There are so many different parts of joining the truck driving industry that, at times, it can be overwhelming. Whether you’re just starting to think about becoming a driver or have recently begun, these are some tips for new drivers that anyone can benefit from.
Tips for New Drivers
Regarding tips for new drivers, some may be obvious, while others might be brand-new information. From remembering to buckle up before driving to adding SPF to your morning routine, here are some of our favorite tips for new drivers.
Above all else, it’s vital to follow road safety. Staying safe not only protects you but also other drivers. Sometimes, these safety precautions can be the difference between life and death. Keep in mind some of these important safety tips at all times:
- Always take your time and do a thorough pre- and post-trip inspection on your truck.
- Wear your seatbelt! There has been a rising trend of drivers not wearing their seatbelts, causing a surge in deaths. Data shows 75% of drivers that weren’t wearing seatbelts and were involved in crashes were ejected from their trucks.
- Don’t drive distracted. Avoid taking your eyes off the road while driving, including texting, calling, eating, and more. Distracted driving claimed over 3,000 lives in 2021. Ensure you have your entertainment on the road queued up ahead of time.
- Don’t speed. Not only is speeding a safety hazard to go too quickly, but it also uses up more fuel. Instead, focus on maintaining consistency and avoid sudden accelerations or idling.
Remember to Exercise
One of the most essential tips for new drivers is to keep your physical health in mind. Adequate exercise will help you avoid driving fatigue and keep you in shape for loading and unloading cargo.
Sometimes it’s as simple as doing a few extra laps around the rest area while stopped, but many drivers keep dumbbells or resistance straps in their cabs. These are convenient because they don’t take up much storage room and can be done anywhere.
It’s important to exercise while on the road and to keep up those healthy habits during your time off to stay fit.
Don’t Over Rely on the Drive Through
Another aspect of your physical health is to consider what you eat. While relying on fast food at first can be tempting, it can be unhealthy and expensive.
If you have a power inverter, you can invest in items like a small microwave for your cab. If you don’t, you may want to purchase a 12-volt cooker or 12-volt portable stove. This will allow you to cook on the go without outlets.
While you don’t have to give up fast food completely, it should be something you only eat occasionally – certainly not for every meal.
When you spend several years behind the truck’s wheel, it means hours and hours of the left side of the face are in varying levels of sun. Windows can filter out UVB raps, but they don’t stop UVA rays, which can damage your skin. Wearing sunscreen consistently will help deter skin aging and types of skin cancer.
Invest in Your Rest
It’s essential to make sure you are well-rested for work. You should never drive while tired, which is why it’s crucial to maximize your sleeping area. If you already have space in your cab designed for sleeping, it is worth investing in a mattress topper and comfortable bedding. You may purchase curtains or a sleep mask if your cab includes a window.
Get a Hobby
This isn’t just a tip for new drivers but anyone entering a field that keeps them away from home for long periods. It’s unhealthy for any job to become your whole life, including truck driving.
Some possible hobbies can include:
- Reading (many libraries allow virtual book checkouts to read on your phone, so you don’t have to worry about hauling physical books with you)
- Playing an instrument
- Making videos
- Or just about anything else you’re interested in!
Having an unrelated hobby will give you something to do in your downtime and can be personally fulfilling.
It is a guarantee that one day on the road, something will go wrong. There will be days when you need help or are feeling lonely, and when that does happen, you need to communicate effectively with someone.
If you have an issue with a load or route, tell your company immediately and be honest about the situation. Stay calm, and work with your manager to come to a solution. Every driver sometimes faces issues during their career, and communicating can help develop strong relationships within your company.
If you are feeling lonely on the road, you need to be able to communicate with your loved ones. It can help to set up scheduled calls, or Facetime dates with friends and family back home to alleviate the feelings of isolation.
Find a Mentor
Having industry veterans to turn to if you’re unsure of things, have questions, or need resources can be vital while on the road. Much of driving is done alone, so building fellowship with other drivers is important. This is why all of our faculty are former drivers at the Truck Driver Institute, which can help you find a mentor before you get on the road.
Learn About More Tips for New Drivers with TDI
TDI believes in being with their drivers every step of the way, from the first day on the road to after graduation. To learn more tips for new drivers and how to join this exciting industry, contact TDI 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!