With the recent shortage in available professional truckers, finding a trucking job these days is an easy venture. But before you go looking for a job behind the wheel, there are some important points to consider. It is not a job for everybody. You must be prepared for what the job entails before attempting to tackle it. As with everything, you must be patient and understanding of the various demands.
The first step is education. A CDL is required to drive a tractor/trailer. This means you will have to attend a school. Looking for trucking jobs in Bakersfield CA? That’s fine but the school you attend may be on the other side of the country. Be prepared to travel to learn. Have your costs in front of you and plenty of cash on the side for various expenses. The trucking school will normally pay for your room, but you will need to pay for your meals and other expenses.
Once you have your CDL, be prepared to drive with someone for a limited time. This is a driver trainer. Most companies will team you with a senior driver who is experienced in teaching and guiding. The trainer will go over docking, backing up, sleep patterns, and dietary management. This is your new life on the road and you must be prepared to essentially be on the go 24×7.
Patience is key in the trucking industry. A lot of companies will have your drive for an extended period of time before you get home. Working with your fleet manager or dispatcher is critical to planning the length of time you need for home time and the approximate location of your home. For example, you don’t want to be in Washington state and have home time in Georgia. Working with your fleet manager through communication will be a critical step in ensuring you are close to your home for home time.
Patience is also important in customer service. Remember, you are the face of the company when delivering or picking up a load. There will be times that you can’t just drop the trailer and go on to your next pick up. You will need to be able to speak with a shipping or dock manager about the load. In some cases, you may need to unload the trailer.
In any event, you will have to communicate in a professional and courteous manner with everyone you come in contact with. Patience and understanding come in handy during these times. Be sure to communicate with your fleet manager any lull or delay in dropping off and picking up the next load.
Safety is the most important consideration in truck driving. As the operator of an 80,000lb. load, you are the ruler of the road. Therefore, you must act responsibly and follow every single safety rules and regulations.
This includes: monitoring all speed regulations and driving according to current weather and road conditions. Distractions such as texting or playing with your radio can result in serious accidents including fatalities.
You do not want to put yourself in a bad situation. Consider the behavior of the drivers around you. Be aware of not just yourself, but leave plenty of space around your vehicle and load for other drivers. If safety is not the most important thing in your mind while driving, you should consider a different line of work.
Safety, education, and patience are critical steps to becoming a successful professional driver. You can learn a lot from other drivers. Listen to their experiences. Learn from them. Remember safety is the most important tip for any truck driving job.