You’ve finished trucking school, passed the knowledge and road skills tests, and gotten your commercial driver’s license. Congratulations! Now comes the fun part: learning how to make your career as a trucker a successful one. Here at Trucker Tools we’re always looking for way to help carriers make their lives easier. Check out our five tips for new drivers that will help you start your new career in trucking on the right foot.
1. Research Potential Employers
When you’re fresh out of CDL school, the first thing on your mind is finding a job. Take the time to research potential employers online before applying for a position. Some large trucking companies have driver reviews available online. Reading what a company’s current truckers have to say about working there can tell you a lot. You can research your potential employers using tools such as Google, Indeed and Glassdoor. Joining Facebook groups for truckers can provide you with information about specific trucking companies, directly from other drivers.
Here are two that you might find valuable:
2. Make Load Tracking Work for You
As a new driver, it’s important to know that load tracking (also known as visibility) is part of the industry and it is nearly impossible for you to avoid, especially as a new trucker. You can put yourself in the driver’s seat with load tracking by having a strategic approach to it. Research the load tracking technologies available and choose the load tracking solution that works best for you. Look for free or low-cost real-time load tracking solutions that: can be used with multiple brokers, reduce or eliminate check-calls, and satisfy the requirements of your shippers and brokers.
3. Choose Apps That Reduce Your Operational Costs
As a new trucker, you may be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of trucker apps available and may be tempted to overload your smart phone with individual truck stop, fuel, routing and other apps. When considering which apps to use in your daily operations, choose those that save you money and reduce the time that you spend on manual tasks. Look for free or low-cost, multi-functional apps that provide you with more than one feature or tool. Opt for apps that help you foster positive, long-term relationships with preferred brokers, 3PLs and shippers.
If you are considering the Trucker Tools app, have a look at the free mobile app for more information.
4. Find a Mentor with Experience
Instead of learning the hard way about best practices through trial and error, you can use a mentor as a valuable resource in your first year of trucking and beyond. Mentors can share what their experience has taught them and you can learn from their mistakes instead of making them yourself. When looking for the right mentor, seek out someone who is successful and who has at least a few years of experience in trucking. Having ongoing access to mentor(s) can help you build your own success in the industry.
5. Be On Time
As a trucker, you can’t be late. No one will care why you’re late or what happened to you between points A and B. All that matters is that you arrive on time. Obviously, delays happen sometimes for reasons that are beyond your control due to traffic, bad weather, accidents, detention, breakdowns, illness and other factors. When you know you’re going to be delayed, it’s crucial that you make sure to communicate this information to your broker, 3PL and shipper partners so that they have an accurate ETA for the load.
Did you know that the Trucker Tools driver app includes 17+ highly sought after features that can simplify your life on the road and reduce your operating expenses? The driver app provides you with real-time information on fuel prices, optimal routes, weigh scales, truck stops/rest areas, parking, traffic, weather and more. Trucker Tools’ driver app also helps you find high-quality available loads and reloads with preferred brokers and 3PLs, and can help reduce the number of check-calls you receive during a load. To learn more about the value the Trucker Tools driver app can offer you in your first year in the industry, read “Trucker Tools’ Free Driver App Respects Your Privacy, Has Minimal Impact on Data and Battery Life.” Download the free Trucker Tools driver app.