So, you’ve gotten your CDL, passed all your tests, and gotten your first job as a CDL driver.
It’s officially time for your first year behind the wheel. Are you ready? Excited? Nervous, maybe? How prepared do you feel to take on the world (and the road)?
Usually, everyone says “Heck yeah! Bring on the open road!”, but are you prepared for everything you might experience in your first year of trucking?
The big secret of the shipping industry is that not everything is going to go according to plan.
Here are 3 of the biggest problems that rookie truckers struggle with.
Of all US jobs, trucking has one of the highest turnover rates. This is caused by both the physical and mental demands that come with driving a truck around day after day, but it’s also caused by the long hours that drivers are forced to spend on the road away from friends, family, and their support system.
We’ve talked before about burnout in trucking, but for rookie truckers, it’s especially important to pay attention to the signs and symptoms of burnout.
In trucking, burnout leads not only to job fatigue and frustration but also leads to potentially dangerous driving. This is a risk that drivers cannot afford to take for both their sake and the sake of everyone else on the road.
Truck drivers work longer hours than most professions. Rookie drivers need to prepare themselves for long days behind the wheel.
If you ask any driver, the most annoying part about driving isn’t the driving (that can actually be quite nice when you get in a flow), the most annoying part about trucking is dealing with delays that come from the inevitable chaos of the shipping industry.
Sometimes, things go wrong. A package is late. A client isn’t prepared for the driver’s arrival. There’s road work. There’s traffic.
Sometimes, there’s all of the above.
Unfortunately, the longer you spend in the trucking industry, the more likely it is that you’re going to have to deal with situations like this.
As a driver, when you experience delays, you have to handle them professionally, efficiently, and safely.
If you can’t handle delays, you’re going to experience some growing pains in your first year behind the wheel.
Whatever you do in life, stress is inevitable.
In trucking, between the high risk of burnout, the stress of delays, and just the stress that comes with being behind the wheel for hours on end, you’re going to have to deal with quite of a bit of stress as a truck driver.
Learning how to manage stress is one of the most important parts of this job, and no, that doesn’t mean that you should hit the bar, compensate by overworking, or just try to power through any occupational stress you might feel.
Unfortunately (or fortunately), if you’re going to last in trucking, you have to learn how to manage your stress for real.
You have to develop a healthy, sustainable lifestyle, take care of your mental health, and do all of the other things that we’ve been preaching on this blog for months now.
In any career you do, this is a must, but for truckers, it can be the difference between life, losing your job, or worse, serious injury.
Some of these problems can only really be dealt with through personal experience, trial, and error, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be thinking about ways that you can handle problems when they arise.
If there’s anything that truckers are really good at, it’s thinking on their feet and addressing problems as they arise. However, this isn’t a skill you’re born with, this is a skill that you learn over time, it’s best to get started now.
Maybe you haven’t gotten your first CDL job yet, but you’re still thinking about ways to solve these and many of the other problems in the trucking industry. Think you’ve got what it takes to become a CDL driver? Reach out to Legacy today to join our team and become a CDL driver for one of the Midwest’s top trucking companies!