So you’re training to become a truck driver and you’re getting ready for your first year on the road. How will it go? The first year of being a truck driver might be the hardest. Everything’s new, after all– meeting new people, getting used to a new job, the truck you’ll drive, using new driving skills, and, of course, getting used to the lifestyle.
When you’re a new truck driver there will be some challenges. You might have a hard time finding a delivery location, as well as maneuvering your truck down narrow streets of older cities. That said, your first year will give you something valuable: experience. The more experience you have as a truck driver, the better driver you’ll be and the easier it’ll get. You’ll typically be driving around with a driver trainer, and they can be great or… not so great. You’ll learn to get along since you’re spending so much time together on the road but keep in mind you might not agree on everything which makes for some stressful times.
Pay might not be what you want it to be during your first year of truck driving– as with most jobs, pay increases take time (and come with experience). While training, the pay could be “lousy.” And you may not get the miles you want or need. In a way, you’re paying your dues for the career during your first couple years.
Is a new truck driver more likely to get into an accident than a seasoned trucker? Yep. So there’s the worry of crashing into something or someone and that can work a new trucker’s nerves. There’s also the stress of being away from home, which isn’t always easy to deal with, especially if you’re leaving behind loved ones including spouses and/or young children. Trucking can get lonely sometimes.
Finally, the first year of trucking can be hard and it can be easy to become depressed or discouraged because you’re not quite where you want to be “quickly enough.” Don’t give up, though. Do your best, avoid problems such as accidents, get some seat time in, and reward yourself when you get through a particularly grueling shift. Think long-term, set some goals for yourself, and you should be alright.