If you're interested in a career in trucking, congratulations are in order: You're entering a challenging but rewarding industry with a bit of a barrier to entry. That's not the kind of career step everyone is brave enough to take. Obviously, when you make such a big leap, you want to do everything you can to set yourself up for short- and long-term success.
In the world of long-haul trucking, that starts with entering the training process with the right mindset and understanding of what it will take to knock your efforts out of the park. We have some suggestions to help you do just that:
1) Do your research into the best local truck driving schools and financial options
When you want to go through all the training necessary to become a trucker, you may have a large number of options within an hour of your home, according to The Truckers Report. Read up on each one, get a good understanding of what they offer and what their approach may be, and figure out which one is going to be ideal for you; it might not always just be the closest option. In addition, because it typically costs quite a bit of money to get CDL training, you might also want to look into your options for paying for classes, including talking to trucking companies or seeking out scholarships from the Department of Transportation.
2) Learn and then master all the essential truck driving skills
Once you've figured out where to get the training you want, you need to put yourself into the right mindset, according to Smart Trucking. You have to greet every exercise with enthusiasm and make sure you give it your all; it's not enough to just learn the basics of the job like you would for a high school history test. You have to go beyond that to really understand the how and why, and truly become a master of these skills over time.That won't happen right away, of course, but it's the proper mindset that you want.
3) Don't worry about other motorists' opinions
Driving a big rig is totally different from driving your personal pickup truck or sedan and as such, you need to change your entire mode of thinking when you're behind the wheel of a tractor trailer, according to All Truck Drivers. You're likely to be the biggest thing on the road the majority of the time, so if other motorists have a problem with your driving — which should be slow and steady, with a focus on defensive tactics — you can't let it affect your judgment.
4) Accept that you won't be perfect
Even the most experienced of truckers make the occasional mistake, and when you're new to the job, you're more likely to miss an exit, forget to signal when changing lanes or make other missteps large and small, All Truck Drivers said. You can't let that affect your performance; you need to be able to mentally shake off those errors and quickly get back to doing the job right.
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