Not many of us can brag about making money while traveling. It’s a privilege that lots of people dream about. However, if you’re a truck driver, you’re doing just that. And right from the start, you can see that we’re talking about an interesting job choice. So, if you’re finishing school and getting your commercial driver’s license, you are probably wondering what lies ahead of you. And you’ve come to the right place to find out. Today, we’re talking about what to expect when starting a career as a truck driver.
As we all know, truckers are an essential part of everyday life. Every industry out there needs them and relies on them. At the beginning of your career, you’ll get a chance to see and explore the country. But at the same time, you’ll be improving your driving skills.
Of course, there will be ups and downs, and as with every career, there are pros and cons. However, you’ll learn a lot, and believe us when we say that you have plenty of things to look forward to. We’ll talk about all of those, but first, let’s see why the first year is so important.
Why is Your First Year as a Truck Driver So Important?
One of the main reasons for this is that the first year signals the start of your driving career. However, there’s a lot more to it. For instance, you’ll enter your second driving school. Yes, we know that you already got your CDL, but there’s a big learning curve you need to tackle.
While getting your CDL, you cover a lot of ground, but the lessons you’ll learn in life as a working truck driver will be much more important to you. Try to think of the first year as trucking college. Make your mission to learn as much as you can, and you’ll enjoy it.
Get All the Experience You Can
People often say that the beginning of your truck driving career is challenging. And it is. You’re getting used to how things work, and you’re getting the most difficult routes. Or, at least it can seem that way. In fact, you’re new to the business, so whatever you do, it seems more challenging than it actually is. Therefore, the only important thing for you is to keep on it.
As you’re getting more and more experienced, the same tasks will seem easier to you. And that’s the beauty of this job. You’re constantly improving yourself. Because of this, we can’t stress enough how important it is to get as much experience as you can.
Maybe you’ll even have to make compromises to make it work. For example, if you’re working in a different part of Pennsylvania, you might want to move there with your family. You’ll be closer to them, and you’ll see them a lot more than if you’re scattered across the state. Luckily, relocations are easy nowadays. Just give your new address to the movers, and Pennsylvania-based professionals will deal with it. You’ll get more experience and spend more time with your loved ones. It’s a win-win.
Avoid Job Hopping
In the last couple of years, we’ve seen a significant surge in online shopping, and the pandemic only made it more prominent. Although you might not care about that, you’ll be glad to hear that truckers are much more wanted because of it. Companies are scrambling for good drivers.
So, we can’t talk about what to expect when starting a career as a truck driver and not mention the temptations of switching employers. During your first months, you might consider looking for a greener pasture. However, we advise you not to do this. Job hopping this early will bring you more harm than good.
Employers feel much more confident about hiring someone who they can be sure will stick with them. They want someone they can trust, and if you become such a person early on, you’ll get better-paying jobs later.
You Might Get a Driver Trainer
By now, you surely understand that trucking is a great career with a great future. It pays well, and you’re obviously an important person since you’re responsible for both the expensive vehicle and the client’s cargo. However, to get to that point, you need to show that you know what you’re doing. And to help you get there, your employer might give you a trainer to go with you on the first few trips.
During your first few weeks or months, you’ll share your cab with a stranger. It sounds awkward, we know, and it might be at the beginning. But, this is not something that lasts. You’ll quickly get to know your trainer, and you might even become good friends. You can be sure that this will be someone with lots of experience, so use this time wisely and try to learn as much as you can.
Do Your Best to Have a Good Driving Record
Leaving a good impression is important for any career. However, in the trucking industry, it’s vital that you do good in your first year or so. This is what will open the doors for you in the future. Here are some of the most important points you should aim to achieve.
● No accidents. You want to be a good driver, and you want it to show. And the best way to get there is to avoid having any accidents whatsoever at the beginning of your career. To hit it off, make sure to read our essential truck driver safety tricks to minimize risk.
● Time in the seat. During the first couple of months of your career, you want to log as many hours as possible. In this period, you’re like a sponge, and you’re learning at an incredible pace, so it’s important to use that advantage in a good way.
● Deliver on time. By doing so, you’ll prove that you’re a responsible and reliable driver. Employers love drivers who always meet the deadline, so it’s an asset that’s always good to have.
There are plenty of things to say about what to expect when starting a career as a truck driver. It won’t be the easiest thing you ever did, but it will be a step in a great direction. If you stay on top of your game in your first year, you’ll only be getting better routes and better-paying jobs. Devote yourself to it, and it won’t be long until you enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Robert Dawson has been writing articles for the past 6 years, mostly on the topics of logistics and transportation. He has gathered many useful insights into the trucking industry, and now hopes that his advice can help others that are seeking a career in this field.