When you’re a new truck driver, it can be difficult to separate the good advice from the bad. Whether you’ve just finished truck driving school or are considering joining the industry, there are some definite strategies to being a successful truck driver. Here are just a few of the time management and common mileage goals of successful new truck drivers.
The Acclimation Period
First and foremost, you won’t be driving and racking up miles like a pro from the start. It takes time for both your mind and body to adapt to this challenging job. Being a truck driver also takes superior time management skills, which often develop with time and practice.
Learning to Park
Believe it or not, parking your truck in a truck stop at night becomes next to impossible during certain hours and peak seasons. Seasoned truckers recognize that they’ll save time by parking early, getting the right amount of sleep, and then getting up and back on the road before everyone else.
Avoiding Heavy Traffic
Speaking of being on the road before everyone else, this also takes strategic planning. If your schedule is going to take you through Chicago during rush hour, you’re doing it wrong. Planning your routes so that you avoid heavy traffic can save you a lot of time and frustration.
Loading and Unloading
The best truck drivers become skilled at managing their schedules and their miles so that they can both load and unload as early as possible. This both puts them ahead of schedule and provides a higher level of service to clients. Being ahead of schedule can also make you more money and provide better loads from grateful dispatchers.
Timing Your Rest Periods
In the rush to get jobs done ahead of schedule, it can be tempting to cut back on sleep and rest. This would be a mistake as it will ultimately make you less efficient and less safe on the road. Getting enough rest each night is an important part of being successful long-term as a truck driver.
So, if you can put all of these elements together, what sorts of goals should you aim for? Most rookies should be able to drive 2400-2700 miles each week, increasing this up to 3000 miles a week after they’ve been on the road for a year or more.