Becoming a truck driver can lead to a rewarding career with some challenges along the way. The journey to becoming a truck driver includes acquiring a CDL, maintaining a clean driving record, and learning as much as possible about the life of a trucker.

Once truck drivers hit the road, many potential situations may arise while traveling hundreds and thousands of miles away from home. Here’s some advice for new truck drivers to help prepare you for your trip from TQM Logistics, the team you can count on for news about the commercial driving industry and CDL truck driver jobs

Advice for New Truck Drivers

As a new truck driver, you’ll have many questions about your new and exciting driving career. We’re here to help with some basic truck driving tips to help you prepare for the job. Firstly, every trip you take should start with a pre-trip inspection.

Complete Your Pre-Trip Inspection

It takes a few minutes to get out and do a pre-trip inspection on your truck and trailer, ensuring everything is correctly connected and in order. This quick inspection may save you from getting a ticket or having a safety issue. 

To perform top-notch pre-trip inspections, follow a checklist similar to what you used during training. A checklist can keep you from overlooking a potential safety issue and help any driving job run smoothly.

Get Out and Look (G.O.A.L)

If you’re already working as a truck driver, you’ve likely seen stickers on the driver’s side mirror or trailers with the acronym G.O.A.L. It means “get out and look,” and it’s there for a good reason.

When backing up your truck, always get out and double-check if you need more room. Spending a lot of time parking is better than backing up into another vehicle or person. Also, this type of accident will leave you liable for damages.

Manage Your Schedule

One of our most important pieces of advice to new truck drivers is to manage your schedule so you arrive early for every drop-off or pickup. Not only does this make your customers and trucking company happy, but it also reflects positively on you.

Meeting deadlines is essential, but arriving safely at your destination is more important. Don’t sacrifice safety for speed; remember, following best safety practices is the best way to reach your destination safely and efficiently.

Get Enough Sleep and Exercise

Driving while tired can be as dangerous as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and even more so when operating an 80,000-pound vehicle. So if you start nodding off, find a place to park and get some sleep.

It’s also essential to find time to exercise when you’re on the road. Take a walk or stretch at truck stops to get your body moving. Any opportunity to work on your physical fitness benefits your long-term physical and mental health. 

Pay Attention to Weather Conditions

It’s common to encounter quickly-changing weather conditions while moving from one region to another across the country. For example, you can go from warm and sunny weather in the South to wintry weather in the North. 

Severe weather outbreaks are common in the South and Midwest, especially during the spring. Our advice for new truck drivers is to pay attention to weather conditions, especially when trip planning. Additionally, be prepared to adjust your schedule and your driving to compensate for the weather.

Get the Most Out of Your Truck Driving Career

Congratulations on your new job as a truck driver! Starting your trucking career is an excellent opportunity that offers a lot of earning potential in the future.

Early in your career, it’s natural for you to have many questions about the job. We recommend connecting with experienced drivers in the trucking industry, as they’re another good source of tips for new truck drivers, including driver safety and how to stay clean and organized.

And, of course, TQM Logistics is here to help you with everything from job opportunities and how to take care of your trailer tires to trucking compliance services. Keep up with our trucking industry blog to learn the latest news and information.