So, you’ve finally become a truck driver. Maybe it’s something you’ve always wanted, maybe it’s a job to put bread on the table which is good enough for you. Whatever the case, as a newbie trucker there are bound to be a few difficult challenges to overcome as you adapt to your new role. Here are some of the most common challenges every new trucker faces:
#1 Adjusting to your new vehicle – Whether you purchased the vehicle yourself and are operating as a sole trader, or the company you work for provided the vehicle, it’s going to take you at least a few shifts to adjust to the truck and all of its functions. Once you’ve got to know the vehicle a bit better, you’ll be ready to take on the road!
#2 Figuring out routes – Next is working out the routes to your deliveries. This will never be the same, but it’s best to have at least one method at the ready to search for your destination. Whether this is with a sat-nav or an old fashioned map, this means you’ll be ready to find the best way to your destination.
#3 Communication with transport manager – As with any other workplace, there could always be miscommunication or disagreements between yourself and other colleagues. As a driver, you’ll most likely experience this with the transport manager who gives you your deliveries. This can get heated, but keep your cool and stay on top of the relationship.
#4 The paperwork – Unfortunately, one thing they never warn you about being a trucker is the level of paperwork you have to handle. The important thing is keeping on top of it and being sure not to lose important documents that could stall your progress with the workload.
#5 Avoiding small roads – The truck driver’s Achilles heel, even the most well experienced truck drivers can take a wrong turn and end up stuck down a small T-Junction that isn’t designed for trucks which they won’t be able to reverse themselves out of with ease.
#6 Sticking to your hours – It could be because of traffic, or lack of spaces to park up for a break or simply because you’re near the delivery point but haven’t quite reached it, but unfortunately odds are at some point you will go over your set hours while on the road. If you’ve reached the maximum length of time you are allowed to drive, find somewhere to rest as soon as possible. Once well rested you will be better prepared to get back onto the journey.
#7 Finding stops for breaks – Finding a decent space to stop for a break can be a nightmare for a lorry driver in smaller areas. With more and more restrictions making less space available than ever, especially in villages that don’t offer any nearby facilities for trucks to park up it’s easy to find yourself in a sticky situation. Unable to stop for a break when you really need to. This is why it’s very important to plan your route every step of the way.
#8 Wearing the right gear – As a driver it’s important to dress appropriately, including for particular weather conditions. In colder weather you need to wear winter boots for safety purposes, without the right gear you’re much more likely to have some accidents during your deliveries.
#9 Checking on your goods – One of your responsibilities is to make sure all goods are secured during your journey, meaning on the road they won’t suffer any damage. The more secure your goods are, the more likely you will prevent damage or even theft.
#10 Avoiding low bridges – The big one, low bridges catch drivers out very easily and if you don’t notice or break appropriately before approaching the bridge some real damage can be done in the area, as well as to your vehicle. If your sat-nav is set for truck routes, hopefully you won’t come across a situation such as this. Still, keep an eye out for warning signs and stay alert to avoid any situation such as this.
If you have some extra tips, be sure to comment them below!