So you’ve decided to start a career as a truck driver. Welcome to an exciting new career. Nothing but you and the open road you’ll be getting paid to travel to exciting new regions and meet great people. Of course, like anyone starting a new career there are some things you need to know, so we’ve compiled a list of general tips for newcomers to the truck industry.
1. Never refuse a delivery load.
If you refuse a load then you could get off to a bad start as a truck driver, which could immediately put your new career to a grinding halt, and nobody wants that. It’s best to take on as many loads as you possibly can and if it’s possible then deliver ahead of schedule, while remaining within the law. This will put you in a good light with your new employer and you’ll be seen as a reliable truckie.
2. Along with being reliable it’s always important to be punctual and on time.
When packages and loads need delivering then if you’re not on time you’re literally affecting the lives of hundreds, if not thousands of people. Your job as a truck driver is to deliver your consignment on time and insure that you get a reputation as a truck driver that can always be depended on. If businesses have to wait for their deliveries because you’re not punctual then that hurts their business and impacts your job as a truck driver because the company you work for will also get a bad reputation.
3. Make sure you get the right entitlements
As the new kid on the block it’s important you get paid the rate that you’re worth. Do your research into what other truck drivers are paid and make sure you’re being paid the market rate. It’s also essential that you get your breaks that you’re entitled to. Road transport industry awards can be found below:
Road Transport and Distribution Award 2010
Road Transport (Long distance operations) Award 2010
4. Adhere to the road rules
As a truck driver you do have deadlines and people are relying on their deliveries to arrive by a particular time. It’s best though that you do this within the law so don’t speed, don’t flash your bright lights and if you are going to pass another vehicle then pass only when it is safe to do so. Don’t try to be a hero and overtake. Adhering to the road rules also means not taking drugs to stay awake. If you’re tired then as a truck driver it is your responsibility to ensure you get to your destination safely so take a break and sleep, even if only for a short time to improve your concentration and awareness.
5. Familiarise yourself with your trucking territory
When you’re starting out as a truck driver you’ll no doubt be unaware of all the roads you’ll travel on so there are a few things you’ll need to take on board your truck while you familiarise yourself with your trucking territory. These things include a map. A map will help you out with getting to know the highway if you’re doing long distances and will help you get out of possible sticky situations although today as a truck driver you could also use your mobile phone. Still, sometimes you won’t have any coverage so you’re still best to have a physical map.
All these tips should help you to start your career as a truck driver and ensure you deliver all your consignments and deliveries on time.