The United States has a considerable shortage of truckers new to the game. This shortage has driven wages up for professional haulers, which has inspired a new cadre of fresh faces to join the industry.
New truckers can find it challenging to adapt to life on the road and even harder to find jobs efficiently. Here are some essential tips that truckers should keep in mind. Continue to read if you’re a trucker new to the game.
Truckers New to the Game [5 Tips]
1. Don’t Skimp on Maintenance
Truck repairs are always costly. It is vitally essential that preventative, regular maintenance is carried out. Regular pre-drive checks and maintenance can drastically reduce the amount of money that needs to be spent on repairs and enables drivers to keep their trucks on the road for more time during the year, which will benefit them in the long term.
2. Plan Fuel Stops
The price of fuel is different across the board. Luckily, modern truck driver applications can alert drivers to the prices of truck stops all around the country. Planning fuel stops to hit up all the cheapest possible fuel stations is essential.
This should be fine if another company is paying for the fuel. Independent contractors, however, need to be very careful where they pick up their diesel. It might be worth purchasing a fuel card to make fuel payment simpler.
3. Use Load Boards
Load boards are perfect for finding shipping work as an independent contractor. Haulage companies and distributors post jobs that need to be completed on load boards online.
Individual truck drivers can then apply to complete those jobs if they have appropriate vehicles and locations. Every trucker wants a full trailer on their outbound and return journeys. Clever use of load boards can enable return loads to be found without much hassle.
4. Get Insured
Good comprehensive insurance is essential for truck drivers. Because of the many health risks associated with spending a great deal of time on the road, truckers need to be covered if they take a trip to the emergency room. The truck and all its loads need to be insured to prevent hideous debts from accruing if machinery is damaged or loads are lost while completing a job.
5. Get Some Rest
By law, all professional drivers must take a 30-minute break if they have been driving for longer than 8 hours successively in the United States of America. While this is a good law, it is not enough. It is recommended that truckers take far longer breaks so that they can get some real rest during multi-part trips.
Tiredness is one of the biggest causes of semi-truck accidents in the country. Research has suggested that fatigue affects around 30 to 40 percent of all heavy truck crashes. Some large haulage employers mandate that their staff take longer breaks than those legally required by the Department of Transportation.