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5 Best Tips for New Truck Drivers (& a Good Recap for Veterans!)

Posted in Blog  
Monday, July 18, 2016

At NTB, we’re proud to welcome new truck drivers into the family. We’ve found that our rookie drivers are excited and eager to learn, and we enjoy watching them grow.

Here are some secrets of the road, especially for new drivers:

  • It takes time to learn the ropes. Rookie drivers often complete less miles per week compared to their veteran counterparts. It takes time to learn the optimal driving times, routes, and strategies. Don’t beat yourself up over this at first—you will soak up this knowledge with time.
  • Don’t rush! At times, you may be tempted to drive a bit faster and rush your route in order to enjoy an extra hour of sleep or an extended pit stop. However, it is important that you abide by the posted speed limits. The consequences of rushing most certainly outweigh the benefits; you can put yourself and other drivers at risk and you can earn points against your record.
  • Think ahead to avoid traffic. Be sure to think ahead; driving through Chicago at 7am is probably not going to go so well for you. Instead, get up two hours earlier in order to avoid rush hours and save yourself time.
  • Arrive early. Whenever possible, try to load or unload ahead of schedule. Be an hour early instead of one minute late. Not only does this make a good impression and set good habits for the remainder of your career, this is often a great opportunity to gain some efficiencies and get yourself ahead of schedule.
  • Pack your food. Packing your food from home can save you a ton of time over the course of a week, not to mention the cost savings and health benefits of avoiding fast food. Also, think in bulk. Try a crockpot of chili, or a loaf of bread and lunch meat to make sandwiches.

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, it’s all about finding opportunities to save yourself time. These time-saving tactics result in more miles in less time. Get parked and to bed early, get up early, beat the traffic, and arrive ahead of schedule. Avoid unnecessary stops for food by packing food for the week.

If you follow these general practices and are patient with yourself, realizing that it takes time to learn the ropes, you’ll be racking up the miles in no time.