Rookie Truck Driver Mistakes (That You’ll Want to Avoid).
After earning your Driver CPC Licence, you’ll be ready to hit the road as a professional truck driver. However, you rookie truckers are often vulnerable to mistakes. Mistakes that are easily avoidable.
In this blog, we’re going to go through some of the most common mistakes rookie drivers make. We’ll also be highlighting why they’re bad, and what you can do to avoid making them.
So, sit back, relax, and enjoy. We start with:
Driver Fatigue/Not Using Your Rest Breaks.
When you’re on the road, you’ll be required to take breaks every so often. Yes, required, not advised. This is to help avoid driver fatigue and is a legal requirement. So, when choosing to neglect your breaks, you’re not only breaking the law, but you’re also endangering yourself and those around you.
Driver fatigue is one of the main causes of traffic accidents and collisions, yet is easily avoidable. Simply taking your scheduled breaks and resting for the required time will drastically reduce the risk of driver fatigue. This means you’ll continue to drive to the best of your ability, avoiding silly mistakes, and performing your job effectively.
Speeding is an unacceptable mistake for any driver, let alone a professional driver.
When you’re on a timer and you’re on your own, you can be tempted to push the speed limits to ensure your delivery is made on time. However, speeding is an offence that must be avoided at all times.
There’s no easy way out of this error, we’re afraid. Of course, if you’re not resting properly and are suffering from fatigue, you’re likely to lose concentration, which can result in missing road signs. This is not an excuse, however, but more of a reason why you may end up speeding. Which, of course, you’ll want to avoid at all costs. As speeding can result in points on your licence, fines, and even being let go from your position.
Bottom line – avoid speeding at all costs. Speeding endangers you, the drivers around you, your truck, the goods you’re carrying, and more.
No, we don’t mean turning into a space smuggler, and no, we don’t mean driving alone (because, of course, you’ll be doing that). So, what do we mean?
From time to time, everybody needs help, even truck drivers. And, as tempting as it may be to go it alone when you have an issue, this is the wrong thing to do. After all, the trucking community is, for the most part, a friendly bunch. We should know, we’re part of it!
If you’re facing any issue, problem, or simply need help in general, feel free to ask your fellow truckers. If you’re newly qualified, many truckers will be happy to offer their advice and expertise to help a fellow trucker. And, if you take everything solo, thinking you’re able to overcome every problem and issue you’ll face by yourself, you’re more likely to encounter more problems down the road (if you’ll pardon the pun).
When in doubt, ask about. The worst that happens is that somebody says they won’t help you, in which case, you’re no worse off than you were. Best case scenario, they help you out, and the problem gets solved. Simple!
Not Taking Care of Yourself.
Both your physical and mental health are extremely important to truck drivers. On the surface, driving all day every day may seem relatively easy. However, if you don’t look after yourself, you’ll soon put yourself and others at risk. So, although you may think not looking after yourself on the road only affects you, you’re wrong. After all, you’ll soon discover after a few days that stocking up on sugary snacks and energy drinks can be a big mistake as a trucker.
We’ve covered this subject before in our previous blog 4 Top Tips On How To Become A Healthy Trucker. We advise you have a read yourself, but we’ll outline the premise here:
- Swap snacks like chocolate and salty treats for healthier alternatives.
- Enhancing your downtime and sleep.
- Getting in your exercise during your downtime.
- Allow yourself social time.
Keeping your mental and physical health in check will help to keep your mind free of distractions, as well as making sure your body is in the best possible condition. Because you could be on the road for a long period of time, this is one of the most important points to master. After all, a happy trucker is a successful trucker.
Of course, when you’re driving a vehicle that weighs several tons, you need a certain amount of self-confidence. However, truckers must remember that their vehicles can be extremely dangerous when not operated properly and treated with care.
Much like avoiding your breaks, overconfidence can be a driver’s downfall, as not taking care and proper precautions can result in silly mistakes and accidents. After all, even the most experienced drivers can create dangerous situations on the road when they become overly confident. After all, there’s a fine line between confidence and cockiness.
When you’re overconfident, you’re more likely to cut corners, avoid safety procedures, and more. All of which put others at risk. Which, as a professional driver, you need to avoid.
Arguably, being overconfident doesn’t directly cause mistakes. However, the habits you’ll pick up from being overconfident do. So, avoid becoming overly confident. No matter if you’re new to driving or not, this is a key piece of advice that all drivers can take onboard.
Of course, nobody expects a newly qualified trucker to be perfect. Everybody makes mistakes. However, in highlighting these – the most common rookie trucker mistakes – we hope that it’ll provide all of you new truckers with a bit more insight on what to avoid on the road. Getting off to a good start and avoiding these mistakes will set you up for a long and successful career on the road, which is what we all want!
Feel we’ve missed any rookie mistakes? Let us know in the comment section below.
Thanks for reading, and see you on the road!