When starting out in the commercial truck driving business, there are some things that new drivers will need to get used to. From using public bathrooms to cooking on an electric skillet, the lifestyle will take some getting used to. Here are some helpful observations to know.
Don’t Worry About Being “Slow”
Become okay with the fact that you’re driving a big, slow, hulking commercial truck. Many new drivers struggle with the slow turning, slow accelerating, and slow passing. Your truck is going to feel much different than a zippy little car, and eventually you will get the feel of it. It’s important for new commercial truckers to understand that they will probably feel like they’re in the way and making other drivers mad 90% of the time—but by trying to hurry and move, accidents can happen.
Get Used To Being A Rookie
As a brand-new commercial truck driver, you’re going to make mistakes: missed gears, parking problems, slow turns. It will definitely be obvious that you’re new. And that’s okay. Everyone was new once. Just get comfortable with the idea of people knowing this and maybe teasing you a little. Even if others are downright mean, ignore them. It won’t be long before you’re totally familiar with the feel of the truck and how to maneuver everything. Whatever you do, don’t try to look “experienced” and take a turn too fast.
Flexibility And Problem-Solving Are Your Friends
On the road, there are things that will throw a wrench into your plans and schedule: weather, traffic, the unpredictability of warehouse workers and other drivers, etc. Because of this, you’ll need to be flexible, and you’ll also need to be good at problem-solving in order to get where you need to go. Things may get tough—like when you have a strict deadline and you’re still a entire state away and it’s hailing—but don’t worry. There’s always a solution.
Sharing The Truck Is Temporary
Yes, being in close quarters for a long time with someone you barely know can be very awkward or uncomfortable. But being trained near a professional commercial truck driver is important to a student driver. Many times, new drivers will get lucky and have great trainers who put them at ease—but no matter what happens, remember that the “sharing a truck” scenario is temporary. Just relax and learn.
Understand What It Will Be Like
One of the biggest things you’ll need to get used to as a commercial truck driver is the lifestyle. This means sometimes paying for showers, using gross public bathrooms, missing your family and friends, waiting at the shippers/receivers for hours sometimes, staying DOT compliant (which means no drugs or excessive alcohol), missing important events, maintaining your truck, and keeping up with paperwork. This lifestyle isn’t glamorous, but many people have found that they truly enjoy it. These are the types of people who would rather be on the open road than sitting at a desk. It may not be the easiest career, but many find it to be the most rewarding.
Is becoming a commercial truck driver right for you? If you think it is, contact us at L.A Truck Driving School. We will teach and train you everything you need to know about driving a commercial truck in order to get your CDL and get on the path to your trucking career.