Over-the-road (OTR) truck driving is a demanding profession that requires a certain set of skills, experience, and knowledge. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the essential things every professional truck driver should know to succeed in their job.
1. Safety First
One of the core values in The Maverick Way® is to “promote our unwavering emphasis on safety,” and you will see this throughout many conversations and within every department at Maverick. Safety is the keystone of our operation and is always the top priority for any of our professional drivers. The key to being properly prepared is to make sure that your truck is in good condition before your trip begins. At Maverick, this means performing a pre-trip inspection. This includes checking the tires, brakes, lights, and other critical components to ensure that they are working properly. In total, this inspection is a comprehensive 91-point check.
2. Time Management
Time management is a critical skill for professional truck drivers and allows you to ensure that you are delivering the customer’s goods on time, while also complying with federal regulations on driving time and rest periods. This means planning out routes, estimating travel time, and adjusting for unexpected delays. It’s also important to communicate with your fleet manager, so that everyone from the driver to the customer is kept up to date.
Navigating unfamiliar roads can be challenging, but it’s essential for professional truck drivers. You need to be proficient in using GPS systems, maps, and other navigation tools to find the best routes and avoid traffic. This is one of the first skills that all Maverick drivers are taught when they arrive for Pre-Employment Evaluation. It’s also important to have a good understanding of road signs, speed limits, and other regulations in different states.
Effective communication is key to success as a professional truck driver. This includes communicating with your fleet manager, fellow drivers, and other employees throughout the company. As a professional driver, you need to be able to convey information clearly and professionally, whether it is about scheduling, delivery times, or safety concerns. It’s also important to listen carefully to others and to be open to feedback.
5. Health and Wellness
Professional truck driving can take a toll on your health and well-being. Long hours on the road, irregular schedules, and unhealthy eating habits can all contribute to physical and mental exhaustion. To stay healthy and alert, it’s important to exercise regularly, eat healthy foods, and get enough rest. You can also take advantage of rest stops and other opportunities to stretch and move around.
The success of a professional truck driver hinges on mastering a combination of skills, knowledge, and experience. By prioritizing safety, mastering time management, navigating effectively, communicating clearly, and maintaining good health and wellness, you can succeed in this demanding profession.