The Right Skills To Pay The Bills! 3 Traits Truck Drivers Need To Be Successful On The Road

Posted on

Do you think you have what it takes to become a truck driver? Before you quit your day job and look into getting your CDL, it is important to understand the necessary traits you will need in order to endure the rigors of this challenging occupation. Here are three vital personality characteristics you will need to possess in order to make it big in the world of professional trucking.  

1: Bravery

Sometimes when people think of professional truck driving, they think about being out on the open road, seeing the sights, and listening to talk radio. However, professional truck driving isn't always a walk in the park.

How would you like to haul a trailer weighing thousands of pounds across an icy bridge? Because when nearly 70% of freight in the United States is transported via truck, drivers don't have the option of taking a snow day. Professional truckers brave extreme weather, dangerous construction areas, and nasty, un-level roads just to deliver your favorite products to businesses.

Because of the challenges involved with handling potentially dangerous roads, drivers are trained to react bravely during emergencies. Drivers have to understand how to anticipate the challenges that tough driving conditions can pose, and how to react in order to minimize collateral damage.

If the thought of driving at high speeds during a torrential downpour terrifies you, professional truck driving might not be a profession that you would enjoy.

2: Endurance

While most people are capable of handling difficult situations for little while, very few people have the stamina to cope with hard circumstances for days on end. One of the most difficult things about being a truck driver is the endurance that it takes to do the job.

On average, long-haul truck drivers travel about 500 miles per day. Truckers regularly face cramped cabs, uncomfortable seats, and fatigue for hours at a time during their workday. Drivers also have to be able to handle the stress of delivering product on time, and remain calm during frustrating traffic.

When drivers don't have the ability to handle the rigors of the road, it can cloud their judgment and cause them to make the wrong decisions. For example, a trucker in Minneapolis was charged in August for speeding past a slow-moving school bus and almost hitting a child.

Successful truck drivers learn to bridle their emotions in order to make the best choices. If you have a hard time with road rage or remaining patient during stressful circumstances, truck driving isn't the job for you. 

3: Knowledge

Thinking about skipping school and becoming a truck driver? Most people are surprised to learn that truck driving actually requires a lot of formal training. In fact, professional trucking programs can take up to six months to complete. Here are a few different subjects that drivers have to have a thorough understanding of in order to do their job.

  • Math: In order to calculate load weights, keep track of mileage, and to deliver products on time, drivers have to have to be proficient in math. Being able to quickly calculate load percentages and remain under their allowable towing load helps drivers to avoid steep fines and dangerous accidents.
  • The Physics of Driving: Drivers have to be able to anticipate the direction that their vehicle will travel during the course of an accident. Training programs regularly teach truckers how to react appropriately in order to mitigate damage.
  • Auto Repair: When you are driving in the middle of the remote wilderness, you don't always have the option of calling for roadside assistance. Truck drivers have to know how to prevent and troubleshoot their own engines, to arrive at their destination safely.

After drivers learn these valuable skills, they have to pass a variety of proficiency exams to get their commercial driver's license. If you aren't a naturally gifted or highly motivated student, passing these tests could prove difficult for you.

Being familiar with the demands of truck driving can help you to figure out if you are cut out for the job, and help you to appreciate the challenges that others face on a daily basis. To learn more, visit Hitch 'Em Oilfield Hauling.