Becoming a truck driver is definitely a hot career option for many people. Regardless of the skyrocketing gas prices, many people are led to believe that becoming a truck driver can be extremely lucrative. According to The American Trucking Association, as of 2021, there was a historic shortage of 80,000 truck drivers in the U.S. That number will nearly double between 2022 and 2030 due to skyrocketing demand for goods and products by consumers. Not only that but many current truck drivers will be retiring and finding replacements can be tough for trucking companies.
Are you a trucking company looking for qualified drivers? Are you interested in becoming a truck driver yourself? All great questions! However, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the traits and characteristics that make up a great truck driver.
So, what are the top eight things to look for in a great truck driver? Let’s break them down.
#1 – Reliability
Exceptional truckers carry out their promises, doing so in the manner and at the time they have stated. They are well aware that their employers and customers have deadlines to be met. Timely delivery and completion of jobs are of the utmost importance. . Great truckers strive to be the solution rather than the problem when it comes to shipping and cargo transportation challenges.
#2 – Mechanical Fundamentals
Great truck drivers are familiar with the fundamentals of how a truck works. They can make any necessary repairs, such as changing a fuse or a light bulb. They can do whatever is necessary to guarantee that the truck complies with all applicable regulations and safety standards. In turn, this leads to a safer working environment not only for truckers themselves but also for everyone else who shares the road with them. Superior knowledge of a truck’s mechanical fundamentals is not a necessary skill required for the average truck driver. However, those who are seasoned and have been around the block a few times should definitely be more knowledgeable.
#3 – Being Fit
We know what you’re thinking. “I’ve been slamming down them burgers daily so I’m not exactly in the best of physical shape.” It’s not a judgment on you but it will definitely affect your performance as a truck driver while on the road. A person’s level of physical fitness determines their level of awareness. That is part of their overall level of fitness. A driver who is physically healthy is better equipped to work long hours and capable of stronger focus. For the simple reason of loading and unloading freight, truck drivers require a certain level of physical strength. Unloading freight isn’t a daily endeavor but in some cases, it may be required. Having the physical strength capability to unload would definitely be helpful.
#4 – Having a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License)
Seasoned truck drivers will know about a CDL and definitely have acquired their own. Drivers who want to obtain a commercial driver’s license must pass examinations to demonstrate that they possess the bare minimum of knowledge and skill that the licensing state has determined is necessary to perform their work duties. Great truck drivers, on the other hand, go above and above the bare minimum. In order to keep their knowledge and abilities up to date with the latest developments in equipment, tools, business practices, and government laws, they keep up with the latest technological advances. Because of this, they are able to work with less stress and greater enjoyment.
Want to test your basic knowledge of trucking and driving a semi? The State of Califronia has a sample commercial drivers test that you can take. If you aren’t new to the field, then you’ll be able to answer all of the questions without any problems. On the other hand, if this is your first time taking a stab at potentially becoming a truck driver then this sample test will at least give you a taste.
#5 – Stress Management Capabilities
Being a truck driver isn’t just about collecting a paycheck. Sadly many new truckers and even some seasoned drivers are chasing paychecks. This type of mentality can warp your thinking and create unnecessary stress. Stress! It is the one thing that you need to be capable of managing. Driving on the highway for 10-12 hours can be stressful. Maneuvering around congestions, road work, and traffic in heavy areas will most definitely build up stress. Being able to alleviate potential stress when unable to meet delivery deadlines is absolutely something that a great truck driver should be experienced.
#6 – Clean Driving Record
Employers and prospective clients will have greater confidence in the ability of a driver with a clean driving record. Companies want to be able to have the highest level of faith in their drivers, and having a clean driving record provides a wonderful sense of relaxation because it eliminates the need for continuous inspections. Truckers who have a clean driving record demonstrate to employers that they maintain a high level of professionalism, poise, and dependability. Driving records with no previous problems will also be less expensive to insure, making this particular driver an excellent pick.
#7 – Great Communication
This skill set includes an individual’s interpersonal abilities as well as the driver’s ability to communicate effectively with others. To establish positive client relationships, it is necessary to possess certain customer service characteristics. It is important to remember that face-to-face engagement is an extension of your company’s reputation. Building a long-lasting relationship with clients begins with having a great dialogue with them. Treating them fairly, and being kind to them.
Be a pleasant business ambassador, and treat everyone you come into contact with courtesy and a friendly disposition. Great truck drivers should be great communicators for driver and client communication in addition to driving and customer. In many cases, truck drivers do not communicate with clients directly. However, depending on the relationship, it can also vary.
#8 – Alive & Alert
Out on the open road is a trucker’s realm. The vast majority of their time is spent driving. Therefore, it requires a strong level of attention, being alive, and alert in their surroundings. Things like falling asleep behind the wheel are a very common issue with truckers nowadays. Having full road alertness comprises several different components that must come together seamlessly.
- Being courteous to other drivers.
- Anticipating their behaviors.
- Utilizing turn signals. After all, they have a purpose.
- Avoiding road rage. That’s a difficult one but definitely a requirement for a great truck driver.
- Following the speed limit. Fines can be hefty, especially in the State of California.
- Being prepared for the possibility of an unexpected turn of events. The unexpected is hard to gauge but being ready at all times is important.
- Recognizing troublesome signs of their truck while in traffic.
The above requirements and many others are necessary for a great truck driver. It’s most definitely about being alive and alert at all times. This is why rest times are imperative to ensure that you can recharge the batteries before hitting the road again.
Great truck drivers are out there. They’re difficult to find though because there are only a few that are truly that great at their job. Not to mention that a vast majority of truckers are heading for retirement so an entire generation of great truckers is slowly exiting the industry. You can become a great truck driver. Like anything else, it will require lots of hard work, dedication, focus, the willingness to learn, and years of practice.
Are you interested in becoming a trucker driver? Looking for a trucking company with the dynamic and vibrant company culture? Have any questions? Reach out to us at (909) 746-0370 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.