Becoming a Professional Truck Driver – Upholding a Positive Image
What does a “professional truck driver” entail? This is a question we see frequently. In my opinion, a “professional” truck driver is someone who is respectful, not only at the shipper, but to his company and on the road. He is someone that always makes his deliveries on time and can be counted on to pull any load assigned without complaining. He represents his company as a respectful, well-groomed and safe driver. The professional truck driver keeps his logs legal and up to date and retains a clean driving record. He is someone a company can count on to be the best he can be.
Having a Good Attitude
Your attitude can make or break you in the workplace. When you arrive at a shipper, remember that your company is being measured by your actions. Have a positive, professional attitude no matter what you come in contact with. Every day, tell yourself, “my attitude will determine how my day is going to be.” Who wants a bad day? Start each day positively, get up on time, make your check-in call, get moving and keep yourself stress free by maintaining a good, positive attitude.
Being a Safe Driver
Safety is the most important issue that a driver deals with. Attitude and safety go hand-in-hand. Remember that being a professional means getting the load to the shipper undamaged and on time. Pay attention to your surroundings at all times, and don’t ever assume that because you are ten times bigger than that 4-wheeler that it will get out of your way. Always give yourself an out – it’s better to be safe than sorry. Don’t put yourself in a position where you have to rush, and don’t let yourself get distracted. Always be safe and think before you act.
Looking the Part
Truck drivers don’t exactly have the best public image, and unfortunately, it’s due to just a few bad apples in the industry. I feel that when a driver comes into the shipper, they should have their shirt tucked in, hair combed, and be well-groomed. Truck driving is a profession, and the way you look and act will affect the way others look at this profession as well as your company. You may have a million safe miles and have been with the same company for 10 years, but if you pull into a shipper dirty, scruffy, and smelly, no one is going to care about what you have done in the past. They will be looking at right now and they may even refuse to unload you! First impressions mean a lot, and being a driver means you’ll be making a first impression almost every day.
As a truck driver, it’s important that you uphold and maintain a professional image. Not only in terms of appearance, but also professional in how you perform the job and all of its duties. Remember – you’re on the front line of your company, so it’s up to you to represent them well!