Flexibility, financial reward, life-changing travel – you’re about to embark on the experience of a lifetime! As you know, this career entails some major lifestyle adjustment that come with some unique challenges. But you will succeed if you approach it with a little planning and perspective:
Commit to some mentors. There are a LOT of men (and more so in recent years, women!) who have had very lucrative careers in truck driving. Find some and learn from them. Every minute of their experience is valuable to you as you set goals, manage your schedule, and get familiar with this new lifestyle.
Set realistic driving goals. Experienced drivers agree that this first year you should be determined to meet one goal. NO ACCIDENTS, PERIOD. You’re now driving an 80,000 lb. vehicle, and all the rules are different. You will never regret making safety your first priority as you get into the groove of driving a rig. One consistent tip from these seasoned drivers is that if you’re backing up the rig, be sure to GOAL (Get Out And Look!)
Dave Casanova, driver for Barr-Nunn Transportation, encourages drivers to anticipate a full first year before you’ll feel comfortable with trucking rules and regulations. He adds that following distance, knowing the Smith System of driving, and trip planning, should be your top priorities.
Make a realistic family plan. The biggest adjustment you will make this year is in your family relationships. Travel is tough on even the best marriages and relationship, so have a solid plan in place for success with your partner or spouse and other family members. It’s time to literally take out the calendar and discuss holidays, family events, vacations…anything you must make a priority in your schedule.
Driving is a team career, and we want your team to win! YouTube videos like those of Frank and Stephanie, The Trucking Couple, can be fun and informative for the whole family! These videos address every practical aspect of driving from negotiating territories and salaries to purchasing ratchet straps.
One final tip. As with every career, a good attitude will be the key to your success! Be the upbeat one who encourages other drivers and goes the extra mile; you’ll get to take your pick of routes in no time!
Thirty-five percent of all truckers will leave their careers in the first 90 days! At ATC Driveaway are determined that our drivers beat those odds and provide every support possible to make your driving career a success. Learn more about what it takes to become a driveaway driver.