Truck driving is an essential job that many people around the world depend on at this very moment due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, delivering goods is no easy task, and if you are interested in becoming a semi-truck driver, there are a few things you should know. As you start out, take note of some advice for new semi-truck drivers that can help you out in a big way.
Be Extra Cautious
The first piece of advice for new semi-truck drivers is an obvious one: Be extra cautious when you are on the road. As a truck driver, you have far greater responsibility on the road compared to other drivers, in large part because of the amount of space you take up on the road. To the best of your ability, try to avoid a potential accident at all costs. The best way to do this is to be extra cautious on the road, especially during poor weather conditions.
When you are on the road, you will no doubt come across many obstacles that you will need to react to. This might include animals that find their way onto the road. While many drivers will instinctively swerve when they see an animal on the road, you will not want to do this as a truck driver. When you swerve in a truck, there’s a chance that you will tip the entire vehicle, which can create a major accident.
Follow Tire Paths
Another helpful tip for new truck drivers is to follow other tire paths on the road. This can help you stay in your lane and focus after hours of travel. It can be easy to deviate, but following tire paths will help you to focus and stay safe.
Stick to a Lane
In addition to following tire paths, it’s in your best interest to stick to a lane when traveling for long stretches at a time on the highway. If the road you’re traveling doesn’t have a designated truck lane, then you should stick to the far-right lane and only switch to the left when you need to make a turn.
One of the biggest causes of accidents on the road is distractions. To keep you and others safe, you will want to avoid distractions on the road at all costs. This means staying off your phone while the truck is in motion. If you need to be on your phone, either pull over to the side of the road or install Bluetooth beforehand.
Inspect Before a Trip
Before you hit the road, you should also make it a habit to inspect your truck. This helps you to stay ahead of any issues and take care of them immediately, instead of putting yourself and others in danger on the road. Some things to look out for include tire pressure and oil levels, but there could be other issues lying underneath the hood.
First Year Will Be Difficult
Truck driving is no easy task, and the first year can be difficult. Nothing can really prepare you for the job ahead—you just have to do it. Do your best to stick with it for at least a year before you reassess. There’s a chance truck driving might not be for you, but there will be plenty to learn in the first year, and there will be mistakes you will inevitably make. The best thing you can do is listen to experienced drivers to obtain knowledge of your own.
Be Careful on Turns
Another tip for new truck drivers is to be very careful on turns, especially turnpikes on highways. Your best option is to make your turns slowly so you don’t run the risk of tipping over. This might be an adjustment compared to the vehicle you usually drive, but it’s important not to forget that you are driving a much larger vehicle.
Get Plenty of Rest
Truck drivers are on the road for long stretches of time. That is why you need to get plenty of rest before you drive because operating a vehicle can be extremely dangerous. Try to get at least seven hours of sleep before hitting the road, and if you do start to feel tired, don’t be afraid to pull over or find a nearby truck stop. Maintaining a healthy diet can also play a big role in your energy levels, so you will want to make sure your body is getting plenty of nutrients on the road.
Don’t Do It for the Money
Something you should know about truck drivers is that you won’t get rich from the job, but you can certainly make a living. Like any position, you will have to gradually work your way up the ladder, earning more money over time as you gain more experience. However, the value of being a truck driver is more than the money it brings in. As current events unfold, it’s becoming more apparent that truck drivers really are essential workers. Embrace the responsibility of what a truck driver provides, manage your expectations at the start, and don’t just do the job for a nice paycheck.
Get Used to Being Away From Home
A tough pill to swallow as a truck driver is adjusting to being away from home for long stretches of time. This might take some getting used to, but it’s a sacrifice that truck drivers must be willing to make to fulfill their duty.
Stick With It
Once again, being a truck driver comes with many benefits and plays a large role in other people’s lives, especially given current events. Being new to a position can be very difficult and even uncomfortable, but with patience and a willingness to learn, you can truly succeed as a truck driver. Don’t be quick to quit right away, and instead, stick with it for at least a year to get a proper impression of the profession.
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