Being a truck driver consists of much more than taking a seat behind the wheel of a vehicle and driving all day. There are plenty of skills needed in order to do a good job at it. The image of truck drivers isn’t the greatest in society, and many drivers strive to change that mindset by always delivering fast, friendly service.
Outstanding communication skills make an excellent truck driver. You have to be able to talk with your dispatcher in order to get the correct loads and to work out any delivery or pick up problems. You will also come across people as you go about your job and you need to be able to get along well with them.
Navigation is a large component of driving a semi truck as there are particular roads that can be used and those that can’t. Truck drivers have to be able to read maps so they can locate their destination. They also need to look out for clearance information relating to bridges and bypasses to make sure their truck and trailer aren’t too tall to fit under them.
Truck drivers need to be accountable and reliable. Driving a semi truck can be hazardous for yourself and for other people on the road. Paying attention to the activity going on out there is going to help avoid accidents from happening. Do not focus on the cars with the auto glass tinting, because that will take your attention away from the road. Adhering to the rules on the road and complying with the speed limit is very important.
Motivation is very helpful for truck drivers because it helps them to get their job done correctly. It can be too easy to turn off that alarm and go back to bed when you are tired, but knowing you have a delivery to make is going to help you get moving. Truck drivers also need to be encouraged to take care of their own health needs so they can perform as best as possible out there.
Organization is a key skill for productive truck drivers to do. There is a great deal of paperwork that has to be done on a daily basis. The log book needs to be filled out correctly or you can end up in trouble with the law and with your employer. Trip packets have to be completed with all of the necessary paperwork or it can delay your pay for the work you completed. You also have to keep track of your expenses so you are able to use them as deductions on your income tax return.
It is useful if the truck driver has a basic understanding of how their semi truck runs. This way they can identify any issues that may be prevented as well as complete some of the necessary repairs. While this isn’t a necessity of the job, it definitely comes in handy and it can save a large amount of money for pricey repairs by a professional.
If after reading this you still feel like you need some help before you apply these tips, you may need a personal coach. Some trucking companies offer this as a service for their owner/operators.
Truck drivers may be male or female, and they vary in age as well as practical experience. Having many of these skills will help ensure the person does well in their role as a qualified truck driver. These skills will also help keep the job satisfying because no one wants to work in a profession where they aren’t happy. Working to increase any of these skills will result in parts of the job becoming easier and executed more efficiently.
Read next story: How to Recruit Truck Drivers