Tips for New Truck Drivers
by Apex Capital | January 30, 2017
If you’re thinking of becoming a truck driver, now is a great time.
According to the American Trucking Association, the for-hire trucking industry is facing a shortage of roughly 48,000 truck drivers to haul up to 70% of our nation’s freight. Apex is working to expand and grow the trucking industry by helping to form new trucking companies through our Startup Program. New trucking companies create more opportunities for truck drivers to get into the industry, so if you’re thinking about being a truck driver, now is a great time! Here are some truck driving tips you can use to start your trucking career off on the right foot.
The trucking business is all about relationships. Get to know your colleagues, including your dispatcher and fellow truck drivers. By keeping good lines of communication, you’ll build strong relationships, which could help you get better freight lanes and help you advance your trucking career. Also, be a friend on the road and communicate with your fellow truckers if you go through a construction zone, a slowdown, or see an accident, so the OTR drivers behind you can be prepared.
2. Stay Compliant
Your Driver Fitness Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) score is based on your training, experience, and medical qualifications, so keeping correct logbooks, maintaining your CDL, and retaining a good driving record can help you avoid violations. “Form and manner” and “log not current” violations make up one-fourth of all driver CSA violations, more than any other violation, according to J.J. Keller & Associates, so pay extra attention to your log books to make sure they’re current. If your trucking company requires you to use an electronic logging device (ELD), make sure you read the manual or have a veteran truck driver train you how to use it.
3. Prioritize Safety
Being a truck driver is a big responsibility, so learning the safety rules for truck drivers is important to being successful. Before you start hauling, be sure to do a pre-trip inspection to keep your truck in good working condition. Our blog features many truck tips you can use to be a safe truck driver, including tips to help you drive safe on the road, prepare for a safety audit, keep your tires and breaks in check, and much more.
4. Eat Healthy
Eating right can be a challenge when you drive a truck, but with a little pre-planning and some healthy tips, you can practice healthy habits even on the road. Some ways to keep your health in check include packing your own nutritious food and choosing healthy options at the truck stop. We have lots of health and wellness tips including a healthy shopping list for truckers, healthy snack list for truck drivers, healthy options at truck stops, and more.
5. Break a Sweat
When you’re constantly on the move and in a new place every day, it can be a challenge to find a time and a place to work out. But there are plenty of workouts you can do, even in your cab! This post features workouts for OTR drivers that can be done at the truck stop or in your cab with very little or no equipment. How easy is that?
Taking care of yourself goes beyond eating right and exercising. Poor sleep quality and high stress can wreck any truck driver’s day, so be sure you’re getting plenty of restful, regenerating sleep. This way your body can repair itself, get you ready for a new day, and help you stay alert on the road. Being a trucker can have its stressful moments. Managing that stress is also important, so read up on stress tips just for truckers you can use right now.
7. Work Smarter
There are a lot of free resources you can use to make trucking a little easier. When you’re just starting out, it can be tough to find truck loads or freight to haul to keep you moving, so check out NextLOAD.com, a free load board for truckers, you can use today to help you find loads for your truck.
Want to find the best retail fuel prices along your route? TCS, a fuel card for truckers, has a free mobile app anyone can use with a fuel finder that shows you the truck stops with the best fuel prices. Save money by going to the truck stops with the best discount fuel locations near you!
And you can save even more with the free Apex Prescription Discount Card. Save up to 87% on medication for you and your family at more than 63,000 pharmacies nationwide.
With these trucking tips you can make sure you get started on the right foot and avoid having to turn to “truck driving for dummies!” Finding discount programs for truckers that can save you valuable time and money can make the adjustment to being a new truck driver a little easier. When you take care of your physical, mental, and emotional health, you’ll be ready for the journey ahead.
Factoring your freight bills helps you keep consistent cash flow, so you can worry about running your business. And our fuel card program, free load board and other advantages save you even more money. Get in touch with Apex Capital today call 1-855-369-2739 or get started here.