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31 Newbie Truck Driver Tips And Tricks You Need To Know

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If you’re new to a truck driving job, here is a great list of tips to make your experience easier. Even veteran drivers might find something helpful on this list. When you go to CDL school, you’ll get your certification to drive a truck. But being a truck driver is more than just a certification. As a new truck driver, you’ll likely encounter things that you never expected to see. There’s a lot of learning to be done on the job. Follow these truck driver tips for an easier time on the road:

Newbie Truck Driver Tips And Tricks

  1. Don’t start in the winter

    It’s hard to drive a truck in the winter. In snowy and icy areas, truck driving can even be dangerous. You don’t want your first time behind the wheel to be in icy conditions.

  2. Alternatively, start in the winter

    Many truck drivers do recommend starting in the winter so that you can familiarize yourself with difficult driving conditions while your CDL training is fresh in your mind. It’s helpful to receive your training during the winter so that your trainer can coach you through difficult spots.

  3. Clean your vehicle regularly

    Wash the exterior of your truck whenever possible. The interior of your truck will function as your office and home, so you should make sure you follow daily cleaning tips to keep it neat and orderly.

  4. Eat healthy

    It’s tempting to stop only at truck stops and restaurants. But this will only cause you to gain weight and go broke. If your truck doesn’t have a power inverter, you can prepare your foods before your journey and store them in a cooler. Alternatively, a small portable stove can make a huge difference when you’re making meals.

  5. Use your inverter

    Healthy eating is easier when your truck has a power inverter. But be careful not to exceed the maximum wattage. When you contract with most major trucking companies, they’ll give you a truck that already has an inverter.

  6. Slow down in bad weather

    Safety is the highest priority. Don’t drive faster than you’re comfortable. Never forget to slow down when it’s rainy, snowy, or icy.

  7. Keep tools with you

    Having the right tools on your person can help you save time and earn money. You should have tools for basic repairs so that you can maximize your on-road time and pass DOT inspections.

  8. Bring entertainment

    Once the novelty of seeing the world wears off, you’ll become bored quickly and easily. You should bring music, podcasts, and creative endeavours along with you.

  9. Develop a hobby

    Preferably, develop a hobby that doesn’t involve trucking. During your downtime, you should have something to do. This might be online gaming, learning an instrument, taking photos, or reading.

  10. Make sure you exercise

    When you drive a truck, you’ll be doing a lot of sitting. You’re also likely to develop bad eating habits. For your physical health, it’s best to develop an exercise routine.

  11. Save money

    It’s tempting to waste your money on kitschy gift shop items and restaurants. But don’t buy expensive tools and food. Plan ahead for your budget.

  12. Use a good GPS

    Never drive without a working GPS. Make sure your GPS can take you along trucking routes. You should also invest in a recent and decent road atlas, and work on developing your map reading skills.

  13. Invest in a heated blanket

    When it’s cold outside, a heated blanket makes the difference between cozy sleep and terrible sleep. Depending on where you stop, your truck temperature might get very cold. Make sure you can warm up.

  14. Invest in cleaning supplies

    The interior of your truck should be kept cleaner than the exterior. Get some soap, paper towels, window cleaner, and an air freshener.

  15. Gather supplies before you leave

    Everything should be prepared ahead of time so you don’t have to stop on the road. Stopping means losing time, which means losing money.

  16. Slow and steady wins the race

    If you think you’re going too fast, you definitely are. Be mindful of your speed, especially in hazardous weather conditions. Take care to control your speed during declines and inclines.

  17. Make an investment goal

    Work to achieve an investment goal of some kind. This might involve financial independence, buying a car, getting truck loans, or buying a house. A long-term plan will keep you motivated.

  18. Practice backing up

    Whenever you park, make sure you can back out of the space. Backing up is the most challenging maneuver for truck drivers.

  19. Be kind to your shippers

    Even when you don’t want to be! Your shippers will be cordial to you if you treat them kindly.

  20. Double check your landing gear

    Make sure you check the gear three times. Don’t make assumptions about whether it’s lowered or raised.

  21. Take your time

    This especially goes for your first truck driving year. Don’t work too fast and miss important steps.

  22. Persevere

    The first year will be the hardest. You’ll find yourself getting frustrated. Don’t give up!

  23. Be responsible for your safety

    If your dispatch asks you to do something that makes you uncomfortable, say no.

  24. Accept that you won’t make much money

    During the first few truck driving years, you won’t make a lot. You’ll gain a higher income when you have more experience.

  25. Make sure your family is prepared

    If you’re going to be away from home a lot, your family should be ready to cover your absence.

  26. Understand senior drivers will get better loads

    Eventually, you’ll be the senior driver receiving those loads! Be patient.

  27. Take care of your toilet jug

    Empty it in a garbage can or toilet, not a parking lot.

  28. Don’t park at the gas pump

    Other truck drivers might try to kill you.

  29. Give other trucks space.

    If you’re in a big parking lot, put some space between yourself and other trucks rather than parking right next to them.

  30. Be courteous to other truck drivers

    Let them pass easily and make sure you have a safe following distance.

For more information about truck loans, call Truck Loan Center at 1-866-230-0094 or contact us here.

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