4 Tips for Rookie Truck Drivers | FTI - A Frederick-Thompson Company

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4 Tips for Rookie Truck Drivers

If you are a new truck driver it is easy to make some rookie mistakes. Here are four tips for to help make your first runs are as easy as possible:

Proper Passing

It is easy to underestimate the power of your vehicle once you hit the open road. One of the biggest mistakes truckers make is not giving enough space when passing another truck. It is in your best interest to make some room and move over when passing or being passed. This will allow you to avoid the dangerous turbulence that can literally suck you under and pull you in too close to the other truck.

Backing Up

Backing up an 18 wheeler is no easy task even for a seasoned driver. In fact a seasoned driver will be the first to tell you there is one very important rule when it comes to backing up and that is get out and look. Remember that your truck is 80 feet long and therefore needs some special maneuvering and calculating. When you get out of the truck you will be able to look at the spacing before making a move.

What to Pack

When you are on the road it is important to be well prepared. You should always have the following on your trips:
• A week’s worth of weather appropriate clothes
• Food and water
• Log book ruler
• Scissors
• Tape
• Cell phone with calculator
• Jumper cables
• Wrenches and screwdrivers

Be Smart

It will be tempting to take on every load and drive as much as you can to make money. A lot of rookie drivers can also feel intimidated by their dispatchers and feel they cannot say no. However you are responsible for your own safety and it is important to follow the rules and not overwork yourself. As well you want to be certain to look at the work available and make yourself available when you are able. Rookies need to find the right balance so they are not being taken advantage of but also don’t become viewed as someone not willing to take on work. Most of all you want to be safe and avoid the risk being in an accident because you are tired.

These four tips will help you quickly learn the rules of the road and start driving like a pro.