I Have My CDL, Now What? Tips For Surviving The First Six Months Of Your First Job

Automotive Articles

It took months of studying, tests and practice time behind the wheel, but you've finally graduated from truck driving school and are starting your new job. You've gotten plenty of advice from instructors and your peers, but aren't really sure what you're doing, or how to survive life on-the-road. Don't fall victim to many of the pitfalls and disasters other OTR rookies face and instead, here are a few tips to help you survive the first six months in your new career:

You Will Be Considered the New Person

Whether your first job is with a small, privately-owned operation or a huge organization with several dozens drivers, chances are you will be treated like a rookie, which basically means you'll constantly be tested.

For example, you might be asked in your first few weeks to haul a load that contains extremely expensive merchandise or has a seemingly-impossible deadline. You're not being punished and instead, you are actually being tested.

Because this industry is so difficult, it's not uncommon for a rookie trucker to walk away from the stress. However, if you want to make this your career, you must learn how to pass these tests with flying colors. Here are a few tips to help you survive:

  • Learn About Time Management – If you're being asked to take a load several hundred miles through some unsavory weather, let your company know that you're prepared with a plan. For example, keep an eye on the road conditions and plan an alternate route, or leave earlier than you were assigned to ensure you get there in time.

  • Learn the Rules, and Stick to Them – Depending on your company or where you live, there will be certain rules pertaining to how long you can drive in one day or how fast you can go. Take the time to not only learn but master these rules. Your employer will take notice of your attention to detail.

Put Yourself First

You spent hours behind the wheel of a rig in school, and so you're positive this will be enough practice to get you through your first long haul. However, all the practice in the world won't prepare you for the exhaustion, boredom, sore back and all the other pitfalls that come with being a professional driver.

When it comes to staying sane, safe and healthy on the road, it's vital to put your personal needs above the expectations of your employer.

Here are a few simple ways you can make those first few days and nights on the road more tolerable:

  • Take Advantage of Rest Areas – Don't hesitate to take a few minutes each day to enjoy the amenities found at many rest stops. For example, some rest areas provide facilities for truckers that often include showers or a lounge area complete with wireless internet. Stop and enjoy these little luxuries at least once-a-day to keep yourself sane and connected to the outside world.

  • Enjoy the Road – Chances are one of the reasons you became a truck driver was opportunity to travel, while still enjoying a successful career, Don't get so wrapped up in your schedule and instead, take a few minutes each day to enjoy the countryside or stop at a famous landmark or tourist destination.

Life as a professional driver can be lonely, frustrating and physically exhausting. However, for many, the most difficult aspect of this career is the lost time with their family. This is why All Trucking urges drivers to both relax and enjoy their life at home. Even if all you want to do is sleep the days away until your next trip, it's vital to get up out of bed and enjoy life outside the cab of your truck!


19 January 2015

Emergency Car Care for Young People

When my daughter packed up and left for college, I worried that her car would get her from point A to point B with some sort of problem. I was right to worry. Her car ended up at a mechanic's shop miles from home with extensive repair work needed. Even though the car was fixed promptly and she arrived at her destination on time, I was worried. After that, I created a blog for other young people who are faced with car problems while traveling. My daughter didn't even know how to change a tire! With the research I compiled and a little practice, she can now change her tire and more.