Being a truck driver seems easy — you just drive around all day, you get to go around the country, and no one will be breathing down your neck about deadlines.
While all of these are perks of the job, being a truck driver actually involves plenty of challenges and difficulties. You spend days on the road alone except for when you stop to eat, you don’t get to see your family as often as you might like, and operating a truck is pretty risky. In fact, being a truck driver is one of the most dangerous jobs in the U.S.
So, if you chose this profession, then you must exhibit excellent control. However, some drivers, especially new ones, tend to make mistakes on the job. Find out what they are how to avoid them below.
1. Being overconfident
You successfully earned your commercial driver’s license (CDL) and you think you’re ready to start your career as a truck driver, but without much experience, you can’t get too comfortable yet. Unfortunately, this is one of the most common mistakes rookie truck drivers make. Earning your CDL means you know about operating a truck and the safety measures to follow while on the road.
However, the actual operation of a huge vehicle and the life you put on the road can take some getting used to. Even if you have the knowledge, make sure you’re always cautious until you get the hang of your job.
2. Not asking for help
Asking for help and clarifications about your duties when you’re in a new job can be intimidating. This is true even in the trucking industry where some fleet owners do not appreciate their drivers reporting problems with their trucks and asking for help in repairs.
As a result, drivers are either put at risk while operating a faulty vehicle or they find ways to solve the problem on their own. If this happens, it’s important to talk to a trucking attorney since it’s the fleet owner’s duty to make sure all their trucks are in good working condition.
3. Ignoring health issues
Another rookie mistake is ignoring what your body might be telling you. Driving for hours, hauling load after load of cargo, eating sporadically, and getting a few hours of sleep can take a toll on your health. These are not to mention the injuries you can get while performing your job. While it can be challenging to keep healthy habits, it’s best to know your limits and listen to when your body is telling you to slow down and recover.
4. Neglecting safety standards
This common rookie mistake goes hand in hand with the first one. When you’re feeling overconfident, it’s easy to neglect common safety rules. Some of them you might think unnecessary or self-explanatory.
But, when operating a vehicle as huge as a commercial truck and driving on the road for hours, it’s important to establish safety habits from the beginning. For example, speeding because you’re hurrying to meet a deadline. If you cut corners on your safety practices, you’re putting yourself and other people on the road at risk.
Being a truck driver is a huge responsibility. Don’t take it for granted by committing the mistakes above.