What Truck Drivers Wish They’d Known Before Starting
When you set out on a journey, it’s nice to know the route beforehand.
Even those who drive passenger vehicles instead of commercial ones know the value of planning ahead. But what about when the journey isn’t just about a trip, but a new career venture?
For truck drivers, training is critical – but much of the knowledge they have about the specifics of the job comes through experience. This means it’s tough to know exactly what to expect if you haven’t been there.
Luckily, we talked to people who have been there and are currently. Now you’ll hear some helpful advice from our very own Hermes drivers about the trucking industry that they wish they knew before starting out.
Healthy Lifestyle Tips for Long Hours on the Road
A truck driving career can be rewarding and enriching – but it requires you to pay close attention to your lifestyle.
By lifestyle, we mean the habits that keep us healthy mentally and physically. Remember, you’ll be in a sedentary position the majority of your workday, and you’ll be away from your own kitchen, family, and gym.
One good all-purpose tip that many drivers suggest is to keep your truck’s fridge stocked with healthy food. Healthy choices will give you energy, keeping you alert on the road and keeping your morale high. For truck drivers, health and wellness should be something they plan ahead for.
Simple but effective nutritional tips include:
- Avoid Fast Food:Truck stop meals and drive-thru treats may be quick and easy, but they’re not great for your body. Buy real food and cook real food using the equipment in your rig.
- Pick Healthy Snacks: If you don’t cook, or prefer to snack through the day rather than have large meals on the road, pick healthy snacks like fruits, vegetables, nuts, or grains.
- Bring Plenty of Water: It’s important you keep plenty of water with you. Staying hydrated increases your focus, aids in digestion of your food, and offers many other benefits.
Don’t forget mental health – many drivers wish they’d thought ahead more about their schedule and home time. Know what your week or month will look like, and plan to communicate with your loved ones and stay in tune with the outside world for the sake of your mindset.
With these tips in action, any truck driver can be healthier in both body and mind – and this makes it easier to focus on the other areas of the job.
Road Safety is a Truck Driver’s Constant Priority
Road safety should be a top concern of every driver on the road in the trucking industry. Once you’ve got your health lined out, you can use that healthy body to keep the roads safer through effective driving habits.
Just like caring for your body and mind mean putting the right nutrients into them, road safety starts with keeping your vehicle in top shape. Quality equipment and efficient maintenance habits ensure your vehicle is ready for the journey for your safety and the safety of those you share the road with.
Pick a truck that’s proven to be safe on the road, and only work for companies that provide them if you don’t have your own.
Safe truck driving trips are much easier when you look at your route ahead of time, search up places to stop, and manage your time so you can prepare for the journey effectively.
The Secret Toward Adapting to the Truck Driving Industry Faster
Even if you plan your schedule and your route effectively, you may still be worried about the unknowns of the journey. When becoming a truck driver, many people struggle with fear more than anything.
Many truckers who can handle tricky journeys with ease now look back on their first trips and laugh at their early nervousness. What’s the secret to becoming the seasoned trucking vet who can take on the trip with confidence?
Feeling capable on the road only comes with time. But staying confident in your ability to learn and adapt is a very important step for sticking with a truck driving career. The more time you have on the road in a quality vehicle while adhering to a healthy lifestyle, the more likely you are to succeed in the truck driving industry. One driver told us that their biggest tip is to “be confident and careful in all daily decisions.”
Navigating the Twists and Turns of Self-Employment
We couldn’t talk about truck driving careers without mentioning self-employment. Many people cherish the freedom trucking brings on the open road, and that’s magnified for some when they’re their own boss.
However, there are some concerns to consider on the road when you’re working for yourself. They include:
- Taxes: One of the drivers we interviewed, Ray N., noted that taxes work differently for independent contractors and urged drivers to plan ahead and consider their deductions.
- Equipment: If you’re working for yourself, you’ll need to make sure you have a quality truck you can rely on for the trip along with maintenance and servicing solutions to keep it in good shape.
- Clients: Don’t forget that you’ll need to create and maintain the client relationships that will get you paid as a business owner. This can be a job unto itself, and requires some practice.
Because the independent contractor life brings truck drivers so many additional responsibilities, many opt to work for a carrier instead. Another driver we interviewed, Ras-Tia Fann, said that they’d wish they’d known about finding the right company early on.
They say the right company will operate honestly – they support their drivers, view them as family, and never ask them to work in a way that would compromise their safety or license. Driver Farnol says, “always make sure to read your contract thoroughly if you sign one.”
Don’t forget the uplifting culture. As one Hermes driver put it, working at Hermes made her feel like a valuable member of the team and an equal – and that makes any trip better no matter the twists and turns in the road.
When you have a company like this backing you, you have the foundation for a successful trucking career.
Here at Hermes, we’re proud to support our truck drivers so they can excel fully and drive value for our clients. If you’re looking for a company that provides consistent miles, quality equipment, and an impeccable commitment to safety, look no further. If you’d like to talk about a truck driving career with Hermes, click here.
Drive for us
Join a team that is part of something bigger than ourselves. Together, we’re not just shipping freight, we’re moving the economy forward