First year in trucking

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by Lonewolf2000, Jan 13, 2018.

  1. Lonewolf2000

    Lonewolf2000 Light Load Member

    Nov 5, 2017
    New York
    What advice would you give to a new driver to make the first year go as smoothly as possible, possibly something you wish you new when you first started. Other than common sense stuff don’t damage truck/don’t have accidents/reach destinations on time and don’t drive on a road you shouldn’t be on. What should I do to make my first year go as smoothly as possible?.
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  2. bigkev1115

    bigkev1115 Road Train Member

    Oct 23, 2009
    Alexandria, AL
    1. Me personally, I pray before I start my day, and after I end the day

    2 Never ever think that you cannot learn more or, or think you cannot be taught anything else about the truck.

    3 Positive Mental Attitude- That goes for trucking in general, and especially with shippers and receivers.
    4 Take your time, and always Get Out And Look if in doubt in any situation.

    5. Don t be afraid to ask for help.

    6. Have some thick skin, truckers and the public in general with test you daily.

    7. Invest in a cooler for truck. Eating a truck stops can run you well over 200 a week if not careful.
    8. Don t be afraid to stand up to dispatch or anyone else, but in a tactful manner

    I wish you the very best in your career, and welcome to trucking
    Rollr4872, Lav-25, Oledevildog and 6 others Thank this.
  3. jraulpilot1998

    jraulpilot1998 Light Load Member

    Aug 20, 2014
    Columbus Area, OHIO
  4. jraulpilot1998

    jraulpilot1998 Light Load Member

    Aug 20, 2014
    Columbus Area, OHIO
    Patience, Take every day as a Learning experience, Patience. Family First, Yourself Second, The Job Third, Patience. Respect for other drivers on the Road. Patience, Patience and more Patience. After you have visited (delivered loads) in at least 5 cities in every State and a couple in Canada then and ONLY Then You can call Yourself a Professional Truck Driver. Good Luck, Happy Trails..!!
    Lav-25, 417bigK and tinytim Thank this.
  5. Kyle G.

    Kyle G. Heavy Load Member

    Jan 23, 2016
    Eastern Iowa
    Don’t sweat the small stuff. A lot of things happen out there and lots of little things go wrong. You have to be able to roll with the punches and not let petty things ruin your day.

    Also, don’t try to get rich your first year. Focus on learning the ins and outs of the industry and worry about getting rich later. This kinda ties into what i said above. You will have slow weeks and breakdowns and stuff that affects your pay. Don’t let that ruin your attitude.

    Good luck driver! It’s a jungle out there sometimes but with the right mindset, you will prosper.
  6. tinytim

    tinytim Road Train Member

    Oct 29, 2007
    Northern Ontario
    It's all common sense. :)

    Patience and don't get rushed.

    Trip planning, know where you're going, how long it will take to get there and leave extra time. Plan on delays. Don't get rushed.

    Learn your equipment and deal with maintenance/issues before they leave you on the side of the road.

    Keep your head and don't make things worse when you screw up. You will miss a turn or some other minor mistake. It's amazing how many turn those little things into big ones.

    When you have trouble backing and start to get frustrated take a minute to clear your head. Never try to rush it.

    Read every road sign, they are there for a reason.

    And never get too confident. There's always more to learn and you can always get better.
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  7. Lonewolf2000

    Lonewolf2000 Light Load Member

    Nov 5, 2017
    New York
    Thanks everybody all good advice, and I do plan to get a cooler to keep food in. I have seen a couple youtube videos where they say to keep a cooler full of food cause you’ll go broke eating out of truck stops.
  8. shogun

    shogun Road Train Member

    Jan 23, 2009
    Don’t be one of those “I just drive the truck” types. Keep tools with you that can get you out of a jam. Crescent wrench, vice grips, flat blade screwdriver, Phillips head, various pliers (needle nose, strippers) electrical tape, a small ratchet set and fuses of various sizes. Spare low beam, high beam, and parking light bulbs.

    Also keep an air hose and chuck to air up tires and a tire gauge. Get a bright flashlight and check under the hood each day for leaks, belt condition and fluid levels before a sensor fault shuts the motor down. This advice can keep you from wasting three hours on a roadside call out later.

    As for driving, be patient and professional and expect people to do stupid things. Leave plenty of following distance. When it comes to customers, be professional since you represent the company and leave the property the way you found it. When all else fails, use common sense.
    tinytim and Justrucking2 Thank this.
  9. Justrucking2

    Justrucking2 Road Train Member

    Sep 12, 2017
    Plymouth MI
    Zip-Loc Quart Freezer Bags to pee in. They are fantastic when it is -10 and it is 500 yards to the truck stop door at 0300... Just saying. ;-)
  10. x1Heavy

    x1Heavy Road Train Member

    Mar 5, 2016
    White County, Arkansas
    No dispatchers. No safety people. No suits.

    One appt time and date, hard location with delivery.

    Left alone until arrive on time.

    Anything else that interferes with delivery is a problem that is not welcome.

    Therefore when it;s quiet, 70 plus going down freeway and music is playing with coffee in hand all is well.
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