10 Tips from Real Truck Drivers
Everyone started somewhere. Not one person began their career as an expert. People have to learn in order to grow and this is true in every career. Truck driving is one of those highly specialized careers that requires specific training before you can get out on the road and start hauling goods across America.
Experience is the ultimate teacher, but it never hurts to have a helping hand every once in a while, especially if it comes in the form of advice that will stay with you for years to come. Here’s ten pieces of advice from real truck drivers across the country.
Focus is one of the most important traits a trucker can possess. With the right amount of focus, you can push through any number of situations and come out on top and on time. Here’s some top notch tips to help keep you inspired on those tough runs.
“Be patient. Don’t stiff up while driving. Relax (breath in-out). Always know who/what’s around you while driving. But the most major part. After you fuel, move your truck forward or go park the truck!”
“Gotta know your limitations. Stay focused on all of your surroundings as though your family is all around you. Be professional and courteous always. The truck becomes a part of you.”
“Let all your other troubles take a back burner in the driver’s seat. You need to focus solely on the road and your job.”
Know your Truck
When you’re a truck driver, you’ll find yourself on long hauls from time to time. This is especially true for OTR drivers who are sometimes gone for up to two weeks at a time or longer, depending on whether they are a company driver or an owner operator. When you’re spending that time on the road, it’s important to be aware of your truck. Here’s some tips to that end.
“When you think you know it all, that’s when you don’t know anything! But, don’t be scared of the truck, have respect for it, and it will keep you safe!”
“Think of yourself as a whale in a sea full of sardines. You can’t outrun them, you can’t out-maneuver them. All you can do is swim beside them and hope they don’t run into you.”
“My dad was my trainer and the biggest thing he shared that stuck with me all these years is this: You can go down a hill a million times too slow, but you will only go down it once too fast.”
Know The Road
While knowing your truck is important, it is equally important to know your surroundings. Paying attention to the road is first and foremost among a truck driver’s responsibilities. When you’re navigating the road, environmental awareness is key to your success. Here’s what truckers have to say.
“When passing another truck or vehicle from the left lane, hug that line on the left side of the road. Especially on a curve! Been with me since I first started trucking.”
“Always keep your head looking out the mirrors all the time, scanning to make sure that the trailer is tracking right.”
“Keep the Left door closed.Slow and steady wins the race. Button hook turns help keep your tandems out of trouble but don’t neglect the two shiny things (mirrors) out your windows. Read every sign.”
“Whichever way you turn the steering wheel from the bottom, your trailer turns the same direction.Steer from the bottom of the steering wheel when backing up.”
Following great advice like this can really help you get your bearings as you set off on a new run or start a new job. Whether you’re an owner operator, HazMat driver, company driver, team driver; This is solid knowledge for any trucker. Stay focused, know your truck, and know the road. When you get behind the wheel of your truck, remember these tips.
Good luck truck drivers, and stay safe!