Truck driving as a profession is not an easy undertaking, and life on the road can be difficult, to say the least. New drivers (and even seasoned ones) often make mistakes along the way. Here are some of the most common mistakes made by rookie truck drivers.
Not asking for help
This mistake is very common in all professions. People are often against or maybe even a little afraid to ask for help. This usually stems from the belief that asking questions will make one seem like less of a professional. That couldn’t be further from the truth! Seeking clarity by asking questions is what a professional in any field should do, especially truck driving. You don’t want to make any serious errors or mistakes so if you are unsure about something, always reach out for clarification from someone above you.
Not taking care of yourself
Living on the road can make implementing self-care techniques way more difficult. But that doesn’t mean you should slack on it. Proper diet, exercise, and hygiene are essential to surviving life on the road.
Not implementing safety practices
Drivers should always take safety seriously! Even the little things like wearing a seatbelt should not be pushed aside or forgotten about. Doing so could cause you to get into a very bad accident or situation. Always make sure that implementing safety measures and practices is a top priority.
Not being organized
Just because you don’t work in an office doesn’t mean you get to let your workspace go unorganized. Your truck should be just as organized as an office setting. There should be folders and spaces for organizing your paperwork, (BOLs', PODs, insurance, etc.), your logbook, pens, and any other supplies you use regularly.
Misjudging a turn
A very common rookie mistake is either turning too wide or not wide enough. Either way, you want to make sure you judge your turns properly to avoid accidents.
It is imperative that drivers keep track of their hours of service (HOS), especially when using an ELD. ELDs automatically track your hours for you, but it's up to you to make sure you take your break at the right time as well as change your duty status when appropriate. Not doing so will cause you to go into violation which you want to avoid at all costs.