Entering trucking has the unique factor that it is not just a career change for most, but an entire lifestyle change. From the food you eat to where you rest your head at night, many jobs in the industry require a complete 180-degree turn from your life after obtaining your CDL. It is a life filled with possibilities and never-ending opportunities to grow, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t classic rookie truck driver mistakes to avoid your first year on the road.
Getting Ready for the Challenge
Before taking to a life on the road, you have to pass the first challenge, obtaining your CDL. There are multiple schooling options to do this, and CDS Tractor Trailer Training is just one of several great options in the Virginia area. Earning your Class A Commercial Driver’s License is the first of many challenges to a rewarding life on the road. Remember, that many people struggle with this process and it can be a scary thought. Don’t be discouraged and keep pushing!
Another helpful tip in preparing for your new career is to get rid of all ideas and beliefs you currently have about trucking. Every day a driver deals with a new set of challenges that you have to adapt too. Knowing this beforehand could save you a lot of headaches when you come across a problem that you may not have considered before beginning training. The ability to be flexible will prove to be your best friend in the ever-changing dynamic of driving a semi-truck.
Once you have completed your training and have begun searching for a job you will be met with an entirely new set of challenges. The mental struggle of being the new guy on the bottom of the totem pole is a huge thing to overcome right away. It can affect the confidence you have in your abilities behind-the-wheel, which you do not want when operating an 80,000-pound piece of heavy machinery. Expect to make mistakes and embrace the challenge of learning from those mistakes and growing your skills as a driver.
Be realistic about your first job, do not make demands from your employer until you have reached a certain level of experience. It can be easy to get caught up in the numbers that others are making but remember trucking is a career that takes time to settle into. Try to not rush things and take your time. Mastering the small stuff and listening to your trainer are among the things that will help to improve your quality of life over the coming years.
Ready to Hit the Road
After you have successfully obtained your Class A CDL and gone through the hiring and training processes, you are ready to hit the road and let your new life begin. The hours will be long and you will make many truck driver mistakes, but trust in your training and remember why you started this career in the first place. Keep an open mind, especially in the first 90 days, remembering that this is a major lifestyle change and could be hard at the start. Don’t lose sight of your goals, have some fun, and stay safe on the road!