Move with the morning light and stay away from set timings because days begin early for truck drivers. More so when driving is a ‘lifestyle’ more than a job and while they might be gone for weeks, the country roads still take them back home.
Living on the road helps build a distinct personality. You start becoming independent, practical and attentive performing tasks that are mechanical and physical. But it is not an easy ‘Gig’ with a ‘Rig’ before you equip certain traits to declare yourself as a great road runner. Peep! Peep!
Find 'Qualities' to See You are 'Qualified'
With 3.5 million truck drivers1, truck driving is one of the largest occupations in the United States of America. While the truck-speaker lot have their own rhythm and notes, here is a list of traits every truck driver must possess to ace their race.
1. Truck Knowledge
A thorough knowhow of the vehicle is what will set you apart from the drive-tribe. Be it with speed, safety, foresight, or documentation, a courteous, friendly demeanor or a look into the past and future, taking that right turn to be a good truck driver demands truck knowledge.
Earning a commercial driving license is a minimum qualification in this regard. However, to be a great one? Several schools provide professional programs including handling heavy equipment vehicle Inspection repair and maintenance, land clearing planning, methods and machinery are available to expand upon your sharpness.
2. Navigation Skills
A fine driver knows the routes and has on-point navigation skills. She needs to ensure goods are delivered on time without losing on efficient breaks and has ample time to drive back to family. This calls for a sharp eye for maps and the capability to read & understand maps while also being able to recognize and fix any technical glitches.
We all have faced a time when Google confidently directs us to take a left at the dead end of a cliff, haven’t we? Being familiar to your regular routes is an added advantage.
Trust us when we say this - being a motorhead goes a long way when you’re in the driving business. And if you feel mech-tech is jargon, remember basic truck maintenance helps you reach your destination on time, making your journey equally smooth and rewarding with no unprecedented breakdowns.
Knowing your truck size, and status will make filing for Form 2290 easier and help you avoid any embarrassing encounters with the IRS. No ‘Got a clean shot!’ phrase there!
It is imperative for truck drivers to be alert and aware during their journey for the sake of their own and co-passengers’ safety. A driver must utilize all his senses coupled with a good sense of responsibility. A total of 2,734 fatal crashes involving trucks and buses were reported in the United States in 2019 according to preliminary report by FMCSA released in January 2020.
Paying attention to any unusual noises or smells that seem suspicious ensures a safe and risk-free journey. Taking breaks when you are having shutter trouble and your body feels stiff help. Remember, chicken lights can only help be seen not recuse!
5. Unblemished Driving Record
A great track record makes you a reliable and dependant driver in terms of person’s and equipment’s safety. Moreover, a clean record shows how responsible and attentive you are both on and off roads (We mean when your HVUT tax has no IRS penalties or dues).
As someone who would spend numerous hours on the road across miles, a good track record gives employers the trust and a sense of professionalism. That’s your Fifty-dollar lane.
6. Legal Documents/Legally updated
Driving license, next? Well, as a truck driver you have so much more to handle than acquiring and renewing your driving license. Apart from your sacred license, keep your insurance papers, vehicle documents and your HVUT form 2290 receipts handy for those friendly encounters with the highway patrol. On that note, have you filed your IRS HVUT form 2290 yet?
7. Safety Awareness
Knowing first aid and following safety protocols while loading, unloading, and driving not only guarantees your safety but also keeps your employers and clients extremely happy. Staying mindful of other vehicles on the road, paying heed to your own body and needs is essential to safe travels and happy stories.
8. Great Communication Skills
Phone out-of-battery leaving you with no navigation guidance? Times like these call for a great ability to communicate with people despite not knowing the local tongue (if you’re crossing countries we mean).
Moreover, irrespective of how good and reliable you are, sometimes external factors like bad weather or road diversions can lead to delay in delivery. It is important for you to stay calm and convey your message to your employer or customer.
9. Time Management
For someone who spends most of their time on the road and whose job entails timely deliveries, time management is a crucial skill to have. Planning your drives with regular breaks to relax your body from all that serious focus on the road, time management is one way to avoid any unforeseen accidents.
While timely delivery impacts your job performance greatly, let’s not forget speed thrills but kills. Remember to file your HVUT 2290 form and avoid any surprise breaks with the highway patrol?
Lastly, driving is an aggressive profession and calls for unequivocal patience while you’re on the road. Driving can pose various unforeseen threats and obstacles despite all the planning and preparation you can do.
Frustrating circumstances like traffic, delays in pick-up or delivery can leave you mentally and physically exhausted. Make sure you keep a calm mind while you step on that pedal for the sake of your loved ones.
Skill and education can be acquired through years of dedicated studying aiding in a successful career but for a driver to succeed in her profession, she needs to have unparalleled traits and an unmatchable disciplined routine.
Ethics and values play a major role in driving a truck driver’s professional journey to success. After all, success is not a mere destination but a never-ending journey to a truck driver. Looking for a smooth ride on your truck journey? Let’s start by paying our road taxes on time.