If you’re new to driving for a living, it can be easy to make mistakes that wind up really costing you in the long run. Whether it’s a safety violation that could have resulted in an accident, a traffic ticket, or a problem at the loading dock, understanding what mistakes new people are prone to making can help you avoid many of them. Here’s a short run-down of some of the most common issues new drivers face, other than understanding how to pass the DOT physical.
Missed Signs and New Rules
The biggest issue for new drivers is learning to be careful about signage. Commuters learn to take in signage as a matter of course, and they also tend to stick to routes where the speed limits and curves become a known factor over time. The result is, they build habits that involve minimizing attention to signs unless they demand attention, like big orange construction signs warning of changes to the road. This is a problem once you make the switch to professional driving because you’re likely to spend a lot of time driving on roads that are completely unfamiliar to you. Unlearning the old habits and learning to be vigilant for the signs that will tell you how to behave on each new stretch of road means more than minimizing tickets. It also means maximizing your safety and the safety of other drivers.
Rookie drivers tend to have trouble adjusting to the way speed works in a heavy vehicle like a semi. You can’t count on the same kind of punch to the accelerator or speed of braking that you would in a commuter vehicle or smaller truck. You’ve got to plan ahead and start passing early to avoid seriously disrupting the flow of traffic or cutting off a passenger vehicle that thinks it’s clear in the passing lane. If you don’t, you’ll not only wind up contributing to traffic issues, you’ll hear about it over your C.B.
Get Help Starting Out
If you want to avoid issues like these, as well as mistakes like taking the wrong highway during rush hour, you need to work with an employer who sets you up for success as a new driver. You need to find local CDL jobs Chattanooga TN offers so you can get experience on roads you already know, as well as getting support while you branch out.
The best way to build a long and satisfying career in trucking is to find the right employer and to use the resources they provide for support. That way, you can keep growing as you build your base of experience, becoming a better driver all the time.