Truck drivers are an essential part of the shipping industry, transporting freight and fresh supplies to retail locations and distribution centers. Becoming a truck driver provides an access to a steady source of earnings and freedom for those who enjoy being on the open road. Drivers have the responsibility to the company they work for and other drivers on the road to drive carefully. There is a lot to learn to be a professional and experienced driver and find a regular work when new drivers are just breaking into the industry.
Unfortunately, in the trucking industry, there is a lot of bad information and bravado passed around – and much of it is a terrible advice. So, if you are considering becoming a truck driver or you have recently attended a truck driving school you will want to have some acceptable mileage tips in mind when you start driving alone and some ways of managing your time as well. So, let’s look at some time managing tips and mileage expectations.
Adapting to the Road for Driving Long Hours
One of the most important things to understand is that newcomer truckers do not have the ability to turn the miles that a veteran does for many reasons. The two main reasons are:
1) You are not adapted and ready to the demands of a truck driving requirements. A road is a strange place for you, and you cannot imagine spending long hours of driving.
2) You do not have the time management skills to safely run long miles without burning out or getting tired in heavy traffic, the lack of available parking and, most importantly, bad weather
So, you might be standing at the counter at a truck stop and hear a veteran complain that he only had 3100 miles this week, and you are so exhausted you cannot remember your own name and you only turned 2800. How do they do it? Let’s look at some tips for adapting to the road.
• It Takes About a Year to “Get it.”
Things may feel a little complicated during the first year. As it is a struggle to remember all the rules and regulations of the trucking industry. To get a good handle on all the rules you need to be familiar with takes about a year. The 3 biggest points to focus on are following distance, knowing the Smith System of driving and trip planning.
• Sometimes, it is All About the Attitude
A carrier/driver relationship should be built on mutual benefit. “I don’t believe there is a shortage of drivers. I believe there is a shortage of good drivers. Casanova said. “You want to continue to grow your reputation by bringing a good attitude, when things get slow, you increase your chances of being a driver that gets taken care of. Be a good driver and derive the rewards.”
• Parking is one of the Most Important Things for Truckers
Look back at your truck after parking. Always turn around and look at your truck when leaving it in a parking lot. One of the most exhausting and frustrating aspects of trucking is the lack of parking at night. After 7:00 pm in the summer and maybe 6:00 pm in the winter it is incredibly hard to find parking at truck stops. They fill up more quickly. As a newcomer, you quickly realize that if you can get parked early enough in the day you will have no problems, but, wait, even just an hour too long and you will be hunting around at different truck stops begging for a spot. This is exhausting and takes long hours. You are wasting time, you are not getting sleep, and you are not turning efficient miles for the time you are spending behind the wheel.
It will not take long for you to realize that if you can manage to get parked early and get up early, you will save a lot of time, energy, and frustration. So, you will adapt to the parking issues as quickly as your mind could. But then again, sometimes that was not a concern. It depends on where in the country you are. In some areas, it is easy to find parking anytime. But some areas are always full. It takes time to learn the difference, and it is another advantage the veterans have.
• Paying Attention to the Recovery Process
Both body and mind need time to rest and recover. If you learn to take short naps when you are getting tired instead of pushing through to fatigue, you will feel more awake and energetic. However, there is something critically important to know – the more exhausted you let yourself get, the less efficient your recovery time will be. If you learn to park early for the night to get a good night’s sleep when you are feeling tired and get up earlier to stay on schedule, you will feel more awake and energetic. When you push your mind to exhaustion you are going to need a lot much time to spend on the recovery process. Often you will not fully recover even with a good night’s sleep. The next day you will still feel worn out. It can take two good nights of sleep to feel relaxed.
Although becoming a rookie truck driver has more tips that are important, anyway, long time and efforts are needed to become one of the professionals in the trucking industry.