Hitting the road for the first time as a licensed commercial truck driver can be one of the most thrilling experiences. For many, driving the rig on their own for the first time after training can feel overwhelming. It is natural to be afraid of making mistakes. We’ve all been there. Every seasoned truck driver was a rookie at one point.
Of course, as a professional truck driver, you do not have a lot of margin for error. We’ve prepared this guide to highlight a few rookie truck driver mistakes and how you can avoid them to give you a good start to your trucking career.
4 Rookie Truck Driver Mistakes You Must Avoid
1. Forgetting About the Cardinal Rule
“Safety first and always” is not just a statement. It is a rule you should ingrain in everything you do as a professional truck driver. There are no cutting corners regarding safety as a licensed truck driver. Being successful in this profession means implementing safe driving practices, including:
Wearing your belt
Staying alert on the road
Conducting pre-trip inspections before every trip
Never driving when sleepy or distracted
2. Over-Confidence in Your Skills
Having a belief in your ability to do a good job is essential in any profession. You must have confidence in your skills to become a professional truck driver. However, it does not mean you should act as though you know everything, especially when you are new to commercial truck driving.
Always be willing to learn because there is always something to learn in this field. You will find plenty of guidance from your seniors if you work with the right team. Value guidance and input from experienced colleagues, and be open to learning new skills so that you can grow as a professional truck driver.
3. Staying by Yourself
Introverts might love the idea of becoming professional truck drivers. It is one of the professions where you may spend a significant amount of time by yourself. However, you should never forget the value of building relationships and networking in this field.
Remember to communicate regularly with friends and family, but never pass up opportunities to establish strong connections with colleagues, leaders in the company, and training teams. Maintaining strong relationships in this profession can be essential for when you need advice or help on the road.
4. Being Afraid to Ask Stupid Questions
Whether you have been driving for a month or it has been years since you started transporting cargo, you should always feel comfortable asking questions. One of the most important rookie truck driver mistakes is their fear of asking too many questions. Asking others for help and guidance, especially when you are new, can help you learn how to do a better job and avoid making mistakes.
Asking questions when you don’t know something or are unsure is not a sign of weakness. People in leadership positions appreciate it because it shows your willingness to learn and improve your skills.
Are You a Truck Driver Looking for an Opportunity?
Working with experienced professionals invested in helping you succeed can be the best way to start your career as a professional truck driver. Do you have two years of driving experience and want to take your career to the next level? If you are looking for an opportunity to work with a supportive team willing to offer you all the help you need, you should consider working with S.T.I. Trans. Feel free to contact us to learn how you can become part of the S.T.I. Trans family.