The truth is, not all truck drivers are created equal. Like any profession, there are certain qualities that can help a driver stand out in their field.
Being a trucker isn’t easy. Success in this field is more complicated than just “hard work” or “showing up”, there are actual characteristics of drivers that help to separate the best drivers from the mediocre.
If you’ve figured out that you in fact want to be a driver, these are the 5 qualities you should look to develop as you begin your career.
According to psychologist Angela Duckworth, “grit” is using passion and perseverance to overcome obstacles. It’s the ability to persist and work hard not just under ideal circumstances, but also under particularly bad circumstances.
In trucking, there are going to be days where you just don’t want to show up. The grittiest drivers are the ones who show up on those days and put their work in, even if they feel less than 100% excited.
Of course, grit doesn’t justify burnout or overwork, and all drivers should maintain awareness of their health, but there are times where persistence is the key to success. In trucking, having more grit is only a good thing.
2. An Awareness of Safety
Like I said above, there are going to be times in trucking where it’s just not a great day to work and you’re going to have to work anyway. Then, there are other days where it’s not a great day to work, and you shouldn’t work because it’s unsafe to do so.
Having an understanding of what circumstances are ideal for work and which are potentially dangerous is crucial for budding truckers. Truckers should also be knowledgeable of road conditions, truck safety, and cargo safety. In order to keep clients and employers satisfied (and of course to maintain their own safety), truckers are required to know how to handle their equipment safely.
In extreme situations, this can be life or death.
3. Time Management Skills
As a driver, you have a lot of responsibility. You have employers, clients, a family, and oh, not to mention you also have a 10,000-pound truck full of valuable goods that need to be delivered by a certain time. If you can’t get the work done safely and on time, everyone is going to be on your case.
That’s why time management is so important. It’s not just about scheduling your day, it’s also about scheduling your week, month, and even having a loose idea of your year. If you’re an independent contractor, this is a must.
But even for traditional drivers, maintaining a work-life balance isn’t just about not working, it’s about planning time to not work, and time to work where you’ll be at your best.
When you’re on the road, you’re going to be spending a lot of time on your own. Some people love this aspect of driving, and others can’t stand the thought of not being able to speak to people all day while they’re at work.
Sure, there will be brief interactions with employers, clients, and other drivers, but a lot of your interaction will be done off the job. A successful driver that has a long and sustainable career is able to take control of their mental and physical health.
If you’re a self-starter or if you pride yourself on your self-awareness, trucking might be for you.
How do you feel about traffic? Delays? Getting stuck behind a grandma driving her children to summer camp on the highway at 27 miles per hour?
If these things make you visibly angry, trucking might not be for you. However, if you’re good at avoiding road rage and really just love being out on the road, you’re going to love being behind the wheel. There are countless reasons why you might have a delay as a trucker, and how you can handle these delays will say a lot about you and your ability to hang in this industry.
At Legacy, we’ve been serving the country with our top-class shipping services for nearly a decade. We’ve won awards for our services, and if there’s anything that we know about this industry, it’s how to do your job well.
Do you have any of these qualities? Maybe a career in trucking is for you!