You have just begun an exciting career as a truck driver and are learning the ropes of the trade. Since you’ll be spending many adventurous hours on the road, it is wise to know what can be done to stay safe, be efficient, and have fun along the way. Here at James H. Clark, we take pride in our drivers and work hard to provide an environment where every trucker is valued and appreciated. In our efforts to help you get started, here are some beneficial tips for new truck drivers.
1. Get Your Rest and Put Safety First
Perhaps the most important thing to remember is to get your rest. While sacrificing sleep may seem like an efficient way to gain time on the clock, it is dangerous to put yourself and others at risk because you are tired. To ensure you are alert, making confident driving decisions, and observant of your surroundings, take adequate breaks to get your sleep.
When operating your truck, be mindful of your surroundings. Pay attention to other drivers on the road and pedestrians in parking lots. Before embarking on any journey, walk around your truck and make sure everything is locked, your load is secure, and all lights and signals are working correctly.
2.Establish a Diet and Exercise Routine
Trucking for many hours at a time doesn’t have to be an excuse for poor health and weight gain. Be creative in formulating an exercise routine that you can do for 30 minutes each day. You may consider packing a small set of dumbbells or a resistance band for use in a brief workout each morning. Make healthy food choices during meal times and be mindful of the amount of packaged foods you consume. Snack on raw foods like fruit, vegetables, and nuts instead.
3. Be Prompt and Assertive
When you are dispatched on an assignment, make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to reach your destination. Be wise about taking breaks and make sure you get the rest you need. However, make sure you stay focused and map out your route so you are confident of where you are going and able to make it on time. Additionally, be assertive when asked to make a delivery. If there is a conflict and you doubt your ability to deliver on time, be upfront with the dispatcher and try to be flexible to accommodate necessary changes.
4. Research Truck Stops
As you begin venturing across the States, you will find that truck stops can be full of life, character, and memories. Research the truck stops along your route and find out which ones’ appeal to your taste and interest. You may find yourself going back to the same places when you find familiarity and comfort.
5. Keep Comfortable
Know your truck and what settings are most comfortable to you during long drives. Before beginning any journey, make sure you adjust the seat to your likings, find a comfortable temperature, and have all mirrors and driving mechanics set to meet your needs.
We are excited to have you as part of our team here at James H. Clark. With these tips for new truck drivers, you are well on your way to creating a successful career.