Becoming a proficient truck driver requires training and practice.
However, you can get a head start by adhering to these helpful tips.
- Stay on track
A good GPS designed especially for commercial trucks is a must-have. Just don’t make the mistake of buying one designed for cars, which may lead you down roads that are problematic or prohibited to trucks. Make sure you always have a paper map as a back-up and that you know how to read it.
- Be careful backing up
Backing up is one of the biggest challenges for truck drivers, especially rookies. The difficulty is in properly lining up to the loading dock or parking space and staying straight as you back up. When you’re starting out, you’ll want to back up in stages: every 5 feet or so get out of the truck and check that you’re well-aligned.
- Don’t rush
Even if you’re behind schedule, don’t hit the road until you’ve double-checked that all the necessary prep tasks were completed. This includes unhooking air lines and raising or lowering landing gear. Working too fast can lead to costly mistakes.
- Look after yourself
Staying alert at the wheel depends a great deal on factors like sleep and nutrition. Getting seven to eight hours of rest every night is crucial to ensuring peak alertness on the road. Staying well-hydrated is also important. Studies show that it improves one’s focus and reaction times. In addition, it’s important to eat well. Healthy meals and snacks will give you an energy boost, whereas fast food will leave you feeling tired and sluggish.
Finally, having a regular exercise routine is also key. When not balanced by physical activity, sitting for hours on end can negatively impact your health, detracting not only from your ability to stay alert when driving but also from your overall quality of life.
- Get properly trained
Only get behind the wheel once you feel ready and confident. The best way to prepare yourself for a trucking career is with hands-on training at a reputable truck driving school. In addition to giving you the credentials you need to land a great job, a comprehensive training program will provide you with the skills you need to be a safe and effective driver.
Commercial truck driving school serving Burnaby and Coquitlam