Advice for Your First Year of Trucking

So, you’ve decided to become a truck driver. You’ve made a great choice. With a shortage of roughly 90,000 truck drivers in the US, there are some great opportunities available for people joining the field.  

To make sure your career gets started off right, we’ve put together some advice for those getting started in the industry. 

Don’t Immediately Go with the First Company You Find 

Once you’ve completed your training and attained your license, you’ll be eager to get on the road and start making money. But that doesn’t mean you should say yes to the first company that makes you an offer.  

There are a lot of trucking companies out there, which means you have options. It’s important to know what you’re looking for in an employer, and then making sure the company you’re joining meets those qualifications. 

Things to consider when looking for a trucking job: 

  • Paid time off 
  • Health Insurance 
  • Consistent mileage 
  • Operations radius 
  • How many days you’ll be gone at a time 
  • No touch freight 
  • Etc. 

Look into multiple companies, compare their offerings, and decide from there. 

Try Sticking with One Company for a Year 

When you’re starting a new job, there’s always an adjustment period. Even with your training and education, it can take a while to get used to the rhythm of the trucking industry. That’s why you should try a stick with the same company for your first year. 

Assuming you followed the first step, and you were careful with the company you chose to work for, this shouldn’t be too difficult. Switching between multiple companies in your first year can hinder your development process, not to mention it doesn’t look great on your resume. 

Once you have a year under your belt at one company, you’ll have a much better understanding of the industry and your place in it. 

Use the Company’s Trucks 

Semi-trucks are expensive. While becoming an owner operator has certain benefits, it’s not something you should immediately try to do. The last thing you want is to put a down payment on a new truck, only to realize a few months down the road that trucking isn’t for you. 

Not to mention those vehicle payments will take a significant chunk out of your earnings. 

While you’re getting started, use the company trucks. It’s simpler, and it can help you get profitable faster. Also, make sure you’re choosing a company that uses new equipment. 

Safety Over Speed, Always 

The freight world is filled with deadlines. It’s natural for new drivers to feel the pressure of being on-time, if not early for their deliveries. While it is important to stay on schedule, speed should never come at the cost of safety. 

As a truck driver, safety is your number one priority. This includes how you drive on the road, what conditions you drive in, and how much rest you’ve gotten. Look out for yourself and others on the road. Be safe. 

Keep Moving Forward 

Once you’ve got some experience under your belt, and you have a better idea of what you want out of your trucking career, it’s time to consider other opportunities. If you love the company you’re driving with, great. 

Just know that a few years of professional experience open up some great options. 

For example, if you’ve driven at least 2 years, you can apply for one of our many openings at Woodruff Enterprises. We offer competitive pay, great incentives and benefits, no-touch freight, consistent mileage, and more. We also place a special emphasis on ensuring our drivers get quality home time. 

Our primary service area is 500 miles, and most of your drives will only take you away for a night at a time. Click here to see more about our career opportunities available across the US, including truck driving jobs in Springfield, Ohio

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