7 Tips for new Drivers
Always communicate with your Dispatcher: Too often, drivers are afraid to tell their dispatchers if there are issues with picking up, dropping off, or even oversleeping. Your dispatchers are the people that have to talk to the customers and keep them updated. They need all of the information from you that they can get to ensure that you will continue to get loads from these customers.
Eating Healthy on the Road: A crock pot or Instant Pot will be your best friend on long hauls. There are thousands of healthy recipes that are extremely easy to make. You’ll also be saving a TON of money. It’s really a win/win; eat healthy and save money.
Never refuse a lane: In the years that we’ve been doing this, we have heard a lot of complaints about driving to the East Coast in the winter or taking loads to New Jersey/ New York, or other islands/ major cities. Are they a pain? Yes. Are they usually worth it? Yes. Will you earn brownie points with your company/customer? YES. Take the lanes that no one wants and show everyone how dependable and versatile you are. It WILL pay off.
Find time to workout on the road: You don’t need a gym to stay active. If you’re taking a break, get your heartrate up for 30 minutes. Whether it’s walking at a brisk pace or doing burpees and jumping jacks, you CAN stay fit on the road. Plan ahead. Planet Fitness is $11 a month and has free showers, so consider getting a membership to an inexpensive gym and map out to your route so you can break near it. You’ll also be saving money on showers.
SAFETY FIRST!! Check your tires, check your lights, and check your surroundings. Doing those very simple things will ensure you’re driving safely. In the winter months, keep blankets, snacks and bottled water in your cab just in case you have a breakdown and no one can get to you quickly.
Get the Experience you Need: Don’t expect to get the best job right away. Put in a couple years at a national company that may not pay as well, but will give you hours on the road. This job is just like any other; you have to earn your pay. Most small to midsize companies require that you need at least 2 years of experience. Why? Because insurance policies are much more expensive for new drivers. The smaller companies will pay you better, but you have to earn those extra pennies per mile by putting in your time.
If you’re on time you’re late. If you’re 15 minutes early, you are on time: Timeliness is the most important aspect of the job. It is EXTREMELY important that you’re always on time. If you can’t be on time, then COMMUNICATE with your dispatchers. It’s really that simple.