Are you wondering why some truck drivers succeed and others don't? We're confident you want to know. In the following, our truck driver recruiting agency shares the top 6 reasons people succeed in the industry.
1. They maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Successful truck drivers know the importance of a healthy long-haul truck driver lifestyle.
Eat clean. Instead of a candy bar or a sugary treat, grab cashews, almonds, nuts, or a vegetable salad, not a hotdog, when you stop at a convenience store.
Substitute processed and preserved foods for clean carbohydrate and protein sources.
To save money as a truck driver, prepare meals in advance to ensure you’re eating healthily and can control the ingredients in your food.
Does your semi or commercial truck have a refrigerator? Cook in advance and store them in serving-sized containers. Stock up meals to last seven days, depending on how long you'll be on the road.
Avoid burnout. Don't overwork yourself even if you have an irregular schedule. Get seven hours of quality sleep to be alert and refreshed for the day. Improve your sleep with the following tips –
Cancel out noise in truck stops and traffic with quality earbuds.
Reduce screen time before bed. Alternatively, use a blue light filter or turn the screens off a few hours before sleep.
When trying to sleep, blue light is unhelpful. Your phone or any other mobile device emits blue light that suppresses melatonin release. Melatonin is the hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle, and that makes you feel sleepy.
Block the light coming into your truck windows. Use curtains or shades.
Don't eat within one to three hours before bed, even if grabbing for a chocolate bar or a bag of Lays is tempting.
Keep yourself hydrated. Drink more fluids, ideally water, throughout the day. This will help you stay alert and energized. Drink eight 8-oz glasses, a half gallon, or two liters of water daily. Sip on often, even when you're not thirsty.
Exercise regularly. Here is a TikTok video on simple truck driver exercises while on the road. You can also start slowly to incorporate exercise into your routine. Instead of relaxing after driving, sneak in exercise. For example, do a 15-minute stretching or walking.
Work on your posture. Prevent sciatica, back pain, and other back issues. Improve your posture. Use a good driver seat, which becomes your "office chair." Look for one with lumbar support. Adjust it every hour, but make sure to keep your seat high. Don’t sit still so that you can relieve spine pressure, too.
Maintaining a healthy truck driver lifestyle is one of the keys to a successful trucking life. Conversely, a poor OTR truck driver lifestyle can tax your body and mind. Therefore, aim to achieve better health by developing the proper habits.
2. They aim to achieve work-life balance.
Truck driving is rewarding and enjoyable, especially since drivers see many places that many people don't.
However, regularly driving a Class A truck can also affect one's mental and physical health. So, as a part of having a healthy lifestyle, truckers must have a work and life balance.
What is a work-life balance? This minimizes work-related stress, prevents burnout, and establishes a sustainable and consistent way to work while keeping a healthy overall. Here's a short truck driver work-life balance checklist for you.
Don’t skip on entertainment to avoid boredom on the road. Keep your mind stimulated. Educate and entertain yourself to avoid having a monotonous, repetitive lifestyle.
Use satellite radio and play your favorite songs. Better yet, tune in to a comedy show.
Download audio books about history or any topic that interests you. You'll also find loads of motivational and educational audiobooks to download.
Download podcasts on your favorite topics.
Nevertheless, it is up to you how to keep yourself entertained. The secret here is always to have something to look forward to in your life.
Truck driver work-life balance benefits your health. Another way to achieve this is to maintain healthy eating habits. You don’t have to eliminate all your favorite foods. What’s important is to choose healthy options.
Drink more water, eat more fruits and vegetables, consume more fiber, avoid deep-fried foods, and limit your intake of sugary drinks.
Communicate. Improve communication levels with your loved ones and other truck drivers.
Stay in touch with your family back home, even if you're out of town. Keep your partner informed where you’ll be for the day to prevent them from feeling disconnected.
Again, it would help if you planned to achieve work-life balance in trucking and have something to look forward to when it's home time. In addition, look after your health, stay physically and mentally stimulated, and maintain constant communication.
3. They make a plan.
Creating and sticking with a plan is another reason people succeed in the trucking industry.
Keep extra items on hand, such as clean clothing, non-perishable foods, and necessities, even if you're using a trip planner app. These will be useful, especially if you find yourself in remote areas with limited service.
Successful truck drivers also stay updated with weather conditions, such as icy roads and heavy rain, which might cause delays or accidents.
They also locate the best routes using a trip planner, which can help find the most efficient route in the city or country.
Successful truckers also constantly communicate with the dispatcher, who will give them expectations and timelines for pickups and drop-offs. In addition, drivers provide updates, including significant problems like running late on schedule or any delays.
That’s why efficient truck drivers also allow for extra time. They figure out how long the trip will take them and then add more time so that they can address any unexpected delays.
Truck drivers should also locate essential services as a part of truck driver trip planning. For example, they need to know where to go precisely if they run into truck issues on the road.
They should also know where rest tops, meal breaks, truck stops, and hospitals are in advance. Lastly, they need to know exactly where to buy gas and other essentials. All these ensure their comfort and safety.
They also use truck trip planning apps, like Trucker Path, to help them with anything trucking-related, including parking, navigation, weight stations, and fuel prices.
4. They keep essential truck driver tools in their vehicle.
Having some essential tools handy is a huge time saver for truckers needing emergency repair or maintenance. So here's a simple truck driver tools checklist for you.
· Small toolbox
· Dog or dog bone wrench
· Combination wrenches
· Crescent wrenches
· Wire cutter and electrical tape
· Vice grips
· Air pressure gauge
· Ratcheting screwdriver set
· Safety glasses
· 3-lb. sledgehammer
· Metal dowel rod
You might also like: Technology Helping Trucking Companies To Increase Driver Retention.
5. They schedule preventive maintenance.
Truck preventive maintenance increases road safety while preventing delays and accidents on the roads and highways. It reduces breakdown risks and improves truck reliability, too.
New and seasoned truck drivers recognize that running their trucks smoothly will help them achieve their goals and prevent financial failures. So here's a quick enumeration for you.
Check the fluid levels to see any leak, allowing you to fix it before it becomes a problem later.
Change fluids depending on the number of miles driven, load weight, and driving type (city traffic, dusty roads). Follow manufacturer recommendations on the frequency of changing fluids.
Check and verify tire pressure to ensure that the tires are properly inflated and do not suffer from uneven wear. This will also help provide superior traction while maximizing fuel efficiency.
Check the tires' condition and tread depth to prevent tire blowouts and delivery delays.
Check the air filters to prevent clogging and ensure your engine’s running smoothly. This truck preventive maintenance tip also reduces the air getting into the engine, leading to lower fuel economy.
Check the breaks to ensure they're balanced and that you can replace them once they've reached their minimum wear condition.
Check and verify battery load and electrical system. Add the alternator, battery, and electrical system to the preventive maintenance in the annual check or a check before winter if you’re driving in colder climates.
Check the exterior lighting to ensure no burned-out bulbs and see if the lights brake, signal, running, and hazard lights are in good condition.
Check and service the fifth wheel platform to ensure you can securely hook up your trailer. Adjust or grease as needed. Clean the platform and look for any components that need replacement as well.
Here are helpful prevention maintenance checklists for tractors, trucks, and automobiles and a tractor-trailer preventive maintenance checklist PDF to which you can also refer.
6. They Choose the Right Trucking Company.
Successful truck drivers also succeed because they can land their ideal trucking job. But, first, choose the right company to work for and with. Rig on Wheels can help connect you with your ideal trucking company. Just fill out this truck driver application, and one of our dedicated recruiters will contact you soon. Here are some tips for picking the right trucking company for you.
Freight type: New CDL graduates often pick dry vans, which can offer more jobs for new drivers. However, specialized freight types like hazmat often need trucking experience.
Benefits and pay: Successful and happy truck drivers compare trucking companies based on the salary they offer. Talk to current and former truck drivers for an idea. Other things to compare are sign-on bonuses, (CPM) cents-per-mile rate, and the benefits offered.
Company culture: Read about the company online and learn as much information as possible. Talk to former and current drivers and ask them about company culture.
Home time: If you want to be home often, you might want to consider a local or regional job and not an over-the-road trucking job that usually gets home only after a couple of weeks.
Suppose they have not driven for a while and want to return to driving. In that case, drivers take a refresher course, showing prospective trucking companies hiring CDL drivers that they are serious about the job and are updated with the most current driving regulations.
You might also like: 3 Steps to Landing Your Ideal Trucking Job
There you have the top 6 reasons people succeed in the trucking industry. Do you think we missed one or two reasons on the list? Write them in the comment. And if you like this article, share it on social media today!
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