Are you thinking of becoming a trucker? If so, you need to understand that there's more to the job than just getting behind the wheel and driving from Point A to Point B and back. Just like any other job, there are a lot of different skills you have to bring to the table to find success and happiness in a life on the road.
The following are a few of the most important ones:
1) Communication skills
Even though you're likely to be alone on the road for most of your time as a trucker, you still need to be able to communicate effectively - and there's a simple reason why, according to Smith Transport. You will have to be in fairly regular contact with a dispatcher, the organizations receiving your deliveries and more, so everyone involved in your efforts knows what to expect as you drive for hundreds or even thousands of miles.
2) A sense of direction
When you're traversing the nation's highways and byways, you don't want to get into a situation where you miss your exit or pass your destination and then can't figure out how to easily get back, Smith Transport noted. There's more to being a good driver than just following GPS, and navigational skills are a must in this job.
You aren't likely to have much success as a trucker if your dispatchers can't count on you to get the job done in the allotted time, Smith Transport further advised. Consequently, you should have a good sense of what it's going to take to hit your goals on an ongoing basis, without much guidance.
A trucker has to keep more things straight in their heads than you might realize, according to CDL.com. For instance, having a place where you can reliably store your receipts and other important documents is critical, but so is the ability to clean up inside your cab so you don't misplace anything important. Avoiding clutter is more critical to success than it may seem.
5) Driving talent
This skill is self-explanatory, but it's one also one of the most important aspects of being a trucker, CDL added. Something as simple as knowing when and how to brake based on the load you're hauling, and being attentive behind the wheel, can make or break you in this business. There's plenty they teach you in CDL school, but other things you need to learn by doing.
Being a self-starter is important in a lot of jobs, but it's critical in trucking, according to Valley Driving School. You have to be able to reliably wake up every morning, hit the road, manage your time and otherwise keep yourself motivated every single day, and there's no manager's watchful eye to keep you on track.
7) Mechanical know-how
You don't have to necessarily be a gearhead to be an effective trucker, but you should know your way around a toolbox, Valley Driving School warned. Being able to diagnose and repair minor problems with your truck will help keep you on the road - and on schedule.
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