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Hurricane Ida Update:

Harvey, Hammond, and Baton Rouge classes will resume on September 20th. 

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Tips for New Truck Drivers

May 17, 2022

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Male truck driver behind the wheel

5 Tips for New Truck Drivers

Between learning how to drive a semi-truck, figuring out your licenses and endorsements, and finding a job, you could be overwhelmed as a new truck driver. Balancing your new career on the road and home life can be tough. But, with the right guidance, your new career can be as fulfilling as you imagined.

As the premier truck driving school in the Gulf South, Coastal Truck Driving School strives to give new truck drivers the proper training and advice needed to succeed in their careers. That’s why we’ve gathered some of the best tips for new truck drivers.

New Truck Driver Tip #1 – Practice Organization

Life on the road can be hectic, especially if you’re an over-the-road trucker and live out of your truck for weeks at a time. A great tip for new truck drivers is to practice organization. Whether it’s ensuring your route is properly planned, your truck is clean, or your home’s bills are on autopay, organization can go a long way. After all, no one wants to come home and find out they forgot to pay their electricity bill.

A few organizational and cleanliness tips for new truck drivers:

  • Regularly sweep or vacuum your floorboards
  • Keep a detailed list of needed contacts in your phone
  • Use storage or milk crates to group items
  • Ensure your home bills are on autopay or taken care of
  • Keep some cleaning supplies in your truck
  • Use a small trash can or bag in your truck
  • Keep a detailed log of your route

New Truck Driver Tip #2- Create an On-the-road Exercise Routine

Sitting behind the wheel for hours every day means you can’t walk around and stay active like you normally would. Our tip for new truck drivers is to figure out an exercise routine you can do on the road.

Whether it’s walking a few laps around the truck at rest stops or doing some push-ups and jumping jacks before bed, staying active on the road will help your body and mind stay fit.

[Related: Regional vs. OTR Trucking]

New Truck Driver Tip #3 – Learn Basic Vehicle Maintenance

Another great tip for new truck drivers is learning basic vehicle maintenance. From checking and replacing any needed fluids to changing filters, knowing how to take care of the little things can help you stay on the road and avoid Department of Transportation violations at inspections. Another component of this tip for new truck drivers is ensuring you have a set of tools in your truck to do any of the basic maintenance required.

Coastal Truck Driving School is the leading training program for new truck drivers and drivers looking for refresher courses. With campuses in Louisiana and Mississippi, we’re equipped to help you start your career off on the right foot with thorough training. Contact us today to get started!

New Truck Driver Tip #4 – Stay Busy & Entertained

While driving a big truck can be exciting at first, driving for long stretches can leave you feeling bored. This is especially the case for over-the-road drivers, as they can be driving for weeks at a time. Our tip for new truck drivers is to fight boredom and burnout by staying busy and entertained.

While driving, you can listen to music, podcasts, and audiobooks to keep your mind sharp and entertained. We also recommend learning a hobby you can bring on the road with you and practice in your down time. Some ideas include:

  • A musical instrument
  • Reading
  • Drawing
  • Gaming
  • Photography

This tip for new truck drivers is essential to fight burnout and help you separate your work and “home” life.

New Truck Driver Tip #5 – Set Career & Financial Goals

When you’re starting out, you may just be focused on getting on the road as fast as you can. Figuring out how much you want to earn, how long you want to drive, or what you want to achieve during your career can help you have something to work toward. Setting career & financial goals is a great tip for new drivers because you can work toward getting certain jobs or endorsements as you advance in your career.

[Related: How to Become A Truck Driver]

Get A Trucking GPS Unit

Smartphones may have made GPS units redundant for non-commercial drivers, but apps like Google and Apple maps don’t have the best routes for truckers. Our tip for new truck drivers is to purchase and use a GPS unit specifically made for trucking.

These units are designed to help truckers avoid roads you can’t drive on and keep tabs on any rest stops, filling stations, or weigh stations. While a non-trucking GPS will just show the fastest route, a trucking GPS unit will have extra information that’s valuable for new truck drivers.

If you’re considering a career in trucking, Coastal’s ELDT-compliant truck driver training program cannot be beaten. With the help of our job placement program, our graduates find jobs with some of the best trucking companies in the nation. Contact our offices today and get in the driver’s seat of your career in as little as four weeks!