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Am I good enough to be a trucker? I have what it takes to handle it?

A widespread discussion we are witnessing on almost every trucking forum is mainly approaching the difficulties rookies have when they are trying to decide what will be their next trucking company to begin their journey. Being a newbie, it is very easy to get lost in the process, and getting confused considering all the suggestions that can be found online on forums or articles.

Online research might not help you as much

It’s in our nature to want to stay informed, and it is normal for all of us to do some online research. This happens more often if you do not have a relative or a close person who is already in this business. You want to know as many things as possible about the trucking industry. Maybe you can ask for some beginner tips or tricks. This is where things go wrong, and it is why online research is mostly a bad thing to do. 

Most of the times, there are two types of people who go to the internet. People like you who need information and people who are not satisfied, or have frustrations and they decide to make some rude comments on specific forums. In this kind of places, we find people who are insulting companies, create damaging content and often give wrong information about the trucking industry.

All of these people are always talking about conspiracy, bad treatment, but in reality, they just do not know how to handle their schedules, money or even personal life. 

The secret: The answer is in you. You are the only one to determine whether or not you can be successful at this career.

Taking this statement into consideration, you should ask yourself if you want to start a career in trucking. It does not matter which company, working hours, or money. Yes, these are very important too, but all of them can come if you love what you are doing. So, if you need help online, talk to people about the experiences in the trucking industry, or why they decided to join. This way, you can learn and find out if this job is for you.

Do I have what it takes?

Drivers might tell you to stay away from their company, which could be a bad thing because maybe you thought that could be the perfect company for you. So what would you do now and what this teaches you?

Prove that you are a vital driver for your company. This is what makes you a good employee. And this is how you can get the company to level up. If you are a good driver, you can earn more, feel better, make friends faster, and so on. Do you have what it takes? Only you can get to now. Be good at it and show interest and you will have success!

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Speed is never a good thing so be careful because you might get in trouble

Usually, a rookie would go ahead with a very optimistic attitude and such a workaholic behaviour. This happens because they want to feel that freedom given by the open road and prove that they can also be full-time truckers. Unfortunate for them, because this hype can very easily lead to accidents or some wasted time.

All these rookies have to learn that anything takes time to master, especially when it comes to parking lots, area surveillance, and of course, backing, parking or turning. Most of the drivers would use Google Earth to get some images about the truck stop they are about to encounter, hotels or loading docks. The more concentrated you are and the more you know when to slow down you will earn more money and have fewer incidents.

Do not take risks at truck stops.

Probably, one of the most dangerous places for a truck driver is the truck stop. One thing is sure; he will go slow because he is scared and will try to find comfortable spaces to park.

Most of the parking or rest areas were designed decades ago for shorter trailers. Because of this, the backing process or pulling out can be complicated. We advise you to make a list of rest areas, Walmarts or truck stops that are easy for you to park at, and a list that you might think is the most difficult to manage. You can use Google maps or Trucker Path to do this.

Better slow down and pay more attention to the environment around you

Stop being in a permanent rush and take everything very serious, even if you have to do some paperwork. You never know when you can grab the wrong trailer, and you have to go back 200 miles. Because you are so excited, you may drive into a fuel pump or leave without closing the trailer.

The speed can always be reduced.

If you think that driving faster means that you will make more money, we are going to tell you that this is a wrong statement. If you arrive with 30 minutes early and you had a rough session of driving, what you did was only take risks and earning the same amount you did yesterday. We know that you want to drive at a higher speed because it is something that every man will do, but you do not have to do this at work.

Controlling a small car at high speed is easy compared to a 72 foot long, 80 thousand pound beast. The same rule will apply if we are talking about downhills, where you have to take control of your truck. You must learn how to downshift quickly, even at a higher speed.

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How to deal with your fears. The life in the trucking industry

Any trucker that just ended their training or CDL has been through some emotions and various heart rates. Before you even jump in your first truck cabin, you are nervous, and you might feel some fear, which is understandable considering what actions are required in this industry

If you would go and listen to the discussion that takes place in the terminals, you would hear only students talking about truck models, and how they are hoping to get an excellent trainer. When a student like this finds himself for the first time at the wheel of a heavy truck, it is reasonable to feel some fear.

A new career is a significant stake

You should try and understand that the fear is not coming from the fact that you might not learn how to drive a truck. There are hundreds of thousands of people from anywhere in the world, and everyone can learn how to drive a truck. The fear comes from a deeper place in your mind. It is your fear of the unknown that is your biggest obstacle.

Yes, in the year we are living, everyone wants to learn things fast, but nobody takes time to meditate about the time it takes to learn something and do it correctly. If you want to learn how to downshift in a manual transmission, be ready to practice for two whole months and up to six months to back the trailer.

In trucking, be ready for frequent changes.

One thing is certain in the trucking industry; you will never be ready for everything. Something will always show up and put you in uncomfortable situations. Let`s assume that you have more than 10, and backing is no longer a problem, trip planning works like a charm and time management is something you handle without any concerns. 

Now is the time to become a trainer, which is a whole new experience. Being a trainer might force you to hop up in a new truck more often. It can happen to be placed in a new generation truck with more gadgets and even with push-button gears and gearshift want on the steering wheel. The ten years of experience feels like nothing when you start driving a brand new truck. 

How to manage your fears

The first step in conquering you fear to identify them. We advise you to make a plan and gather as much information as you can because fear is only in your head, and the solution is closer than you would think. If you are afraid of winter driving or mountain ranges, attend training during winter months and request a trainer willing to teach you in those regions.

Recognize that you are not alone and manage your fears by being intelligent and efficient.

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Be careful, not only beginners have accidents

After many inspections and accidents that happen all the time, it is a fact that beginners have a bigger chance to get involved in accidents. But, it does not mean that if you are an experienced truck driver, you cannot make an accident. The more experienced you are, the more risks you take.

Do accidents happen while driving?

The chances are you might be involved in an accident while you are driving. As expected, most of the accidents committed by beginners are related to parking areas manoeuvres or backing. More than that, most of the accidents committed by beginners are produced because of moving violations and high speeds. Most of the rollovers, jack knifes or collisions are done by truckers with six months to two years experience.

Like we said before, the more experienced a driver is, the more likely he is to have an accident, but how is this possible?

Why is there no difference between the experienced drivers and beginners? From our perspective, the chances to get involved in an accident are the same; therefore, you should always be vigilent on the road. Why is that? Well, new drivers are still too conscious, but they are also so strained, and they are more likely to make mistakes. Beginners will never talk on the phone while driving, they will not adjust the radio, and they do not eat while driving. They are still learning the basics.

At the same time, experienced drivers are more relaxed, and they are easily distracted and also likely to get involved in inevitable accidents because they tend not to focus so much. Also, they can avoid accidents using the experience they gained over the years.

Accidents when backing

This is also a fact where we can sustain the theory according to which beginners are more likely to provoke backing accidents. Experienced drivers tend to get out of their cabin to check the angles. A beginner would never have the knowledge to do this, and they will keep backing praying to nail it first try. If you are a beginner and you want to learn how to back, try to practice as much as possible. 

Maybe when you have a break, and you have nothing better to do, try and do some backings because with every backing you will get better.

Experience brings danger

This is what happens when you become overconfident. This will lead to a significant accident later. After you hit six months of active trucking, you will start to master the backing manoeuvres and the time management is more comfortable. After this initiation period, the truck driver will build a sort of relationship with the dispatch, you will learn the interstate system, and he will also develop a list of favourite truck stops or break parking spots.

Experience comes with confidence, but confidence is distributed dangerously. You have more confidence, and you start to talk on the phone, eat while driving, read the news, and so on. This is the moment when the whole driving process becomes dangerous. You can drive well, but you are also easily distracted. This is why you should stay focused and be conscious of your surroundings. Be safe!

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Trucking: 5 Tips for Beginners

What is right, what is wrong? What should you do when you are starting your trucking career, and what are the secrets that nobody will tell you? How can you take care of yourself? In this article, we are going to give you five tips on how to manage in a better way your career starting period. So let`s get into it.

 

Take yourself some breaks.

 

No matter what are your duties today or how much time you have to drive, you should always find some time to take some breaks. Experts say that an average person should stand up and do some stretching every 3 hours. For you, as a trucker, you should get out of your truck pit every 3 hours. Maybe you can take a 10-minute break, or go to the restroom, have a snack. Prolonged sitting can hurt your body, especially your back and legs.

Eat well and keep track with nutrition

Some of you are lucky enough to already have a fridge in your trucks, but the others can very easy improvise a cooling system, or even plug a cooler into the cigarette lighter if you do not have a fridge in your truck. We understand that if you are a trucker, eating healthy is not an easy thing to do, although you should take it seriously. Try to do as much exercise as you can, be as active as you can and most importantly, eat healthy. Being a trucker can develop a tendency to eat more junk food. We`ve all have been there. The most important thing to do is to take action and start eating healthy because it is not a very hard thing to do.

Take care of your family

Again, some of us would love to spend some more time with our families. This is also an obstacle hard to pass. Asa a beginner, you have to keep in contact with your family, have conversations with them and also take care of them and be a provider. The relationship with your wife, partner or children has to become stronger as the time goes, not weaker.

Your career is important

We are a company focused on the careers of our owner-operators. Take your time after the first year to reevaluate your plans and possible adjustments. You have to do this because it is a beneficial procedure for you to realize what is the next step in your life. What should you do next? Consult your family, are they okay with you being a trucker? If your family is not happy, you should stop doing it.

Make a financial plan

The trucker job is very well paid so you can start saving some money and get ready to invest in your ideas. Do not think that you can now begin buying cars or electronics because these are not investments. Invest your money in real estate, online businesses and then use the profits to buy more.

 

We hope that you had something to learn, and you are ready to begin your trucking career. Stay safe!

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