By the time a new truck driver gets behind the wheel, they’ve already gone through their CDL-certification, training safety courses, and are prepared for the open road. However, even the most prepared young truckers can succumb to some common rookie truck driver mistakes if they don’t know to anticipate them.
This is where Lily Transportation wants to help! Our decades of experience in the industry have equipped us with a thorough understanding of the truck driver lifestyle and the roadblocks young truckers may encounter. Here’s how you can avoid some of the most common rookie truck driver mistakes:
Ask For Help When You Need It
Far too often, a rookie truck driver will get behind the wheel of a truck with the belief that their training and education is over. While their CDL-certification and training courses have certainly prepared them with the tools they need to handle a truck successfully, there’s still more to learn.
The road is an often unpredictable place. Even the most practiced drivers will run into situations that require them to ask questions and brainstorm new ways of solving problems. Just like any new career path, trucking requires you to be ever-curious. If you encounter a unique situation while behind the wheel, then ask someone about it.
And remember to be patient with yourself! There isn’t a universal roadmap to success, and every new truck driver will have a process unique to them. So ask questions, ask for help when you need it, and take advantage of the tools you’ve been given. Lily’s drivers, for example, have access to 24-hour dispatch, meaning there’s always someone a call away if they need it.
Prioritize Your Health and Wellness
Spending your day behind the wheel of a truck is exciting, and can involve seeing the world (or your backyard) in ways you never would’ve otherwise. But sitting behind the wheel can make it challenging to take care of yourself. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways truckers from all walks of life can find ways to prioritize their health and wellness on the road.
Whether it’s choosing healthy snacks that “will keep you fuller longer, like string cheese, pretzels, popcorn, and fresh fruits and vegetables” or finding time to exercise while on the road, emphasizing truck driver health doesn’t have to be complicated. You can invest in some dumbbells, a jump rope, suspension cables, or even a foldable bike and use them to keep yourself active regardless of how long you spend on the road.
Build a Truck Driver Schedule
Truck driving is a lifestyle. You’ve probably heard this phrase a lot, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less true. As a new truck driver, you have a unique opportunity to make a lucrative income while also exercising some flexibility in your daily truck driver schedule.
If you’re driving in an OTR capacity, then you may not have set starting hours. However, most drivers do get to “establish routines that provide some sense of stability” in their day-to-day activities. If you work better at night than in the morning, then you can plan your route so you drive overnight and sleep during the day.
While having a truck driving schedule is a great thing, be sure to leave some room for flexibility. Building a rigid daily routine is one of those rookie truck driver mistakes that will cause far more frustration than it’s worth. Instead, let your schedule be a roadmap for yourself. There’s a direction you’re heading in, but you have multiple paths to get there. This will empower you to stick to a productive schedule without trapping yourself in a box.
Lily Transportation is always excited to work with new truck drivers, so if you’re interested in learning more about the truck driving lifestyle, then we would love to hear from you!