3 Truck Driver Goals To Ensure Success During Your First Year

    

With over 34 years in the industry, O'Neal offers great advice on starting a trucking career. Read more from

Starting a new career as a truck driver can be intimidating for recent CDL training grads, but if you set these three goals, your first year as a professional driver can be both successful AND rewarding.

3 Goals To Ensure Success as a Truck Driver

Safety

The first, and most important goal you should set as a truck driver, should involve safety. Your goal should be to maintain clean, accurate logs and to have no preventable accidents. To do this, you need to make safety a high priority in your daily operation. Safety means that every time you get into your truck, you utilize your CSA (Compliance, Safety, & Accountability) training. CSA compliance assists you in how to avoid accidents. If students adhere to the best practices they were introduced to during their truck driver training course, their safety performance will be enhanced. Operating safely each day will help students in maintaining a commendable safety record. Performing in a safe manner will also assist you in providing on-time pickup and delivery service to your customers. In addition, operating safely and remaining accident free allows you to stay in-service, which will increase your availability and the number of loads you can handle. Additional loads per week means additional miles per week to be hauled, thus increasing your revenue generation and earning potential.

Time Management

The second goal you should aim for is to have effective time management as a truck driver. Managing your time over-the-road is extremely important to your new career. What you will quickly discover when you are out on your own is that time is money. Effective time management, staying in-service, and trip planning can be crucial to a successful truck driving operation. Being on time for a pickup at a shipper or a delivery at a consignee can mean the difference between you getting loaded or unloaded that day. Effective time management can also mean the difference between you having a good week or a bad week, depending on how well you utilize your time each and every day.

Communication

The third and last goal you need to make is to provide effective communication. Communicating effectively with your dispatcher and customers is crucial. After spending 34 years in the transportation industry, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of effective communication. It is extremely important for drivers to communicate their needs and availability to their dispatch operation. I tell our C1 students that your word needs to be golden to your dispatcher and transportation team. By this I mean, when communicating with your dispatcher, you need to say what you can do and then do what you say. Doing this on a consistent basis will help your dispatch team plan loads for you. If you pick up and deliver on time and your service and availability are consistent, it will make their job easier and improve their ability to plan shipments and loadings for you. And more shipments and loadings increase your earning potential significantly!

Truck Driver In Semi Tractor TrailerBuilding a Foundation During Truck Driver Training

Here at C1 Truck Driver Training in Indianapolis, what we teach our students sets a good basis and foundation for a driver to begin in the trucking business. C1 students are taught effective training methods and tools. Every day when a student practices their driving skills, the students are consistently reminded safe defensive driving practices. In addition, our classroom training emphasizes the importance of effective trip planning and logging. These are two essential requirements that drivers must execute on a daily basis to provide commendable customer service and to maintain carrier and Department of Transportation compliance.

The Importance of Making Goals as a Truck Driver

Having goals as a truck driver is important because it forces you to think ahead and plan out what you really want or need to accomplish. It also assists you in being proactive rather than reactive. Being a safe and successful driver doesn’t just happen on its own. Becoming a successful and true professional driver requires desire, dedication, and a commitment to consistently provide safe and commendable customer service and performance. But this doesn’t just happen overnight. Just like most things in life, you get out of it what you put into it. Most often, the more focused you are and the more effort you exert, the better chance you have of obtaining your goals.

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