What Skills Do I Need to Become a Truck Driver?
Truck drivers have the capacity to earn a lot of money with little supervision in terms of their job performance and duties. So what skills are important to possess when it comes to being a successful truck driver?
A truck driver is essentially a person who works in the transportation of goods and products. A truck driver might make local or regional deliveries to a store or several different stores or they might work as long-haul drivers and actually transport products from one end of the country to the other.
Although a truck driver spends the majority of his or her time sitting behind the wheel of their vehicle, it is a very tough and demanding job, both physically and emotionally.
On the physical side, it is important to be aware and alert and to have good stamina. Long hours of driving can be taxing on one’s health since it can lead to muscle strains, limbs and joints that don’t get a lot of exercise, and especially drowsiness.
It is important to get plenty of exercise when you’re sitting behind the wheel for long hours at a time. There are some truck drivers that fall ill and suffer from serious injuries, such as pulled hamstrings, because they tend to let their muscles stiffen and when they do get down and start moving around they find that they are not as fluid in their movements as they should be.
For their own safety, as well as for the safety of other passengers on the road, truck drivers should also be adept at staying awake and following general safety precautions. When you’re feeling tired and sleepy, it is essential to pull over to a safe location and get some rest. Many accidents occur on the road because the driver was not alert enough to manage their vehicle properly.
Truck driving takes emotional strength as well. For long-haul truck drivers, seeing people and having interactions with others is limited. Life on the road can be very lonely and especially taxing if you have a family at home that you don’t get to see very often.
If you are a truck driver that operates a vehicle over 26,000 pounds then you will be required to have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and this means that you will have to pass both written, driving, and physical examinations.
It is important to practice professionalism as a truck driver, too, whether you are making local or long distance deliveries. Drivers are responsible for interacting with business owners and managers from all walks of life and being able to communicate with them effectively is essential.
In addition, you will need to know your truck well. Although drivers usually aren’t responsible for the maintenance and repairs of their vehicle, they still need to be able to inspect it regularly to make sure that it is in working order.
There is a good amount of planning and business sense to being a driver, too. Drivers need to be able to plan their route and fuel stops, working in a time efficient manner, keep accurate records, follow HazMat rules, and turn in their paperwork and log books on time.
Aside from all of this, there are also the rules of the road to keep into consideration. Truck drivers need to be familiar with the various laws and regulations of the road which can vary from state to state. They need to be able to follow all of the regulations that have been set down by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, safely deliver their cargo on time, and continue to get annual inspections.
Although there is good money to be earned as a truck driver, it’s important to remember that it is still a job and should be considered with care and professionalism. There is far more to truck driving than simply sitting behind the wheel of a big rig and transporting products from one location to another. However, it can also be a very rewarding job as well.
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