Trucking Tips To Survive Life On The Road

Starting a new career is always a nerve-wracking experience. When it comes to truck driving, knowing what to expect will help you get through the first years as a truck driver. Driving a truck isn’t just a job, it’s a lifestyle, which no one really understands until they get behind the wheel themselves. You might have heard a lot of things about what it’s like, but you won’t know until you experience it in your own long-haul vehicle. Here are a few tips to help you survive life on the road. 

Stick To A Healthy Diet

It might be hard to eat healthily when all the truck stops you pass by only offer unhealthy food choices, but that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to do. Find a few restaurants on your route with reasonable prices that you can visit instead of always having to eat at the truck stops. 

By doing this, you will be able to eat some delicious and nutritious food, but you will also be able to get a bit of exercise too, and an excuse to get out of the truck. Exploring where you’ve stopped in search of somewhere to eat is a good way to get a few more steps in. 

Exercise Daily

You also need to find some time in between all the travel to focus on your body to survive living on the road and not let it overwhelm you. Exercise will help to keep your mind alert and awake when you’re driving, and it will give you more stamina to be able to travel for long shifts on the road and away from home. 

Every trucker should take a long break between shifts. Getting some exercise in this break will help to stretch out your body after being in a small space behind the wheel, while also giving you more stamina for when you’re back on the road again. 

Get Experience

Your first time driving a commercial truck can be discouraging. However, you don’t need to worry. You will get better over time. 

Regardless of how much experience you have driving a car, your first few routes will be a challenge, just because you’re new. It’s important to keep going, because, over time, you will gain more experience and feel more comfortable behind the wheel. As you get more confident, you will get more routes and more income. It can also help to get familiar with your truck’s manual, like Detroit Diesel service repair manuals, to get to know your truck better. 

Plan For Challenging Routes

Since truck drivers who have been driving for a company for a long time get the first pick of assignments, as a rookie, you will get the leftovers. When you start out, you will probably be given a lot of jobs in remote areas and large cities where making deliveries can be a challenge. 

When you can build a strong reputation by sticking to your delivery schedule and remaining with the company for a while, you will then be able to start getting more of a say in what assignments you get. Until then, accounting challenging routes can make them easier to deal with. 

Stay Safe And Avoid Accidents

The most important tip for new drivers is to do everything you can to keep safe while you’re on the road. Health and safety should always be at the forefront of your mind when you’re behind the wheel of a commercial truck. 

Staying safe means keeping things on the truck that can keep you safe on the road, like a first-aid kit. 

Staying alert is important as well, so make sure that you are well-rested and mentally prepared for long journeys and being away from home. 

Pace Yourself

While it might be tempting to immediately start working on high-mileage jobs with a quick turnaround, but a new truck driver should remember that they haven’t yet adapted to life on the road yet. 

It takes time to become a skilled, experienced truck driver. It will take the time up to build up the mental and physical stamina to be away from home and drive for long hours, and it will take more time to practice your time management skills. 

Ask Lots Of Questions

When you start out, don’t just sit back and expect to be told everything on the way. If you are learning to learn the trucker life yourself, and you’re just starting to understand the full extent of what this kind of work entails, you will probably have lots of questions that you want to ask. 

Keep working to learn more and appreciate the finer details of this line of work by asking a lot of questions, whether it’s about tips for packing for travel or to how to engage with other people that you meet on the road. 

Be Independent

It’s important to ask plenty of questions, but one of the easiest ways to make a living as a trucker is to try to do as much of it as you can yourself. 

Whether you’re doing your pre-trip checks, planning a schedule for your trip, or collecting your payroll information, try to do as much of it as you can without any help from anyone else. Use every opportunity that you can while you’re on the road to think critically and act on the advice your mentors have given you and learn from what they might do in a given situation.

Get Used To Being Alone

Most of your time on the road is going to be spent alone, which can be tough. As you won’t have anyone in your cab with you to count on, it’s crucial for a truck driver to become proactive and learn to be independent. 

It’s one thing to be independent, and it will certainly help you with the truck-driving life if you are, but it is another thing altogether to be okay with only your own company for days and weeks at a time. It won’t be easy to be without friends, family, or really any people at all, for such long periods of time. It’s normal to want some company from time to time, but you will need to be okay with being on your own for long periods of time. Technology does make it easier to keep in touch with those you’ve left at home, and stopping at truck stops on your breaks gives you a chance to meet others in the trucking life and maybe even make some friends. This can really help if you feel lonely when you’re on a long job. 

Be Patient With Yourself

You will likely make a lot of mistakes during your time on the road, especially when you’re new to the job and the lifestyle. At times it might feel as though you’re never going to get the hang of the job or ever get good at it. Instead of worrying, try to relax and be patient with yourself, especially while you’re still learning. You’re going to get the hang of truck driving, but it will take time and trial and error to get your job right. As long as you’re making progress all the time, you’re going to be alright.

Driving a truck for a living is a challenging career path, but it can be very rewarding. Be patient and give yourself time to learn the ropes. Learn from more experienced truckers, get to know your truck, and learn the skills that will keep you safe and happy on the road, even on the longest trips. 

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