How to Survive as a First Year Driver

You’re standing in front of your truck looking at it, wondering how you are going to do on your first day. Heck, how is the first year going to go? You’ve done your research and decided that truck driving is a great fit for you. All of the training is complete and you even found your first job. It’s been great so far but you have no clue what the expectations for first year drivers are. Thoughts are rushing through your head. What if they don’t like me? What if I mess up? These are the same thoughts from millions of new hires from every profession, so it’s okay, you’re not alone. To survive as a first year driver will be the ultimate test of whether this is the right career for you. Here are several questions that many new drivers will ask themselves and answers to help alleviate worries!

Why is the first year important?

You will be right out of training and this is where you will see most of your challenges as a driver. In training there are tons to learn and a short period of time to learn it all. This profession is difficult and demands a lot from the drivers, especially on the road drivers. After you gain a full year of experience under your belt, many opportunities will become available to you. Many companies want to see a full year commitment to your first trucking company.

What is expected of me?

What isn’t expected of you? As you are still a new driver, the company expects you to prove yourself to be a safe and reliable driver. This doesn’t mean you have to be paranoid, just be cautious and aware of your surroundings. On top of being safe, you will have to learn how to manage your time properly. This will not only make you better but allow you to be more productive.

Relationships?

As a newbie, you will never be abused, but you may get some rookie treatment from more experienced drivers. Most drivers will do what they can to aid in becoming more accustomed to the company’s standards and procedures. You will work with truck dispatcher for most companies you work for and you want to have a great relationship with them. Remember that you are all on the same team and working together will make both jobs much easier.

Common mistakes to avoid?

Unfortunately, mistakes can happen to anyone. As a new driver, you are more prone to making them. Just know that mistakes like running out of fuel, locking your keys in the cab, and running into a light pole can and will happen, but these can be fixed. I don’t know about you, but when something like that happens, you make sure you never do it again. Lesson learned!

 

As you begin your first day and year of truck driving, know that is a rewarding career and after your first day goes by, it does get easier over time.

Is Truck Driving the Right Choice for You?

So you want to become a truck driver. That’s great! Becoming a truck driver can be a great career choice for you with many opportunities, but we have to warn that it isn’t for everyone. When making this consideration, keep in mind that there’s tons of information you need to go over before making the final decision on becoming a truck driver. We are going to go over several questions to ask yourself that will hopefully make it easier for you to make this decision. Is truck driving the right choice for you? After reading this blog, you will be better educated and make the best decision for you!

What do truck drivers do?

The job of truck drivers is to move commerce and goods from point A to point B by way of trailer. Some driving positions allow the driver to drive locally, and some drive across country. Depending again on the position and company, drivers may be able to go home each evening, and some may be gone two to three weeks at a time.

Requirements and qualifications?

Each company has their own requirements and qualifications; however it isn’t very difficult to get into. The best part is that you don’t have to start with experience. Some companies prefer to have someone without experience so they can train them the way they want.

There are several factors that can disqualify you from becoming a truck driver. Having negative impacts on your driving record, a criminal history, or any alcohol related violations will cause problems in obtaining a truck driving position.

A day on the Job is like…

Each and every day brings a new adventure for truck drivers. There will be days when you drive the same road to make a delivery you’ve made before, and then days where you will be driving to a location that is beyond strange. Stories are made every day on every road and you would be the one to make them. With the average truck driver working around 70 hours a week, you have to prepare to work long days. Each of these days, just like the trucking stories, can be very different depending on the conditions of the road. Traffic and weather conditions will affect how your day goes.

 

There is much to consider when looking into becoming a truck driver, and going through this information and doing more research will help you determine if this is the dream career for you!

 

Fun Facts about Trucking

If you haven’t noticed, semi-trucks are on the road 24/7, every single day of the year. Transporting goods from place to place ensures that millions of stores and workers have what they need to work. It’s safe to say that the trucking industry is an essential part of our economy. Since trucking is necessary, knowing information about trucking is great, but there are many fun facts about trucking that would not only surprise you but be very informative. Here are several facts about trucking that will hopefully expand your knowledge.

  • As of 2015, the average American truck driver is a 33 year old male from Florida. However, truck drivers vary in age, the location from where they are from, and many women sit in the same seat as men.
  • Trucking is the second most used means for transportation of goods, only being beaten by rail.
  • During the 70s, truck driving movies were a major hit. Smokey and the Bandit would be a personal favorite! Does anyone remember Chuck Norris before he was a Texas Ranger?
  • In 2012, the entire trucking industry purchased 12.8% of all fuel. 50 billion gallons of diesel fuel is used annually.
  • The average cost of a new truck and trailer ranges from $110,000 – $260,000. The price depends on the type of truck, features in the truck, and make of the truck.
  • On average, there are only 500,000 truck accidents per year. Commercial trucks account for 2.4% of highway car accidents, but only 16% of those are the truck drivers fault.
  • Truck engines are usually six times larger than car engines. Because of this size, the amount of horsepower that is put out is three to four times greater than a car. The average engine can last up to one million miles compared to a car that will average 200,000 miles.
  • Don’t try to stop short with a semi behind you. These trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, which can be difficult to stop on a dime. It takes up to 40% more time for trucks to stop than cars.

The list of truck facts can go on and on, just like an old time convoy!