A career in truck driving has its challenges, but it is as rewarding as any other occupation. If you see truck driving as the career for you, making sure you possess the skills needed for the job is the best way to get started. It’s not enough that you know how to drive either.
Whether you’re working directly for a logistics company or for one that specializes in driver leasing services, you will have to show competence in a number of other skills, some of which might surprise you.
The basic skills required of truck drivers are a given: attention to detail, alertness, the ability to drive safely, meeting deadlines, and proper parking, among others. Some important skills, such as the ones on this list, are less obvious but are in no way less important.
You might sum up truck driving as simply getting your delivery from point A to point B. But like any other business, it involves a healthy dose of customer service. As a driver, you will be directly interacting with customers, so your demeanor affect how they perceive your brand and service you deliver.
You are essentially your company’s ambassador. Everything you do and say will matter in your role as a representative. This includes your personal hygiene, how effectively you communicate, and how organized and professional you are.
Offering good customer service also means knowing what to do with customer complaints, as well as how to deal with difficult customers.
Navigation and map reading
You won’t always be traveling down familiar roads, and although GPS has become nearly ubiquitous, there could be times when you’ll have to depend on low-tech techniques to find your way.
Being able to read maps or figure out directions based on your environment could save you a lot of time and effort and will help you become more effective in your job.
To be a successful truck driver, you will need a lot of patience. The hours are long, and you’ll have to deal with factors that could hinder your ability to do your job.
You may have to contend with bad weather, a malfunction in your truck, or worse, drivers who don’t follow traffic rules. Keeping your cool despite these will help you solve your problems and get you where you need to be faster.
Knowing when to rest
Working hard is appreciated in truck driving as much as in any other occupation, but you need to know when to stop and rest. Fatigue is one of the worst enemies of truck drivers and is a major cause of fatal road accidents.
If not addressed, chronic fatigue can lead to sleeping issues and a wide variety of health problems, so drivers are advised to get enough sleep before driving and taking a nap once tiredness sets in.
In case you’re taking medications that make you drowsy, it’s best to seek better alternatives or, if possible, avoid them altogether.
If driving long distances excites you, then a career in truck driving may be for you. Just remember that like any other job, it isn’t always easy and you will have to possess specific skils to be good at it.