There are many top skills for truck drivers that employers look for when hiring new drivers. Truck driving is much more than simply driving a truck for long distances, and seasoned truckers have to be dynamic professionals who balance multiple responsibilities. For many drivers, these things not only have to be exercised on a daily basis but also done away from home. We’ve compiled this list of the most valuable skills that indicate a successful truck driver career.
Top 6 Skills for Truck Drivers’ Success
Good Driving Skills
This may seem like an obvious skill, but good driving skills are required for success as a truck driver. Many employers prioritize work experience and a clean driving record above other skills. All of the basic driving skills apply to truck drivers as well. Prioritizing defensive driving and maintaining focus on the road are paramount general driving skills as are managing stress during longer drives. A truck driver will not be successful unless they can prove over history and experience that they are a competent driver.
Many truck drivers have to make quick changes in their daily schedule while they are on the road. Good communication ensures that all relevant information is reaching the driver as soon as it’s available. If a delivery schedule is changed, a truck driver who is a good communicator will be able to quickly pivot and make the change as soon as they are aware. All drivers have to deal with unforeseen problems: breakdowns, inclement weather, delivery changes. It’s the truckers who communicate well who won’t be delayed any more than necessary when things change.
Basic maintenance skills are very important for truck drivers. Calling roadside assistance is one of the quickest ways to delay your schedule, and you are almost always on the road by yourself. That makes it essential to be able to conduct basic maintenance for your truck or equipment. You will almost certainly have a more serious breakdown at some point, but if you’re able to conduct basic maintenance when needed, you’ll be able to stay on the road for much longer.
Especially in specific climates, basic maintenance knowledge is very helpful for being a successful truck driver because you’ll be able to inspect your truck as you’re on the road and spot potential problems before they affect your delivery schedule. Drivers with less mechanical knowledge often overlook problems that they might spot if they had better mechanical knowledge.
Safety is one of the most critical skills for truck drivers. You have to go through a process to obtain your CDL because driving a truck is a specialized skill. That means you have to have greater safety awareness than drivers with small maneuverable cars. Especially for local drivers, you may find yourself having to navigate your large truck in small spaces. You have to pay attention to information that other drivers don’t such as bridge height and weight limits that can put yourself as well as those around you in serious danger if you aren’t careful.
When it comes to safety, truck drivers have to take many different precautions. Over time, the drivers who are safe are the ones who tend to be more successful. Simple mistakes in truck driving can lead to serious consequences, which is why this skill is such an important factor in truck drivers’ success.
Truck drivers will often have to keep very detailed records of their driving as well as their cargo. You have to track your hours driving, log your miles, plan your trips, manage addresses, communicate with dispatchers and managers, and many more tasks. All of these things can be overwhelming or be forgotten if you don’t keep things organized. Every driver has slightly different routines and systems to keep everything organized, but the drivers who are best at this spend less time getting organized and more time on the road. That ultimately means better delivery times and more success
Excitement for truck driving is maybe less of a skill and more of a general passion for the career. You spend a lot of time on the road, and drivers who aren’t excited about truck driving aren’t as successful and aren’t as enjoyable to work with. Instead, it’s the drivers who are optimistic and excited about their career that end up seeing the most success. You don’t necessarily have to be pumped up to drive every day, but you will be more successful if you find an aspect of truck driving that you truly enjoy. Maybe it’s bringing a smile to the face of the people you communicate with most often, maybe it’s the days on the road themselves, or maybe it’s the satisfaction of a hard job well done that you love. Whatever it may be, excitement and passion are what keep you going through the harder days.
Learn the Top Skills for Truck Drivers’ Success With TDI
All of these skills and more are emphasized while you’re training and studying for your CDL Class A. Whether you’re already a truck driver or looking to make a potential career change, the Truck Driver Institute is eager to hear from you. We train truck drivers throughout the southeast, and we routinely hire and train CDL instructors to keep our many school locations up and running.
In three weeks, you can be equipped with all you need to take and pass your CDL exam. Better yet, the Truck Driver Institute conducts testing at our many locations, and we have connections with employers seeking to hire new drivers. We boast an 86% hire rate for new graduates of our program, which means you could make a pivot into a lucrative and life-changing career in as little time as a month.
During our program, you’ll learn these skills and be prepared for a successful career as a truck driver. We also see that the skills our drivers learn are directly transferable to other areas of life. Becoming a truck driver means learning and growing in all areas of life, so contact us today!
Get your Class A CDL in our friendly, supportive CDL training program. TRAIN with experienced instructors – multiple good-paying, secure job choices with benefits available for eligible graduates. EARN $700 – $1000+ / week to start as a truck driver. Get started today by filling out the form below. We look forward to hearing from you!