Now you’re all set and feel confident enough as a truck driving newbie to hit the open road, it’s normal to feel daunted by the task ahead.
Not only can the technical side of handling a heavy vehicle seem like a huge undertaking (even with all the right training), but if you are a long-haul truckie, the long hours travelling alone can also seem difficult.
The good news is that we have the top 6 tips right here that you will need to survive in the world of truck driving.
1. Keep the fast food to a minimum
It can become incredibly easy to spend your days (or nights) as a newbie truck driver living off greasy food from roadside diners and neglecting your physical health. Make sure to eat to stay alert and awake – but eat the right foods! Take healthy snacks with you if you can, or try to choose these at stores along your route.
2. Have a fitness plan sorted for long trips
Truck driving can wreak havoc on your physical health. You are sitting in the same position all day, often for long, arduous hours. Without regular breaks to stretch your muscles and rest your eyes, you could start to feel really ordinary, really quickly.
Take your enforced breaks (truckies are required to follow break times strictly) and learn some basic exercises to loosen up your body. Neck rolls and lunges are great to get the blood flowing again in spots where circulation can slow down.
3. Know your company safety protocols inside out
As a truck driving newbie, you should be familiar with most of the safety protocols in place at your place of work. If you don’t, read up! The OH&S department at any company can fast become your best friend if you have questions or find yourself in a sticky spot, so don’t be afraid to speak up if there’s anything you are unclear about. Safety within your new job is more important than anything else.
4. Get off on the right foot with your peers
You want to put your best foot forward in any new job. As a newcomer to the truck driving scene, this applies to you too. Be prompt, punctual and polite to everyone you work with or for, make sure that you always put your best face forward on the road as well. A complaint lodged against you from an unhappy customer on your route could work against you with the big-wigs upstairs. Working hard and listening to instructions will only work in your favour when potential opportunities for promotion arise.
5. Always get enough sleep
Sleep is important no matter what job you work in. A lack of sleep can lead to sluggishness, headaches, slower reactions and reflexes, an impaired immune system and hallucinations, amongst other effects. As a truck driver, you have a legal requirement to get enough sleep between shifts, as being sleep-deprived on the job can put both yours and others’ lives at risk on the roads.
6. Stop, look and listen before reversing
Many experienced truck drivers count this as one of their top tips to pass on to newbies. Reversing a heavy vehicle can be tricky, so always have your wits about you before backing up. It’s better to be safe than having to find a way to explain to your new boss why their truck is wrecked!
Now get out these and show them what you’ve got!