A trucker's life is rarely easy, and that's true no matter how many miles they have under their belts as they criss-cross the country. However, especially for newer drivers, the demands of the job can be particularly taxing. As such, it's probably a good idea for them to get a little expert advice before their next trip, so they're fully prepared for the rigors of a life on the road.
That certainly includes the following:
1) Make sure you're accounting for the mental side
People in the business will tell you that trucking is a more physically demanding activity than you might think, but they may not always mention that's also true of the mental aspects of the job, according to the Advanced Career Institute. Consequently, you need give yourself a little extra time to decompress on occasion.
2) You won't be great right out of the gate
A big point of frustration for many new drivers is if they think the job won't be that tough on them, they may be upset when they run into even relatively small problems, the Advanced Career Institute warned. If you expect the unexpected and that you're going to make mistakes, it becomes easier to navigate the job's ups and downs.
3) Don't just assume you parked properly
It's a common rookie mistake: You probably aren't parked as well as you think, according to Schneider. Once you've parked your truck, look back and see if you're between the lines, giving those around you enough space and so on. You might find you need to take another crack at it.
4) Always inspect your truck before hitting the road
It's good practice to get into the habit of inspecting every inch of your truck before you start a run, Schneider said. That way, you can make sure nothing is amiss and you have everything you need to get from Point A to Points B, C, D and beyond with as little difficulty as possible.
5) Never swerve to avoid an animal
When you're behind the wheel of a big rig for enough miles, the time will probably come when you are faced with an animal darting into the roadway, Schneider advised. Your natural impulse will be to swerve to avoid it, but this is highly dangerous for a lot of reasons, and veterans will tell you it's better to just stay the course.
6) Take a hard look at any offer before making a decision
When you are a trucker, you may receive offers as part of your job about taking on additional cargo or doing a new run that you are not accustomed to, according to the Truckers Report. It's not that all offers are necessarily worrisome, but you need to evaluate whether you're really up for it.
7) Take time for yourself
The world of freight may feel like it's "go, go, go," but you need to take some "you time" every once in a while as well, the Truckers Report added. Working too many long days in a row can lead to serious burnout.
8) Pack everything you need
Finally, it's important to pack properly before you hit the road, the Truckers Report advised. Make sure you always bring snacks, stuff to entertain yourself, all the tools you need and so on.
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