Remember when you first started driving a truck for a living? Whether it was 30 years ago or three, you likely encountered some situations that you wished someone had better prepared you to handle.
The reality is that no trucking school or driver training program can anticipate every potential problem that truckers might encounter. In this blog post, we asked veteran truckers to reveal some of the tricks of the trade they had to learn the hard way.
Take Advantage of All Trucker Reward Programs
Signing up for — and remembering to use – the various reward programs for fuel and other purchases saves you money. The points add up quickly and can be used for amenities like free WiFi, hot showers and all sorts of truck stop merchandise.
Depend On Your GPS but Carry a Current Map
Technology is a great boon to the trucking industry. But there will be times when your GPS fails to function or provides false logistical information to you. Having a reliable map on hand and knowing how to read it is worth its weight in gold if your GPS leads you astray on a run.
Be Wary of a Spotter’s Directions
Spotters can be helpful guides for truckers dropping loads in unfamiliar yards and loading dock areas. Although they may have the best intentions, if they make a mistake, it is the trucker who wrecks the rig and causes damage. Verify all directives from spotters to make sure that you have clearance on every side (including overhead).
Eat Well and Exercise
It’s all too easy to fall into some seriously bad eating habits while driving a semitruck across the United States. The long, sedentary hours behind the wheel coupled with a greasy spoon diet are a recipe for ill health.
It’s no more difficult to eat healthfully on the road than it is to fill up on the empty calories in junk food. Pack nutritional snacks and eat the salad instead of the burger. Start your day out with a steady jog around the truck stop perimeter or do some push-ups beside your rig before heading out. Your body will thank you for it.
Use All Your CDL Discounts
From lower auto insurance premiums to discounts at fuel stops, restaurants, casinos and motels, your CDL license can save you money. If you are unsure if a particular facility offers trucker discounts, ask. Spending less is always a good thing when you are out on the road.
What tips, tricks and advice do you have for new truckers who have just passed their CDL test? Share the knowledge you have gleaned to help them adjust.