You now have your Commercial Driver’s License, and you’re ready to hit the road. That’s great! Before you start logging those miles, there are a few tips that can help you approach your first year of truck driving with a veteran eye.
Good Things Take Time
Getting your CDL is just the start. Most veterans say it takes about a year to really get into the rhythm of the job. That’s why you probably won’t find your dream job out of the gate. It’s better to spend that first year mastering your skills and finding your comfort zone before you worry too much about expanding your career.
Minimize Job Hopping
Speaking of career expansion, job hopping can really hurt your long-term prospects in the trucking industry. It’s rough since most rookies want to maximize their driving hours, but the best gigs usually hire drivers they can hope to keep around for many years.
You’ve heard it a million times and you’ll hear it a million more. There’s a reason for that. Beyond the obvious desire to not get in a wreck, getting through your first year with a clean record can really help you move into better jobs later.
There’s no shortage of veterans amongst truck drivers. Everyone was a rookie at some point, and they all learned important lessons that they can share with you. Don’t be shy. Asking for advice is one of the most powerful tools in your first year.
People Skills Matter
It’s easy to feel like handling the truck is the most important part of the job, but your interactions with people will bear a heavy impact on your career. Fostering relationships with customers, managers and the myriad of people who become part of your job is important to help you move forward professionally. It also goes a long way to helping you maintain a positive mentality while you work.
That’s enough to get you started. Naturally, you’re going to come up against a flurry of specific questions once you’re working. For those and other issues that you may face, you can always contact us at CDS Tractor Trailer Training.