Many drivers I talk to think that all you have to do is complete your training and you become a professional driver. Anyone that has completed the process knows that once the training is completed you only know a fraction of the knowledge that you need to know for a successful career. The problem that most drivers don’t realize is that for the most part your regulatory training is complete and it is up to the driver to keep themselves trained. Oh sure, the carriers will offer a limited amount of ongoing training, but often this training is reactive and is meant to solve issues the carrier is experiencing. This training often doesn’t help improve your career. So here are five traits that you should possess to be at the top of your game.
It is important that you keep acquiring knowledge to improve your career. Many drivers disregard this part and fall into a rut of doing the same thing every day. Even if you are on a steady or dedicated run, you need to keep your career interesting and improve your knowledge. As you gain new knowledge it will offer more opportunities.
Looking to make money in trucking? It is possible to make money,but at the end of the day it is about putting miles down the road. I always say when you go to work, then go to work! Don’t fool around on the road and waste time. Become a driver that is known for being on time and willing to work as a team. Work ethic alone will help you make more money in transportation so look to improve yours all the time.
This probably should be first on the list because it drives everything else, but having a good attitude is crucial to having a great career. Every successful driver that I have ever interviewed has stated that their attitude was a major factor in the opportunities that came along in their career. Make sure yours is in check!
If you are going to spend hard earned money to be trained for a career in the industry then please be positive about it. Learn about the people, look at the good points of the career and promote the importance to the public at large. Be a positive driver, not a stick in the mud or cancer in the industry.
Many drivers think that their lives are dealt by the hands of dispatchers. To a point that may be true but the more organized you are, the more you do proper trip planning, the more you will predict your home time and be more available for your family. You have seventy hours a week that you can run and if you pay attention to your schedule you can start to predict your home time. This is even easier on dedicated runs, of course you don’t get those runs unless you are on time and organized.
There are many more items that should be in the toolbox of a professional driver. The important part is to make sure you keep improving as you move through your career. Trucking is a great career, but like any other industry the more seriously you take it the more it will offer you in opportunities.
About the Author
Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years and is author of the books Running By The Mile and Driven to Drive among others. He is the host of The Lead Pedal Podcast and is a trainer and speaker in the industry. You can learn more about Bruce and his work at www.bruceoutridge.com