Tips on how to be successful in trucking?

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by mwc1576, Aug 16, 2013.

  1. Ridgeline

    Ridgeline Road Train Member

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    Dec 18, 2011
    Michigan
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    Lots of great advice but the most important for many will be - lose any attitude you have that you are special because getting the license by going through the training is the easiest thing any one person can do. Remember that you are there to be a service to the company, so you are just a number in a lot of companies and it isn't always about you or being done just to you.

    To go along with that,

    If you are faced with hostile people, smile

    If you are driving and get cut off or flipped off, ignore it

    If you make a mistake, own it

    if you know the rules, follow them even if your friend or co-worker gets away with it

    if you think that the DOT officer, the dispatcher or anyone else is out to get you and only you, go to McDonald's to work
     
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  3. Gold_Miner

    Gold_Miner Medium Load Member

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    Burnet, TX
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    Get a good GPS and learn how to use it. I mean learn how to use it and its limitations. Don't be one of those truckers that lives in the Dark Ages and uses maps...

    Learn how to have fun on the road. Exercise a little at the begining and end of your day.

    Do a pretrip, don't be one of those drivers that says they did the pretrip and they did not even get out of the truck.

    Learn the way your company works. What special pay you can get -> Detention, short haul, safety, mileage bonus, etc. Strive to increase your pay by applying for those incentives.

    Even if you are a company driver, keep track of your expenses. I use a laptop with the YNAB program on it. It is a very simple budgeting tool.

    Try to avoid spending money in truck stops. Let me repeat, try to avoid spending money in truck stops. Go to discount stores and get stuff. I try and get by a grocery store or walmart once a week. Truck stops are expensive. Buy your electronics CB's, GPS's, Satelite Radio, on Amazon and save lots of money.
     
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  4. MariasGuy

    MariasGuy Bobtail Member

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    Jan 27, 2011
    Windsor Ont.
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    Yup...Find a different career this one is in the toilet and has been for years. The road back to making a decent living is coming but will take a long time.
     
  5. ethos

    ethos Road Train Member

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    Houston
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    I agree GPS has dropped the stress level ten fold. I love mine.
     
  6. TripleSix

    TripleSix God of Roads

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    Copied in Hell
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    1. Learn how to drive. You flow through traffic. Light traffic, heavy traffic...doesn't matter, you flow. Going too fast, going too slow, tailgating is not flowing.
    2. Learn how to drive consistently. Put your hours in behind the wheel every day. I'm not talking about 3 or 4 hours, I am talking about 8-11. It builds your stamina.
    3. Sleep when it's time to sleep. Even if you are only used to sleeping 4 hours a day, stay n the sleeper at least 6-7 hours relaxing.

    these 3 things should allow you to become a solid driver. You should do well in trucking. However, if you are wanting to be more than just a solid driver....

    4. Time Management. It's the thing that puts you at the top of the pile. The better you manage your 168 hours, the more money you make. Learn how to hustle. Hustling IS more stressful, yes, but we are here for the money, aren't we? Load, unload, Pre trip, post trip and fuel. Know when and how to do all of them..
    5. Better your driving skills. How you flow through traffic, avoid backups, parking...etc. you will cover even more miles in your 11.
    6. Money Management. What's the point of being the greatest driver on earth if you can't manage your money? I'm not recommending the life of a beancounters, but if you got paid a fat check, don't blow the whole wad at the casino or on lottery tickets. Pay your bills. You can't hustle if your phone gets cut off.
     
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  7. texasbigbird54

    texasbigbird54 Light Load Member

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    Jun 18, 2013
    Uvalde, TX
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    I just want to thank all the drivers that are giving the good, solid advice for the newbies like myself. It is greatly appreciated. It is so good to see positive, helpful advice on how to succeed in the industry instead of the Swift, Werner, Schneider, suck, etc, etc, etc.
     
  8. mikec265

    mikec265 Medium Load Member

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    Dumbed Down Land, WTF
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    The gps is nice at times. I finally started using an electronic map for returds this year. they will not always give you the best route and i always check the real map for route restrictions. You need to learn the old school ways of doing things. some technology is nice but what if that cigarette lighter quits working and your ###### map dies??? can you still get to where you are going?
     
  9. chopper103in

    chopper103in Road Train Member

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    Crossville,Tn
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    Keep the left door shut and get to your delivery/pickup on time
     
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  10. Gold_Miner

    Gold_Miner Medium Load Member

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    Nov 4, 2011
    Burnet, TX
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    I got a Rand McNally 720, Co-Pilot Truck on my Cell Phone, and Co-Pilot Truck on my Laptop. If all of that dies at once, I am in big trouble. I guess I will have to use one of those outdated maps and get out my 8-track player.... :)
     
  11. mikec265

    mikec265 Medium Load Member

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    Oct 25, 2009
    Dumbed Down Land, WTF
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    those things will screw you up or take you on a bs route here and there. the gps is nice but common sense, experience, and the abilty to read a paper map will always be better. not easier, but better.

    The dumbing down of america disgusts me when i think about it.
     
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