Common mistakes are often small ones. They can also have a large impact. I am a 45-year-old trucker. I went from surviving half a year as a postal driver making several mistakes along the way, to a skilled trucker who earned their way to the top. If you are a rookie questioning why it’s been a rough road. Don’t panic! The beginning career of truck driving is not initially an easy transition for most. I am extremely passionate about my career as a trucker and enjoy my job. If I were to give a rookie any valuable advice it would be, the key to success is CONSISTENCY.
Granted being responsible for a 70-foot long 80,000-pound machine is intimidating but your truck will be one of your tools to learning roadways and parking in busy areas. After learning the basic ropes of the tracking process, you’ll find yourself a lot less stressed about how-to and more about dealing with day to day obstacles in a trucker’s work life. Fortunately, we have associates we can communicate with to let you know what tasks need to be complete and stay on time with transport. At this point, you’ve experienced mechanical failures and can create a solution quickly and successfully.
Of course, knowledge is power. So gaining skill and experience can only make you a more confident driver.
From this point, tucker’s life becomes a joy!
I’m sure you want to survive your first year as a rookie trucker. To do so, START FROM SCRATCH! Literally, clear all thoughts and ideas about trucking. Whatever fabrication you have in your head regarding what you THOUGHT trucking is will become useless. So creating space for new knowledge is very important. It will keep you from getting confused or completing tasks incorrectly using a strategy that you already imagined. You need to be able to open your mind to other problem-solving solutions. Like most careers initially, they are overwhelming if trucking doesn’t seem like a good fit for you that’s completely okay! However, if your deciding factor is determined by challenges presented by trucking please just hang in there. Everything takes time to master or even strategize for success, so putting the time and effort it will all be worth it in the future of your career.
The different seasons of trucking can most definitely be annoying but this is all to mold you into an experienced driver.
The pretty normal rookie mindset to avoid is to put too much on your plate. A dispatch communicates “Delayed by receiver #2. ETA is now 1800” Knowing that delivering 3 orders in one day is nearly impossible given the situation, she tried her best. Despite the delivery was unsuccessful learning from this is very important. Worrying about situations out of your control will only hurt you in the future, drop this habit and avoid common mistakes.
BE CONFIDENT, BUT HUMBLE
It’s imperative to keep you leveled in the challenging lifestyle of a trucker with confidence. However, there’s a thin line between arrogance and confidence this will show through your work as well. Arrogance in this industry can actually land you in hot waters obstacle wise. Overly confident drivers are found to make MORE mistakes and accidents than average drivers. Truckers who feel entitled to greater pay because they were at the top of their class for CDL school will have a higher chance of failure naturally without taking outside guidance or constructive criticism.
Another self-sabotaging characteristic is being a perfectionist. Although, being on point is important punishing yourself for failures will only cloud your mind state. Statistics prove that 95% of rookie drivers make simple mistakes like getting into accidents, locking themselves out of their trucks, late or fail to deliver and while attempting to load a trailer nearly dropping it on the ground nearly damaging goods. Sometimes newbie’s who haven’t attended CDL school yet will state they want to keep deliveries local, home daily, granted high pay and weekends and easy drop and hook loads. Expecting any career to be this perfect is unrealistic. A job with perks like this usually will be offered to highly experienced drivers first, leaving gigs that are quite opposite of their desires open for less experienced or rookie drivers.
DON’T BE A KNOW IT ALL
Again, stressing a less arrogant attitude is important to reiterate and remind yourself. The driver who is the most concerning is the trucker who tells you how it’s “supposed” to be or how things will turn out. Proving the lack of respect for other truckers and the work itself. Thinking you know better can lead to a large amount of common mistakes.
Blending expectations with reality will hinder you from organizing “needs” and “wants”. To a student NEEDING to generate $800 weekly is completely doable versus a student who “wants” to make double or triple that a week is unrealistic and simply won’t happen for a while.
DON’T BECOME YOUR OWN WORST ENEMY
Follow some basics if you are a rookie trucker. This will help eliminate common mistakes.
- Don’t bite off more work than you can deliver in other words “set yourself up for failure.”
- Make sure you try your absolute best to fulfill tasks and be happy with your results (even if it’s failing and learning).
- Arrogance won’t get you to higher pay. Keep a realistic goal for income and don’t overestimate your experience.
- Be open to compromises.
- Organize “needs” between “wants” BE REALISTIC.
- Be goal-oriented but honest with yourself with how much you can personally accomplish.
- Keep an open mind.
- Listen to experienced drivers who have had success in this career form.
- Success or failure learn from every experience.
Most of all, good luck and be safe!