As a career choice, trucking can be a pretty daunting one. At least at the outset.
After all, you’re hauling up to 44 tonnes of vehicle across the roads. And you only have me, myself and I to call upon for help should you find yourself in a sticky situation.
One small error can prove to have big ramifications.
I know this won’t be making you feel any better right now, but being aware of some of the most common rookie mistakes can help you stop making them in the first place.
So, if you’re a rookie truck driver, here are the beginner’s blunders to avoid:
There’s a fine balance to be struck between confidence and overconfidence. If you over- or under-do it, that’s when you can find yourself having an accident. The odd pat on the back doesn’t hurt – but don’t get carried away. You remain a rookie truck driver for a few years, at least! So, stay humble, and don’t be a know-it-all.
2 Ignoring your health
We don’t need to tell you that trucking isn’t an inherently healthy job. You’re spending hours sitting in the driver’s seat, having to remain focussed the whole time. So, it’s on you to ensure you remain healthy. Make time for exercise; cook yourself up some healthy snacks for the road; take regular rest breaks. But, perhaps most importantly, find yourself an employer who cares.
3 Winging it
It should go without saying that you need to plan your route meticulously, avoiding any sections of the road network that could cause you problems in a truck e.g. low and weight-restricted bridges. If, for any reason, you have to change your route, stop and work out the best way to go. There are too many technology aids out there now to fall foul of an error in planning!
4 Going it alone
In the opening of this blog, we mentioned that the life of a trucker can be a lonely one. But that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. If you encounter a unique situation behind the wheel and are unsure which way to turn, ask someone, be it management or your fellow truck drivers. There’s no shame in asking for help – people will understand that you’re still a rookie truck driver.
It’s all about the community in the trucking world! RIght?