Most new truck drivers can feel intimidated when they start their careers after training. The long hours on the road can be mentally and physically taxing, leading to fatigue and exhaustion. This can result in truck accidents that not only cause damage to the goods and vehicles but also put other road users at risk. Therefore, it is essential to be well-prepared and avoid these 5 common mistakes that new truck drivers often make.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration ( FMCSA), truck drivers are allowed to drive for 11 consecutive hours on the road. After that, the individual must rest for at least 10 hours. However, most truckers have to run on a tight schedule, leading to unhealthy food choices and inadequate rest. This can make one susceptible to illnesses. Therefore it is suggested that one adopt healthy choices, including exercise, healthy food options, and adequate sleep.
Truck drivers are often paid based on the distance they cover, so the more they drive, the more they can earn. However, it is important to note that experienced drivers may earn more than novice drivers. As a result, new drivers may feel pressure to cover more miles by speeding, but this can be dangerous. Long-haul trucks often have trailers that require careful maneuvering, especially when turning. Speeding can damage the goods, the truck, and other vehicles on the road. It’s important for all truck drivers to prioritize safety over speed.
Not staying organized
Although life on the road can seem adventurous, it can become demanding. Most truckers driving from one state to another require particular documents such as maintenance records, expense receipts, and more. Failing to maintain these documents properly can lead to major problems like incorrect pay statements, inaccurate tax filing, etc.
Therefore, new truck drivers must familiarize themselves with the company’s record-keeping system and stay organized while on the road. One of the easiest ways to get the job done is to store the records by category in an accordion file.
Not asking for help whenever needed
It’s important to ask for help when needed while on the road. Though it may be tempting to handle everything independently, seeking assistance from others is often the best solution. This way, one can find the necessary solution to their problems. Plus, it encourages one to do the job safely and efficiently. Some resources that can prove helpful in times of need are instructors, fellow drivers, trainers, and diesel technicians.
Not planning the trip
Planning the trip, or mapping out one’s route, is important before setting out on the road. This ensures one can take enough breaks during the journey. Although it may seem easier to use applications in a time of need, one must make sure they familiarize themselves with the route before starting.
This way, one can avoid problems such as insufficient rest and distracted driving.
In addition to the mistakes mentioned above that new truck drivers should avoid, one must also be wary of overconfidence, unrealistic expectations, and poor advice.