So you’re gearing up for your first real truck driving job? Take some advice from those know the ways of the road. Driving a truck is a way of life, and so it requires a different way of living. Years down the road, you’ll thank yourself for getting into habits that will make you happier and more productive.
To stay comfortable and productive on long trips, you’ll need to pack your truck with useful tools and supplies. First and foremost, you’ll need some type of navigation device, whether it be a state-of-the-art GPS system or an old-fashioned truckers map. You might also want to pick up a truck stop guide to learn the ins and outs of the refueling points on your route. Make sure you have a log book to track your hours and mileage. Pack plenty of clothes, and any tools you might need for quick fixes on your vehicle. Finally, no truck cabin would be complete without the legendary CB radio.
Driving a truck is a little different from other jobs, as you don’t always get to go home to the wife and kids at 5 every evening. Fortunately, we live in a time when it’s possible to look into the eyes of our loved ones from thousands of miles away. If you have a family, or anyone back at home that you care deeply about, consider bringing along a device that allows you to video chat with them. We’d be lying if we said there aren’t lonely moments on the road. Keep in contact with your family. Collect souvenirs on the road to bring home to them. For your own sake, don’t be afraid to strike up a friendly conversation with a fellow traveler.
Focus on First Impressions
When you’re just starting out at a truck driver, you need to make sure you get off on the right foot with everyone you work with. Always get to where you need to be on time. If something unavoidable happens and this isn’t possible, make it a point to communicate well and to do everything you can to make the situation right. Be courteous to everyone, from your boss to the cashier at the truck stop. Chances are, no matter who they are, you will see them on the road again at some point, perhaps in need of a favor.
Your top priority while driving should be the safety of everyone on the road, including yourself. Do some research and take advice from fellow drivers on the things you can do to reduce risk. Get enough rest, be patient at the right times, and exercise caution whenever driving conditions are questionable. Even though it’s important to be on time, it’s even more crucial that you get to where you’re going in one piece.
Be a Heath Nut
Sitting in a driver’s seat all day long has its own set of special circumstances. You’ll need to focus on your diet more than ever before. Always ride with healthy snacks, so you’ll think twice before pulling over for that fast food burger. You need to take care of yourself to be sure you’re operating at an optimal level. That means regular exercise as well.