If you're thinking about getting into the trucking industry and you have the motivation to work through the training and licensure processes, you might be wondering what other skills you'll need. Just like any other job, it's not just anyone who can really succeed in a life on the road.
If you have the following skills, you're more likely to knock it out of the park:
1) A good sense of direction
Sure, most truckers today rely on a GPS system to get them from Point A to Points B, C, D and beyond — but sometimes even the best technology isn't going to get you where you want to go, according to CDL Hunter. When that happens, you'll need to find your way around and think on your feet.
Of course, the people at Points B, C and D are waiting for you to come drop off or pick up critical materials for their businesses, CDL Hunter noted. For that reason, you'll need to be the kind of person who is highly reliable and always meets their deadline.
3) A get-up-and-go attitude
When you're on the road, you'll need to be able to wake up refreshed and ready to get behind the wheel quickly, CDL Hunter further added. Once you get on the right schedule, this becomes easier to achieve, but you need to be a self-starter from Day 1.
4) Confidence working independently
Along similar lines, even when you get into a difficult spot for the first, second or third time, you can't exactly count on someone to swoop in and save the day, according to Burleigh Drive Training School. You'll have to be confident in your decision-making under pressure and act in a way that will continue to set you up for success.
5) Top-flight communication
And when things do go sideways on you, it will be incumbent upon you to let everyone who has an interest in your driving schedule know what's going on, Burleigh Driver Training School said. That means quickly communicating to dispatch and shipping partners what's going on and what you're doing to get back on the road ASAP.
You may not realize it, but truckers have to keep some fairly detailed records about their travels and ensure they are adhering to government regulations about how they do their jobs, Burleigh Driver Training School cautioned. For that reason, you need to be confident in your ability to accurately keep tabs so that you don't run into complications later.
The life of a trucker isn't always go-go-go — in fact, it's often hurry-up-and-wait, according to DOT Transportation. Whether you're stuck in a traffic jam or just waiting for your trailer to be loaded or unloaded, your patience will likely get quite the workout on a regular basis.
8) Being handy with mechanical things
As you might expect, there are plenty of things that can go wrong under the hood and with other mechanical parts of your truck, DOT Transportation advised. If you can fix the basic problems yourself, it'll save you a lot of time and headaches.
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