? Are you far enough away from the vehicles around you? Did you leave your lights on? These are all issues that can arise, especially if you're in a hurry, so that extra once-over is always a good idea.
3) Always be courteous to your partners
Traffic can be frustrating and delivery deadlines are sometimes nerve-wracking, but that doesn't mean you have a license to take out negative emotions on other people, according to the United States Truck Driving School. When you're dealing with the people loading or unloading your truck, dispatchers, other truckers and more, always aim to be professional and courteous, no matter how you're feeling. That way, you'll maintain strong relationships with the people you rely on.
4) Give other drivers plenty of room
Here's something your instructors and future colleagues will drill into your head: There's no place for aggressive driving in the trucking industry, the United States Truck Driving School added. That means taking it slow, avoiding attempts to pass unless it's absolutely necessary, and generally giving others plenty of space to maneuver. You can't account for what other people are doing, and it's going to take you a long time to brake, so never follow too closely.
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