When you’re just starting out in trucking, you have no idea how to manage your time or how many miles you should turn. Parking, traffic, and plenty of rest are all important factors! If you’re a new truck driver or are interested in completing truck driving school at American Truck Training, here are some tips to get started!
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It Takes Time to Adapt to The Road
One of the most crucial things to remember is that a new truck driver will not be able to turn the same number of miles as a professional driver for a variety of reasons. The following are the two key reasons:
1.) You haven’t given your mind and body enough time to adjust to the demands of a truck driving job or the lifestyle of an over-the-road trucker.
2.) You lack the time management skills necessary to run the long miles safely without burning out or becoming slowed down by heavy traffic, severe weather, or a shortage of suitable parking.
Let’s look at some of the differences between a rookie and a seasoned pro.
Sometimes It’s All About Parking
The shortage of truck parking at night is one of the most tiresome and irritating elements of trucking. It’s tough to obtain parking at truck stops after 7 PM in the summer and possibly 6 PM in the winter. They quickly fill up. As a novice, you learn that if you can secure a parking spot early enough in the day, you’ll have no difficulties. However, if you wait even an hour too long, you’ll be begging for a spot at various truck stops, off-ramps, and parking lots. It’s exhausting and aggravating. You’re wasting time, you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re irritated, and you’re not getting enough miles for the time you’re driving.
It doesn’t take long to see that getting parked early and getting up early can save you a lot of time, energy, and irritation. You may need to acclimate and get up between 2 and 3 AM and park by 6 PM. On the other hand, it isn’t always an issue. It depends on where you are in the country. Some sites are easy to locate parking at any time, while others are hard to find. Learning the differences takes time.
Try to Avoid Getting Caught in Heavy Traffic
Isn’t it true that it’s easier said than done? Yes, but most of the time you can do a lot to alleviate the problems. Traffic control will soon be a part of your run planning. You can’t always win – sometimes you’ll sit in a traffic backup at 3 AM – but over time you’ll learn to play the odds.
For example: if you get a parking spot early on your run – maybe at 6 PM at a plaza on a toll road. There are plenty of unoccupied parking spaces. Now, if you leave around 2 AM, you should be able to glide through large cities without too much issue in the middle of the night and arrive early at your destination. By sticking to your plan, you’ve found easy parking, arrived early for your appointment, and maximized your driving time, all while getting a good night’s sleep.
Rest Before You Become Too Exhausted
The mind requires rest and recovery time. It is important to note the more wiped out you allow yourself to become, the slower your recovery will be. Even with a good night’s sleep after being exhausted, you may not entirely recuperate. You’ll be groggy and tired the next day. You’ll feel significantly more awake and active if you learn to take short naps when you’re tired rather than pushing yourself to pure exhaustion. Park early for the night to get a good night’s sleep when you’re tired and get up earlier to stay on schedule.
Clearly, there’s a significant level of safety involved with being well-rested. The more fatigued you are while driving, the more the risk. It has been scientifically shown that someone who has been awake for 24 hours has the same driving abilities as someone who is legally drunk.
Before you get too tired, take a break and rest.
Therefore, if you can manage to avoid traffic delays, find easy parking when possible, and rest before you become too exhausted, you’ll be able to turn more miles, make more money, and be a better and safer truck driver.
If you have yet to start your truck driving journey, give American Truck Training a call! We will give you tips and tricks along the way and make sure you are successful in your truck driver career path.