The first year of trucking can seem overwhelming and there are so many challenges that come with it. From the long hours to paperwork and learning the ropes, you may feel like giving up before you even get started. But by preparing yourself for what is ahead, you can make your first year as a truck driver successful and enjoyable. 


There are plenty of carriers out there offering competitive benefits and bonuses for first-year drivers. But it’s important to look beyond the flashy signs and reading materials, as they might not always provide a true indication of what life on the road will be like as a new driver. 


When looking at potential employers, here are a few things you should consider:


  • Salary, Benefits, and Bonuses
  • Company Culture
  • Home Time Policy
  • Condition of Trucks and Equipment
  • Type of Freight Being Hauled


As a bonus, you can always ask CDL instructors or veteran truckers for recommendations.


If you are a new driver, or have had multiple jobs in the past, it is important to make sure that your work history shows stability. Doing so will demonstrate to carriers that you can stay with one company and will be an asset to their business. 


Making yourself into a desirable hire involves more than just having a steady job history. It also involves building a solid reputation in the industry, developing relationships with carriers, and having a good work ethic.


Safety Tips for Truckers


ALWAYS Buckle Up


This one’s a no brainer. There’s a reason that people tell you to buckle up when you drive. Seatbelts SAVE LIVES.


Be Alert


Being aware of your surroundings is crucial in time sensitive situations. Maintaining alertness means: 


  • Staying focused and not zoning out
  • Checking mirrors frequently for activity in your blindspots
  • Planning a defensive maneuver (in an unexpected situation)


Check The Weather


Get Enough Rest


Drowsy driving is said to be just as dangerous as drunk driving. By getting enough rest between trips, you’re able to perform your best for the task at hand. 


Use the DOT Hours-of Service regulations as a guide to getting the best rest possible.


Safe Driving 


Your number one priority as a commercial driver is to keep yourself as well as others safe while you’re on the road. As a defensive driver you should always:


Obey speed limits and traffic laws

Avoid driving aggressively

Being aware of your surroundings

Leaving space between you and other vehicles

Slowing down in unfavorable weather conditions


Avoid Traffic and Aggressive Drivers


As a truck driver, it’s important to be mindful of heavy traffic. This can have a significant impact on your fuel efficiency and overall productivity. By planning ahead and avoiding congested roads, you can save time, money, and energy.


It’s easy to spot an aggressive driver. Look for weaving in and out of lanes, excessive honking, tailgating and cutting people off.


Check Out New Areas on Foot


New truck drivers often get into trouble when visiting new drop off locations by turning into too narrow streets or lots that are too small to turn around in. By checking out a site beforehand, you can get a better idea of its layout.


Helping Our Family


Experienced truckers have provided these tried and true tips to help you on your journey in the thrilling world of long-haul trucking. Undoubtedly, safety should be kept at the forefront of your mind – if this is done, then no challenge will ever overpower you!