Advice To New Truck Drivers
[or those interested in truck driving]
? Avoid getting ripped off…
? Don’t believe everything the recruiters say…
? Don’t be too hasty or you’ll regret it…
? Don’t let these companies run all over you and make you run tired…
? Watch out for automotive loads.
? Do NOT flash with your bright lights
? Get over when passing
? Advice on backing an eighteen wheeler
? What should truckers take on the truck at the very least?
Avoid getting ripped off
No matter if you just started driving a truck you should never work for under .28 cents per mile. If you are, you are getting ripped off. It does not matter if they helped you get schooling to drive. They are exploiting you if you make under .28 cents per mile.
Note: I have had many comments about the above statement recently. I realize that in some cases depending on your age, location, etc. it may be difficult to start at .28/mile or more. I am merely suggesting that you should NOT even have to. It is absurd to think that it has been almost 10 years since I first started and I started out then fresh out of school at the great age of 21 at .27/mile. Isn’t that ridiculous? I remember that even at that time CR England was starting drivers out at .19/mile. For lack of a better term, that is horse-pucky! Let me ask you all, wouldn’t you start a new driver out at whatever they will accept? I mean the lowest possible? Why even TRY to keep drivers on if they can replace the older drivers with those working for .10 cents less than the other? See, here is the problem, when you do get experience guess where you’ll be as well? It HAS to stop!! -Sep 26, 2003
Don’t believe everything these recruiters say
The recruiters these companies hire are very savvy. They will promise you the world, you’ll be home all the time, you’ll have the best insurance, etc. They spend millions of dollars every year trying to get you in the door instead of spending the money to keep the drivers they already have. That, in and of itself, should kick off an alarm in your head. Trust me when I say there are lying. This is your life you’re talking about, don’t let them take it from you.
Don’t be too hasty or you’ll regret it
Realizing that you have a family to feed and the lure of good money may force you to be in a bit of a hurry to get in a truck fast. Better watch what you’re doing and don’t get tunnel vision. These recruiters can smell when you are desperate. They will eat you alive if you insist on being in a hurry. If you have any concerns feel free to ask me or we’ll find someone who knows! Look at my polls on trucking companies or Trucking Company Reports to see what the actual drivers say about them.
Don’t let these companies run all over you and make you run tired
You are responsible for who you kill if you let these companies run you tired. If you did kill someone while they are running you tired they would just shake their heads and say too bad, oh well. Remember, they do not make any money while you sit a a dock for 8 hours either so they will try and force you to make it up for them. Being subtle about it, of course. BE CAREFUL.
Watch out for automotive loads
Automotive loads pay pretty good so trucking companies will sit you and hold you so you can pick it up and they’ll have someone there for sure. THEY get paid for holding a truck for them. YOU get NO extra pay and sit up all day waiting for it and have to drive all night. You may have to become belligerent about it, but tell them NO. They also do the same thing for UPS, FedEx, Airborne, etc. [ air freight ]
Do NOT flash with your bright lights
A lot of drivers will flash another driver after he/she safely passes. For some reason it has become an issue with drivers using their brights to flash instead of turning off their lights. Don’t do it. It’s better not to flash at all instead of using brights. If that driver gets blinded and runs off the road because of your brights, it’s your fault.
Get over when passing
While it’s not done much anymore, the courteous thing to do when passing another driver is to get over on your line and he should move to his line. This helps stop some of the turbulence. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen drivers’ trucks sucked together and many of them have died as a result. Even if the other driver doesn’t you should because it’s your life on the line as well. Don’t let pride get you killed because of another stupid driver.
Advice on backing an eighteen wheeler
When one first becomes a truck driver the backing in part can be a daunting task. It is without a doubt the hardest part of learning how to sling an eighteen wheeler around. One of the main things to learn is to G.O.A.L. [get out and look]. Never take for granted your spacing. Calm down and take your time, don’t worry about other drivers getting frustrated at you for taking your time to back in. Will they pay for that $100,000 truck you hit? I think not. We all had to learn so don’t be afraid. One of the main things I learned about backing in a truck is to not only look at your box but FOLLOW THE TRACK OF YOUR TRAILER TIRES. If there are lines on the pavement that is the single most important thing to watch to help judge your angle. There will be times when your leg will ache from holding onto the clutch so long backing in and you will be drenched in sweat from a real tight spot but don’t worry you WILL get over it, we all do !! I believe any idiot can basically take a truck down the road but when they learn to back an 80′ long truck in a very tight spot with ease, they are then a REAL truck driver.
What should truckers take on the truck at the very least?
There are a few things a new driver should consider taking on the truck with him/her at the very least. The first thing they should consider is a trucker’s map specifically for truckers. You can find the best trucker’s road map here. You should also consider purchasing a truck stop guide to know where all the truck stops are here. You should have at least one week’s worth of clothes in your truck. A cb radio is very handy as well. I prefer the Uniden PC68 cb myself. You can find these at a Wal-Mart. Any truck driver should have a roll of duct tape on board as well as this will come in very handy. A log book ruler, scissors, tape, calculator, jumper cables, wrenches (9/16, 7/16, 1/2), a flat head and Phillips head screwdriver.
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