Being a truck driver can be extremely rewarding. You have the chance to make some good money and explore new and exciting places. However, just starting out in the profession can take some getting used to. It’s completely normal to hit some rough patches along the way if you’re a newbie.
In this guide, we’ll share with you what the first year in trucking looks like. Let’s get started.
Guide to Your First Year in Trucking
The following is what to expect during your first year in trucking.
The first year is the hardest
The trucking profession is not easy per se, and there are a lot of risks involved, which can be overwhelming for drivers. Especially for those just starting out.
Being a truck driver isn’t just a job, it’s a lifestyle. You’ll be spending countless hours on the road by yourself traveling to places you’ve likely never been. Not to mention, you’ll be doing so in a large commercial vehicle.
Having to navigate heavy traffic, being alert at all times, and keeping your cargo safe is a lot of responsibility. This is why the trucking industry is considered high-risk, there are over 1,000 truck accidents per day. To mitigate the risks, there are endless rules and regulations truck drivers must follow. At times it can be very hard to keep up.
Therefore, being a truck driver isn’t always easy, so if you know this is the path for you then you must persevere.
Get as much experience as you can
Experience directly affects the amount of money you make in the trucking industry. The more experience you have behind the wheel, the more valuable you are. So, during your first year, your main priority should be getting as much seat time as possible.
It’s important to note, you shouldn’t expect a competitive salary during this time. However, this isn’t anything to get discouraged about. With time you’ll be able to showcase your skills and grow your profits. Therefore you must remain persistent and get as much seat time as you can.
Another benefit to experience is low truck insurance costs. The more time you spend behind the wheel, the less likely you are to get into an accident.
You’ll spend the majority of your time with a trainer
The majority of new truck drivers spend most of their time with a trainer. These trainers are there to assist and teach you through hands-on learning. However, not all trainers are the same and they could very well impact your overall experience in a negative way.
For instance, you’ll have to get used to being in close quarters with someone else. This can get tiresome and perhaps irritating at times. However, you’ll need to accept it and adjust because it’s all a part of the learning experience.
Keep in mind, trainers are a great source of information. You’ll want to take advantage of having one at your disposal!
Be ready to make sacrifices
Comfortable sleep isn’t the only thing you’ll be sacrificing once you become a truck driver. You’ll also be spending the majority of your time on the road away from your family and friends. As you can imagine, living on the road isn’t very lavish, there are lots of late nights, fast food, and sleeping in your truck.
However, these sacrifices can be rewarding if you decide to stay in the industry for several years. The more experience you gain, the more money you can potentially make. You also get to see and explore new places while you’re at it.
The first year in the trucking industry is quite difficult for most drivers. Various challenges include getting used to a new lifestyle, gaining experience, making sacrifices, and so on. It’s essential to keep all these things in mind when you first start out in the trucking industry.