Starting a new career can be intimidating, and trucking is no exception. Settling into your new job can take some time as you navigate the ins and outs of life on the road. The first year of your trucking career acts as a second kind of truck driving school where you can put all of the information you learned into practice.
As a first-year trucker, you should expect to:
1. Gain Driving Experience
The main goal as a first-year trucker is to gain as much driving experience as possible. The more experience you have, the more routes you’ll be assigned and the more money you will make. It will also help you relax and ease the stress of your job.
2. Adjust Your Lifestyle
Trucking is a career unlike any other, and you will need to adjust your lifestyle to fit its demands. Few other jobs force you to be away from home and on the road for weeks at a time. Be prepared to make the necessary changes to live a rewarding life as a truck driver.
3. Get Less Favorable Assignments
Even if you passed CDL school at the top of your class, you still need to gain real-world experience as a trucker. You can expect to be assigned less favorable jobs for a while during your first year. This will test your ability to deliver a load on time, clearly communicate with dispatchers, and properly maintain your truck. If you are patient and complete each job to the best of your ability, it won’t be long until you are assigned more enjoyable routes.
4. Be Assigned to a Driver Trainer
Many first-year truckers are assigned a driver trainer, so you should be prepared for the possibility. Sharing a rig with another person is hard, but make the most of it and learn from your trainer’s experience. They are a valuable resource and can answer any questions you have about the job.
5. Miss Your Loved Ones
Another adjustment you must make as a new driver is being away from home for weeks at a time. It is an important factor to consider if you are in a relationship or have a family. Stay in close contact with your kids, spouse, and parents while you’re on the road, and remember that they are the reason you work so hard.
6. Prepare Your Budget
There are sacrifices you’ll need to make if you plan on making a living in the trucking industry. As a first-year driver, you won’t be able to travel as efficiently as a more experienced driver and sometimes won’t get the miles you need. Additionally, living on the road can get expensive if you are not careful. It’s a great idea to bring a cooler or mini fridge stocked with food to avoid eating at truck stops for every meal and snack.
7. Get Lost
You will likely get lost at some point during your first year as a truck driver, so it is important to be both mentally and physically prepared. If you get off track, pull over, relax, and consult your directions, and you will be back on your route in no time. It is also an option to call the supplier you are headed to, as they can give you accurate directions to your destination.
CDL & Driver Training in Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix Truck Driving Institute is a premier educational institution for truck driver training. We have trained thousands of students to pass their commercial driver’s license (CDL) exams and become the kind of professional drivers that companies look for. We’re ready to help you start your journey.