If you’re looking to move into a career in Canadian truck driving, getting certified by a great Ontario truck driving school is only the first step. Once you graduate, you’ll still have a lot more hurdles to clear early in your career.
At Fifth Wheel Training, we legitimately want to see all our graduates succeed, and we do everything we can to help you find trucking jobs. However, much will still come down to your own performance – so we wanted to share these great tips for doing the best possible job in your first trucking jobs.
Five Critical Tips for Truck Driving Newcomers
1 –Don’t avoid the winter
There is no bad time to learn to drive a truck, but some times of the year are better than others. In fact it is true that winter maybe the best time to get behind the wheel of a tractor trailer for the first time. Better you learn how to control that kind of weight and power with an experienced instructor beside you, than waiting to be in downtown traffic when your first storm hits.
2 – Stay healthy!
Just because there’s a stereotype of truck drivers being out-of-shape, doesn’t mean you need to stick to it. In fact freight companies are making great efforts to help their drivers stay in shape. It only makes sense that they want to keep their drivers healthy and hauling. Exercise during your off time. Watch what you eat at truck stop restaurants, fires and gravy are tempting and always available, but remember to try a healthy alternative more often than the calorie filled treat. Keep alcohol consumption to a minimum. If you look and feel good, you’ll be more attractive to hiring agents.
3 – Keep your truck clean
Whether it’s your own truck, or one you’re driving for a job, keep it neat and tidy. Wash it after a long haul. Keep the interior clean too. If an employer looks at your vehicle, what is it telling them about how you will treat theirs? You’ll definitely endear yourself to shipping companies if your truck looks pristine as you pull up for a job. Many companies are now actually favouring female recruits because of the way they maintain the company trucks!
4 –Schedule your appointments and be on time
Time management is one of the top attributes of a professional driver. If loading docks close at a certain time you need to be there on time. If you schedule an appointment for an interview and show up 15 minutes late, what are you telling your potential new boss? Showing up 10 minutes early because you wanted to make some time in your schedule just in case traffic held you up only makes sense. If anyone asks you why you are early be sure to let them know why you chose to leave home early to be on time.
5 – Help other truckers in need
Truckers are a pretty tight-knit group. If you become known as someone who’ll stop to assist when someone’s in trouble, or even give a hand with loading and unloading, you’ll make friends – and all the networking benefits that implies. Knowing the right people will help you land the right jobs, truckers are never shy to share their experiences with other drivers. Most drivers end up running similar routes week after week, they get to see the same trucks and faces day after day. The road can be a lonely place to work if you don’t have some reliable faces out there with you. So never be in too much of a hurry to help out a fellow driver, thatfavour will more than likely come back to you somewhere down the road.
Fifth Wheel Training is Ontario’s premier truck driving school. Kickstart your new trucking career today!