What is the most important piece of advice you would give?
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This is EXACTLY what "2 ears nd 1 mouth" means,there should be twice as much info going in as there is coming out.I've been trucking almost 30 years,and I still learn something everyday, and today at 08:00 I've learned that someone that has been trucking 0-1 years knows more than I do. What a Dipschitt!!!!Last edited: Jul 7, 2012
I'm a newby and don't even have a year in but I'll give you some advice or repeat what you have already been told.
Never drive when tired- NEVER!!
Never take more than will fit in a duffle bag- you do have a duffle bag?
Keep your left door closed and take your time driving. You will find that you will usually be early and have time to take a break.
Try to shower when you get fuel. I often run in(when nobody is behind or I'm in line to fuel) and book a shower before I start to fuel. By the time I park, my shower is ready. A shower and a shave just makes me feel human and shippers and rec'rs like humans. Take a shower and have clean clothes just before you get home.
Don't eat fast food!
Talk to the other drivers when you can. Everybody has a story and some are dam interesting, but without a doubt- you will learn something.
Do your pretrips and do your logs. If you do them then you wont be stressing when a DOT is behind you or a scale is open. Do your job.
Always listen to the other truckers. I don't thinka day has gone by that I didn't learn a few things.
And here is my current favorite tip:
An experienced trucker told me- "You will find yourself in a small town needing to make a turn that requires the whole intersection which means everybody has to stop or get out of your way. Smile, wave, be patient and never go above idle and you will feel like Jesus with the sea parting in front of you"Last edited: Jul 7, 2012
Frog87 Thanks this.
Always have enough money to be able to rent a car and get back home, from anywhere. You won't feel trapped in a crappy job and will have the ability to say "NO!" when needed. Everything after that is pretty easy.Road2dreams Thanks this.
I would advise anyone starting out to commit to saving something out of every check. Build yourself a nice nest egg. Either commit to a fixed dollar amount out of each check or a percentage. If you do percentage I would recommend at least 10%. You will be amazed at how quickly your nest egg will grow. Only saving $50/week would grow to over $2,500 in a year. Saving $100 would give you over $5,000 in only a year. Put the money in a mutual fund and it would grow faster. If you want to buy a house or truck, you will have the money in a couple of years. Saving money takes discipline. That is why most drivers are broke most of the time. They don't want to sacrifice a little now for big gain tomorrow or to realize their goals in a few years. Having money set aside also helps in case of an emergency or should you become ill or get hurt.
Baby wipes, bruh, baby wipes.
I have taken many a ho-bath with them over the years. I buy them by the case. Parents Choice @ Walmart. 7 or 8 reload packs to a box. Buy a single plastic box of them and throw the reloads on a shelf.
Set the single box outside for bit in the summer or near the bunk heater in the winter to warm them up.
Believe me, while you may go through 20-30 wipes at a time after a day of sweating your netherbits off in Louisianna in August, you'll feel 100x better and your grocery bag wont stick to the cart (if you know what I mean) all night long.
They are also good for morning/noon/night wipe-downs of face & crotch & crack.
You'll probably still develop "trucker-funk" over time, but it wont be nearly as bad.
As for the best advice I can give you?
Patience. If you don't have a lot of it, many, many things are going to go very wrong for you.
Patience is the single most important part of a drivers attitude.
A patient driver doesn't get angry at the guy in front of him going 2mph slower than the speed limit. He backs off and waits for a chance to get around, knowing that going 2mph slower than he wants to over the course of a day only = 22 minutes.
A patient driver accepts that there WILL be delays. Delays in dispatch. Delays in loading/unloading. Delays in fueling. Delays in traffic. Delays getting home. Delays in the shop. A patient driver knows and , more importantly ACCEPTS, that when you do one thing all day every day, things are going to pop up. He understands that many things will interfere with his work that are simply out of his control. He has a book or Netflix on his smartphone for when those interruptions occur. He knows that once time has passed, it's gone for good. There's no making it up and he wont cut corners later to try and do so. He remains patient.
A patient driver understands that there will sometimes be work to be done that he doesn't want to do, or load that need to be run that he doesn't want to run, but that in doing so, what he wants may come just after he gets done. So he does it. And he keeps his whiny mouth shut and sucks it up because anything is better than living in a mud-hut with no water and no electricity like some people in this world. He does what he needs to do because there are millions of people out there that would give anything to do it in place of him and would be happy about it.
A patient driver puts his own safety, and the safety of others, above all else. He understands that what happens to himself, his equipment and cargo are solely his responsibility. He doesn't let others dictate what he does. He determines when a load is safe to move. He determines when it's safe to drive. A patient driver does not go against his instincts or training just to please his company, a shipper/receiver, or his wallet.
A patient driver understands that his actions can and likely will effect every other person in his company. An impatient driver could end the careers of dozens or thousands of people with his impatience, and possibly his livelihood and the financial support his family counts on. He understands that the odds of something major happening are slim, but a patient driver doesn't leave anything to chance as far as he is concerned.
A patient driver understands that he cannot control anyone but himself.
A patient drivers focuses on the positives and strives to see the silver lining of any cloud. And when he can't find it, he has $1,000 in savings to get a rental and move on to a place where it isn't so cloudy.
So be patient. Leave your expectations at home. Hustle when you can, rest when you need to, follow the rules and do what you know is right. This career can be extremely rewarding.
And if you already like being alone most of the time, you'll grow to enjoy this more than you ever thought you would.Last edited: Jul 8, 2012
I know it isn't a subject people like to mention but.................
Believe me i tell you that cleaning all the "brown stuff" off your arse(pardon my french) will be something you will be gratefull for in your later years.
At 45y i'm glad i allways used then in the past because i know many drivers that only used the paper stuff and now have lots off pains and aches in that area.
Remember , you are sitting in a chair for most off the day with all that intails.
And seeing an older driver sitting on a kiddies inflated swim ring isn't a cool site.
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