Back to Trucking FAQ
Ever wonder what it takes to have a successful trucking career that is rewarding both personally and professionally? The truth is there is a lot you can do to make your truckign career great, and a lot is up to you.
Have a Sense of Humor
Truck driving jobs can be the best of both worlds. Some days will be smooth sailing and trouble free while other days will be very stressful. It all depends on your attitude. Donít allow the little bad things that happen to you to get you down. Problems are just a part of life on planet earth. Practically every job on earth can be stressful and annoying if you allow it to be, and truck driving jobs are no different. Laugh at lifeís little problems and setbacks, make a game out of traffic jams, and take aggressive drivers with a grain of salt. Having a great attitude will help reduce your stress and make your life more enjoyable.
While you probably know how important it is to eat foods that are good for you, trucking doesnít make eating healthy very easy. Trucks stops often serve unhealthy foods as staples, and fast food may be fast but very unhealthy. Be sure your diet includes plenty of vegetables, and feel free to hit the salad bar as many times as you like. Grilled food is better than fried food, and fried is better than deep-fried.
Getting plenty of sleep is crucial to a rewarding driving career, but while trucking companies may mandate plenty of sleep, many may not yet understand how important down time is to the mental health and long term concentration of their drivers. Take up a hobby that interests you and bring it along with you on the road. Uplifting books or movies are important additions to a well-rounded life, and watching birds or learning to play an instrument can be very mentally refreshing.
Not only is exercising crucial to the health of your body, but it will also help your metabolism stay high and release chemicals into your blood that will make you feel happier. As sedentary a job as trucking is, though, it can be hard to find the time and place for exercise. Start small with a few laps around your truck stop or even just your truck, and work up to a longer regular exercise routine that is suited to your specific body type.
Talk with Other Drivers but Stay Positive
It can be healthy to communicate with other drivers while on the road, but donít let yourself get caught up in any negativity or complaining that may be making the rounds. Negativity is like a disease, and when you catch it, it can be hard to fully recover. Joining in on the complaining over the CB radio can make your outlook on both your trucking job and your entire life turn sour. Try to stick to positive topics, and if the conversation gets you down, switch to some lively music.
Make Friends with Dispatch
Whether your dispatcher is friendly or mean, try to make it a point to always be nice to him or her. If you have to deal with this person regularly, you may as well try to make the most of it and make it something you can look forward to. Appreciate your dispatcher when he or she does something right, and laugh if it if he or she is mean.
Make Your Paper Work
Keeping your paperwork in order can be a nightmare, but itís an important part of a well-rounded and rewarding driving career. Donít let yourself get behind because that will only make things worse. The more organized and neat your logbook and general paperwork are, the more pleasant it will be for you to keep them that way and update them regularly. Many trucking companies now allow digital records, and a laptop may be a great solution if you find paperwork to be extremely troublesome.