5 Things You Need to Know During Your First Year as a Truck Driver

Truck driver communicating on his radio.

5 Things You Need to Know During Your First Year as a Truck Driver

Your first year as a truck driver is going to be your most difficult. You will be learning new routes, getting comfortable with different rigs, and finding your own routine and rhythm on the road. 

This is also the year you find out if truck driving is the career for you. While there are going to be some ups and downs, your biggest challenge will be adjusting to your new lifestyle while learning new skills. Don’t get discouraged! It’s a lot for anyone to handle, and we promise: it gets easier. 

Here are five things you need to know as you begin your first year as a trucker: 

  1. You’ve got to put in your driving time. Your first year on the road is all about getting the experience you need to have the career you want. This is when you learn the ins and outs of the trade and learn to focus on what matters. You might get frustrated working with your trainer, or feel you’re ready to take off your “training wheels” before it’s time, but don’t rush this part. Instead, treat it like the opportunity it is. This is your chance to get hands-on experience on the road, ask questions, and learn from a seasoned driver. 
  2. Trust in the process. After the first few months, you may get tired of the checklists, the double-and-triple checks, but trust us: repetition is key. Never skip or skimp on a pre-trip inspection, and always look back at your truck after you park to ensure everything is in order. Safety is a huge part of this business. Would you really want to get in an airplane if the pilot didn’t do all their pre-flight checks? 
  3. You’ll probably do something embarrassing (and that’s OK). Listen, we’ve all been first-time drivers. Nobody expects you to be perfect the first year you’re on the road. Prepare for a lot of learning experiences, and learn to roll with them. Even better? Find the humor and humility in this experience. Someday it’ll be you mentoring another driver.   
  4. Ask for help! You know what’s not embarrassing? Asking for help! Everyone on the road today has been in your shoes, and experienced drivers are more than happy to share their knowledge. This is going to be a huge lifestyle adjustment. New hours, new routines, new challenges. You’ll find that your fellow drivers get this and are happy to help if you’re struggling. 
  5. It’s tough to stay focused – but do it anyway. That first year on the road is hard. That’s why it’s so important to stay focused on your goals. Remember that this is the toughest year you’re ever going to have, and if you can get through it, it will get easier. You might get some assignments you don’t like, get lost a few times, and find yourself missing loved ones. But you’ll also see parts of the country you’ve never seen before, meet fellow drivers, and gain career experience that you can use for the rest of your life. 

Get On the Road with Classic 

Come drive with Classic Carriers! We’re a family-owned company with great benefits and even better bonuses. Find out more about what it means to be part of the Classic family.