You probably already know how much there is to learn before you get behind the wheel of a big rig. But what you may not realize is just how much you’re going to learn now that you’re on the road.
For many truck drivers, the first year is the hardest. You have to apply your knowledge to the real world, and you’ll probably run into some situations you aren’t prepared for.
However, if you can rise to the occasion, a trucking career can be incredibly rewarding. To help you find success during your first year, we’ve collected a few CDL driver tips below.
Benefits of a CDL Trucking Job
If you work well independently and value your alone time, truck driving may be a dream come true. Although it’s a lot of responsibility, something is fulfilling about handling a job on your own terms.
There’s also the traveling aspect — how many people can say they get paid to crisscross the country? If you’re always itching for something novel, love to visit different places, and enjoy meeting new people, you’ve got one of the best temperaments for this job.
Find Freedom of the Open Road
Being a CDL driver couldn’t be further from a cushy desk job. You have to be able to handle your rig, get used to the monotony of 8-10 hours on the road, and spend most of your time away from home. But because of its unique nature, the job has a few curiosities to offer that you can’t find anywhere else:
- A crash course in adaptability
- Opportunities to take on more complex responsibilities (and higher pay) by driving HazMat
- Option to be a one-person operation by buying your rig, working with your preferred industries and setting your own routes
Pros of Being a CDL Driver
We’ve already talked about several personal advantages of working as a truck driver, but let’s take a look at the more career-related benefits.
First of all, freight drivers are in high demand, and market predictions show that demand grows over time.
Shipping is vital to the economy, and farmers, manufacturers, and grocers need reliable drivers to deliver their goods. Work as a CDL driver also pays a middle-class wage from the get-go.
Between the job security and $18 an hour starting pay, it’s a great way to support a family.
Cons of Being a CDL Driver
While this career has a lot to offer, there are certain drawbacks. For example, drivers with families may find it challenging to be away for such long stretches of time. Fortunately, there are many ways you can connect with loved ones, no matter how far you are:
- Phone calls
- Social media
- Messaging apps
New drivers may also struggle with the physical demands of the job. Handling a big rig takes focus and good judgment, but it also requires control of the vehicle. While it may be a little overwhelming at first, this is one of the job aspects that becomes easier with experience.
Tips to Be a Success CDL Trucker
So what can you do to make this first year go as smoothly as possible? We have a few recommendations from veteran truckers:
- Find a Mentor: Someone with experience can give you practical advice for unusual situations.
- Make Self-Care a Priority: Your physical and mental health is important, not just for you, but for your loved ones and anyone you’re sharing the road with. Taking care of yourself is essential to driving safely.
- Take Advantage of Opportunities: The more experience you get, the more opportunities open up. If you have the chance to try something new or step up to the plate, take it.
Learn About Trucking Opportunities at Duncan and Son Lines, Inc Today
Are you interested in the trucker life? Duncan and Son Lines, Inc, is a family-run company looking for enthusiastic, dependable people to join our enterprise.
If you think you’ve got what it takes to tour the country and handle a big rig, you can apply online or give us a call at 623-244-4149.
Image Credit: Shutterstock/sylv1rob1