You need to improve yourself and your skills every day in order to advance in any profession. It is no different when it comes to truck driving. You may be wondering, “What can I do to become a better truck driver?” Below are five tips to help you improve your driving abilities.
1. Developing your skills is important
A truck driver should work on his skills, not simply practice and gain experience. Although, at first glance, “work on your skills” might seem like another way of saying “be a better truck driver.” Rather, we are talking about improving your knowledge and honing those skills which are not necessarily considered important to truck driving. What skills do truck drivers need to be successful?
- Communicating effectively
- Planning and managing your time
- Developing problem-solving skills
- Organization skills
- Taking responsibility for your own actions
- Developing critical thinking skills
- Mechanical skills and advanced maintenance knowledge
There may be some skills that are easier to develop than others. You can improve your mechanic skills by taking an online or practical course, but you can improve even more by using creative solutions. You can hone your organizational skills at work by practicing different ways of managing your time outside of work, or by organizing a room in your home.
2. Make sure safety is never neglected
Transporting more than 10,000 pounds on your trailer makes safety a necessity. Because of this, the best truck drivers are the safest truck drivers. The following are six safety tips for truck drivers:
- Make sure you are aware of everything ahead of you and behind you – both now and in the future. By acting defensively, you can avoid accidents or sticky situations before they occur.
- You should always wear your seatbelt, not only because it’s the law, but because the law is a matter of safety.
- It is important to check the weather before driving, whether it is bright sunlight that affects visibility or rain that causes slick roads.
- Be prepared for adverse weather conditions: Snow, for example, can make driving more difficult. Not only should you be aware, but you should also be prepared.
- Remember: Overtiredness will have a drastic effect on your reaction times. When you are driving, stay alert and aware at all times.
- Comply with all DOT regulations to stay safe on the road. Keep yourself safe by remaining compliant.
Driving safely is one of the most important things you can do. It comes down to nothing more than simply being aware and considerate of others on the road when it comes to truck driving safety, so if you strive to do that each time you drive, you will be well on your way.
3. Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Being healthy is one of the most important aspects of being a better driver. DOT also has medical requirements because of the safety concerns that come with health issues, but good health can also help you to maintain a much longer career. Medical conditions common to truck drivers are listed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Truck drivers should pay attention to their diets and exercise regularly.
Mental health should also not be neglected. Leaving stress and loneliness unchecked can lead to both problems. When you’re on the road for days at a time, you’ll want to figure out how to handle both of these things.
4. Make sure your vehicle is in good working order
Drivers often overlook the importance of maintaining their vehicles, as certain checks become routine and maintenance is viewed as someone else’s problem. A good truck driver is one who takes care of his or her vehicle, and he or she often reaps the benefits. In addition to being required by law, pre-trip inspections can prevent accidents and other problems. You should also give your vehicle a check after you park it. Take a look back and make sure everything is fine – no lights on, tires that need to be replaced, etc.
5. Keep a clean driving record
Drivers, especially those who make their living from driving, should strive for this. Truckers may be able to increase their job opportunities by maintaining a clean driving record. The more accident-free and violator-free your record is, the easier it will be for you to work on continuing to maintain it.