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A truck driving career is like many other careers: you get out of it what you put into it. If you are a dependable, safe, honest, and reliable driver, you will make more money and have a better experience with the company you work for. This goes for an entire driving career, but is especially important in your first driving job.
Having reasonable expectations for your first truck driving job is very important. New drivers will most likely be expected to run more of the routes the experienced drivers prefer not to run. This means in the beginning you will drive more OTR, more northeast, and will have less say in where you are headed.
This does not mean, however, that this is a permanent situation. After a year of driving, you will earn more leverage and have more say in your job. Almost all drivers go through this stage, and it is part of the job.
Here are the biggest things you can do to make yourself stand out as a great driver and earn the respect of your company:
- Be safe
- Be efficient
- Be cooperative
- Be patient
- Work hard
- Be a good communicator
If you can master these traits, you will get better loads, better home time, and earn the most bonuses and pay raises.