Have you recently entered the world of truck driving? Maybe you’re still on the fence. With a shortage of 60,000 drivers and rising in the US, there are certainly plenty of opportunities in the trucking industry for any driver. For newer drivers, however there are also plenty of mistakes that can be made as they navigate the world of logistics.
Whether you’re just starting out or you’re already in your first year of trucking, here are a few of the most common mistakes new drivers make.
Trying to Skip Trucking School
While you may be able to earn your CDL without stepping foot in a classroom or training program, it’s going to severely limit your opportunities as a truck driver. Most major trucking companies require that you’ve completed trucking school or some equivalent training program. Why? Because trucking school teaches hands-on safety and experience that studying for a test simply can’t provide.
The good news is trucking school only takes around seven weeks on average, with prices ranging from $3000-$7000. During this time, you will learn very important and applicable material. Safety is the number of priority of any truck driver, and this is trucking school’s main focus.
Some trucking companies offer programs for new drivers that will actually pay for their schooling and licensing. It’s worth looking into these opportunities as a new driver, though you should always be mindful of any fine print.
Immediately Going with the First Offer They Receive
There are a lot of trucking jobs available out there, which means even as a new driver, you have options. While you’re understandably eager to start your first job, you shouldn’t necessarily take the first offer given to you. Look around and see what other companies are offering. Make sure to check for things such as guaranteed consistent mileage and potentially no-touch freight.
Not Taking Care of Themselves
It isn’t easy staying active and eating healthy as a truck driver. Maintaining a healthy sleep schedule can be a challenge as well. However, it is very important that you stay mindful of your personal health and well-being. Staying healthy allows you to perform your job better, it makes you happier, and it spreads positivity to those around you.
Switching Companies Too Quickly
Once you have some experience under your belt, moving companies can open up new opportunities, higher pay, and better incentives. However, you should be a little patient. Focusing too much on your next trucking job can distract you from your current work, leaving you anxious and unsatisfied. Most people in the industry will tell you to stick with your first company at least a year.
As long as you’re in a fairly stable and healthy situation, take some time to simply learn and earn experience at your current job.
Assuming All Trucking Companies are the Same
People assume that being a truck driver means that your schedule is highly irregular, that you’re gone from home multiple nights in a row, and that you’re generally viewed as a number rather than a true part of the team. While that may be true for a number of trucking jobs out there, that is not how it is at Woodruff Enterprises.
Most Woodruff drivers operate within a 500-mile radius, which means they’re only away from home one night at a time. With Woodruff, you can expect quality pay, regular at home time, paid vacation, consistent mileage, performance incentives, no-touch freight, and more. It’s very important to us that our drivers feel like part of the family rather than just a number.
While we have traditionally required applicants to have 2 years of verifiable Class A CDL driving experience, we’ve recently launched a new program that will take drivers right out of trucking school. This is a two-year program that will help you develop your skills, earn experience, and learn how to operate on your own.