Trucking school is often the first step toward a rewarding career in the transportation industry. These classes help you earn your commercial driver’s license (CDL) and learn the basic skills you need to become a trucker. However, there’s still a lot to learn once you graduate if you want to be the best trucker you can be. It’s important to stay aware of continued opportunities to grow once you hit the road.
Here are some tips for going beyond what you learn in trucking school:
1. Understand The Importance Of Your Attitude
At truck driving school, you’ll learn about potential situations you could encounter on the road. Your instructor will help you understand the regulations you’ll need to follow, basic directions for safe driving, and how the trucking industry works as a whole. However, there’s one big thing your instructor can’t teach you, and that’s how to manage your attitude.
Even if you know the “right” way to respond when something goes wrong, it’s still important to manage your emotional reaction. As an example, imagine you get stuck in traffic. Trucking school will teach you how you may be able to trip plan to avoid this situation, how to stay compliant with hours of service (HOS) regulations for driving time, and how to continue to drive defensively. Despite all of this, traffic is still going to be frustrating. You’ll need to learn the strategies that help you calm down and focus on the big picture. This is something that you’ll need to perfect over time when you’re on the road, and someone else can’t do it for you (although they may have some tips to help).
2. Communicate Clearly
Communication is a big part of being a trucker, even though you’ll spend most of your time behind the wheel by yourself. At truck driving school, you’ll learn some of the basics of who you will be communicating with and what issues may come up, especially related to safety. However, they can’t tell you exactly what to say, and they can’t foresee every circumstance you may run into. Instead, you’ll need to determine how you can communicate best with your team after you’ve gotten to know their expectations. In general, communicating early and being clear about potential issues is the best way to build a strong reputation.
3. Know How To Get Help
After you graduate from trucking school, you’ll likely spend some time on the road with a driver trainer, depending on the company you choose to work for. After this, you’ll be on your own, but this doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from support. However, it’s important to understand where you can go for help.
Everyone was a rookie at some point and many remember how it felt to need help. This means a lot of truckers will be ready to offer you advice and assistance. That being said, this doesn’t mean all advice is good advice. Over time, you’ll develop the intuition and wisdom to understand who you can trust.
Build A Strong Foundation
Although there are many things you can’t learn at trucking school, it’s still important to get a strong start with high-quality CDL training. At HDS Truck Driving Institute (HDS truck driving school), we help our students learn valuable information about the trucking industry. You can earn your CDL in as little as four weeks with our accelerated program.