Common Rookie Trucker Mistakes All Drivers Should Avoid

Wednesday, August 18th, 2021
line of commercial trucks

Seasoned truck drivers have a lot of information for rookies that can help them live a better life on the road. That being said, truckers with years of experience can still keep learning. There are some mistakes that all drivers can avoid simply by being aware of them sooner. Here are some tips that we think can help you whether you are new to the industry or not.

Not preparing for the job

Preparation is one of the most important things truckers can do, whether that is prepping for a new career or getting ready for their 100th job. Part of prepping for rookies is accepting that training may be difficult. Learning how to maneuver commercial trucks, studying safety materials, and remembering where your gear is located are all vital parts of preparing.

After some time, driving a truck and handling all aspects of the job will become easier. Find a mentor (that isn’t training you) to help you deal with the ups and downs, and lean on your family for support if you find things to be difficult.

Having the wrong expectations

Having the wrong expectations in any job can lead to hardships. In trucking, this means you should try to forget all the things you think you know about trucking. For example, this job DOES provide a lot of freedom, but you will still need to follow rules and procedures. Here are some other tips that can help.

  1. Don’t expect other drivers to know your job. If you are backing into a dock and someone gets in your way, remember that they don’t know how to do your line of work.
  2. Trucking isn’t all about open roads. You will have to deal with traffic, congested truck stops, bad weather when you need it the least, and other problems.
  3. You won’t always be alone. When people think of truckers, they often think of a man alone in his cab. This is a reality for many experienced drivers, but rookies will need constant training. You will have a partner to work with who is more experienced, so listen to them and ask for their advice often.
  4. You won’t have time for what you thought you might. If you used to enjoy binge-watching shows, reading for hours, or playing a few rounds at the pool hall, you likely won’t have time for that. But, you can still enjoy your hobbies if you plan well and have good time management.
  5. You CAN maintain a work-life balance. All it takes is learning how to switch up your lifestyle. Truckers can still maintain families and enjoy their lives even when on the road.

Being your own worst enemy

Everyone does this, not just rookie truck drivers. The first step toward breaking this bad habit is remembering what is and isn’t in your control. For example, you can’t control traffic or how long you have to wait at a stop, but you can control your reactions.

  • Use any wait time you have to take care of other job duties, like paperwork or speaking with dispatch.
  • If you’re stuck in traffic, breathe and listen to some music.
  • If you know you don’t have time to get your assignments done, contact dispatch and let them know. It isn’t your job to handle scheduling, so don’t stress too much about it.
  • Truck driving is an unpredictable job, so if deliveries don’t go as planned, try to be flexible.
  • Be realistic with your goals. If you don’t have enough hours to make three stops, sleep, shower, eat, and watch a movie, be honest. Sometimes necessities must come first.

Not taking safety seriously

Rookie drivers often forget the importance of safety in all aspects of the job. It isn’t just about good driving habits, but also about practices on job sites and when you are parked. If you’re working with chemicals, for example, you need to know all of the laws and safety guides regarding those materials. Even seasoned drivers have to keep up with safety training, so always have this on your mind.

Looking for a change of pace?

There is no true time period that drivers can be called rookies, which is why ALL truck drivers can learn from the above tips. If you are looking for a job where you can grow within the industry and learn more, contact Kimrad Transport, LP today. We offer a variety of jobs and are always looking for Truck Drivers. You can reach us at 806-331-7154 or Send Us an Email for more information.