Starting A Trucking Career – Advice on Making a Lifestyle Change


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

Understand That a Trucking Career Means Making a Lifestyle Change

It’s important to recognize that becoming a truck driver usually means a big change in lifestyle.  To a certain extent, you’ll be trading every night at home for the freedom that comes with getting paid to travel the country without a boss standing over your shoulder.   

Here are some of my tips to help you make the transition smoothly: Truck Driver Outside Truck - LifeStyle Change

  • Plan accordingly by taking care of any business or personal matters ahead of time so you’ll be able to know things are running smoothly when you’re in truck driver training or out on a run.
  • Once you start your trucking career, if you know you’re going to need home time for a family event such as a graduation or birthday – let your dispatcher know as far in advance as possible.
  • Understand the geographic flows of traffic and plan in advance knowing it’s better to be proactive than reactive – get rid of the “right now” philosophy.
  • The biggest piece of advice here is that you must have good time management and budgeting skills.  The best way to improve these skills is by planning ahead and doing the little things that make a big difference – such as bringing a lunch vs. eating out.

For many people, the most difficult part about the first year in a trucking career is the lifestyle change.  By keeping these things in mind, you will be able to make a smoother transition into this lifestyle and be better prepared for success.

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