What Makes a Great Truck Driver
Having a CDL and being a good driver isn’t always enough to be good at this job. There are certain traits, like in any other job, that can be very useful and can help you become a great truck driver. The skills that you need are mostly things that you can work on and improve if you don’t already possess them. If you are choosing a career in the trucking industry and you want to be successful, you should always keep learning. So what are the skills that make a great truck driver?
Wherever you turn you will find that reliability is the first trait people believe is important to be a great truck driver. Being a reliable person and a reliable employee will earn the trust of your employer and your customers, it will open more doors for you and bring more jobs your way in the process. By respecting deadlines and schedules and doing each job to the best of your ability, you will build a good reputation with your customers and employers which will bring more jobs and in turn help you earn more money.
Basic mechanical skills
Having basic mechanical skills or even skills of a higher level can be of great help while doing this job. Knowing your truck, inside and out, recognizing the slight changes in the way it sounds or moves and being able to do basic repairs can save you and your company time and money. Having this skill will also help you in realizing when it is time to visit a mechanic, if there is a bigger problem that you cannot fix. All of this will earn you more respect with your employer, it will help keep your truck in good condition, letting you do more jobs and avoid a lot of downtime while your truck is in for emergency repairs that you might have missed.
Alertness and awareness
Being on the open road for long periods of time and driving a big rig requires constant alertness and awareness. You should be aware of your truck’s condition, the road and traffic. Abiding by the rules and following the speed limit, being aware of other drivers, knowing all your blind spots and checking them, these are all very important. You should always respect the Hours of Service, resting when it is time to rest or when you are not feeling well. Dozing off and not being alert can have great consequences for you, your company and others on the road.
Being able to spend a lot of time on the road by yourself should be something you can endure, even better if it is something that you enjoy. You are also the one who is solely responsible for your truck and your cargo. As we mentioned, having basic mechanical skills can be very useful, knowing what to do in certain emergency situations that can occur on the road, being able to solve problems on the run, staying informed and always learning. Being self-sufficient is a trait that can help a lot in becoming a great truck driver.
Being organized is a skill that is very important for becoming a great truck driver. Knowing your delivery details, having all your permits, documents and other paperwork organized, planning your routes, keeping track of your expenses for fuel, meals and keeping all the receipts, all of this will make your life on the road a lot easier. Customers will trust and respect you more if you show that you are organized.
Great driving record
Being a good driver is important for a job that requires you to drive for hours on end all over the country. But why is having a great driving record beneficial for both you and the company you work for and why will it make you a great truck driver? For one, it gives the employer and the customer a reassurance that their truck and cargo are in good hands, that it will arrive unharmed and on time. Having a clean driving record also makes you cheaper to insure. This is a big plus for companies because it keeps costs of vehicle operations down. A great driving record shows that you are respectful of others on the road, you respect your employer and your customer and shows that you are professional and reliable.
Becoming a successful truck driver isn’t a small task. There is a lot to learn, tests to be passed, and the most important thing to remember is that you should never stop improving, never stop bettering yourself. Working on becoming reliable and respected in this industry will prove to be well worth it, it will make you more attractive for employers, it will keep customers coming back, and it will bring you more jobs, making you earn more and enjoy your job more.