Truck Drivers: Truck driving is a lucrative employment opportunity for many adults. The American trucking industry is going through a shortage of skilled drivers, encouraging many applicants to undergo CDL training to drive the trucks legally. If you are still new to this business, you must gain some knowledge to help you smooth the process.
Being a truck driver indeed has its perks, and if you play your cards right, you can earn a decent living from trucking. Many beginner truck drivers often face common problems they can easily avoid if they know about them. Whether it is following the road safety guidelines or getting the grants for CDL training, you can gain more knowledge before setting your foot on the road.
To help you in the process, here are four incredible tips for new truck drivers.
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Avail grants for CDL Training
All truck drivers must acquire a Commercial Driving License(CDL) to legally drive the trucks. Before getting this license, they need to go through the CDL training program to train them with the essential skills and knowledge to drive the trucks effectively.
This training can cost around $3000 to $5000, depending on your chosen training center. However, many aspirants back out mainly because they cannot afford these fees. So, if you can’t afford to pay the training fees, there’s a piece of good news for you.
The state and local governments offer various grants for CDL training. You can avail of these grants if you are eligible and can undergo CDL training. Some grants also cover transportation and accommodation, so if the training school is far from where you live, the traveling and living expenses are also covered under some grants.
Have the right mindset
Any experienced truck driver would tell you that trucking is more mentally exhausting than physical labor. You spend several days on the road away from your family, affecting your mood and will to work.
Hence, you need to get into trucking with the right mindset. You need to understand not all days will be good, and that bad days don’t last forever. Try to be calm and level-headed while driving. That way, you can cover a greater distance and reduce the chances of accidents.
Prepare for the first year
Your first few years as a truck driver can be challenging. You may have difficulties getting the gigs until you build a reputation as a skilled, safe, and competent driver. But, you need to be optimistic and put in the hours. This time will also give you more room to learn and master the driving and road safety regulations. You can also utilize your first year to better grip on trip planning, covering the distance, and the Smith System of Driving.
Take it easy on the road
Undergoing the CDL training doesn’t magically turn you into a driving maestro. Even a minor mistake on the road can put your life and cargo at risk.
Therefore, you must take it easy on the road during at least the first year as a truck driver. You need to learn how to overtake, make an emergency stop, do maintenance work and navigate through narrow roads. You should also learn to drive in difficult weather conditions, like excessive rain and snow.
Being a truck driver will be worth it if you take the right action during your initial years. These years will help you hone your skills and build your career. Make sure you receive the CDL training and gain experience to become a master truck driver.
- CDL Training Grants: State and local governments offer financial assistance.
- Mental Preparedness: Trucking is mentally demanding; maintain a positive mindset.
- First-Year Challenges: Expect difficulties, focus on building a competent reputation.
- Road Safety Priority: Practice caution, learn emergency maneuvers, handle weather conditions.
- Career Investment: CDL training and early experience lay the foundation for success.