One of the things about a career in trucking that most appeals to people is the feeling of being your own boss without having to work with a manager sitting over your shoulder. This freedom of trucking life also takes much responsibility, and over time it can become a significant drawback to the career. Most people aren’t used to having a completely free schedule, even if trucking has been their only career because of the way we structure schooling. You’ve spent most of your life adhering to a schedule set by someone else – your parents, your school, and your non-trucking jobs. Adjusting can require a lot more work than you might expect, but once you learn to do it and embrace the solo life, it can be enjoyable.
Learn Time Management
Going solo on the road also means that you have to take responsibility for your time management. Which is unfortunately not a skill we teach young people. Most adults struggle with it, but they have the safety net of a scheduled day in an office. When you call the shots, you need to be prepared to manage your time effectively. Keep track of the many little things that can slow you down. Whether it is on short trips or a long haul, and try to adjust your time management to decrease them. Keep in mind that you have accountability and look for ways to work more efficiently and with less stress.
Adjust your Mindset
Next, you need to adjust your mindset to one of accountability. Don’t focus on the things you can’t control (like an accident that backs up traffic for miles). At the beginning of each week, plan for the things you can control. Start by pre-planning your routes and researching your stops and docks (knowing how a dock area is set up before you get there can help you save time).
Develop Relationships and Communication Skills
While the work is very solitary, there are a lot of other people involved, from dispatchers to receiving personnel. Your work will be more comfortable if you build relationships with them. Work on your communication skills so that there are no instances where people think you’re rude simply because you’re more abrupt than they expect. Finally, use the relationships you build to help you create a plan for each trip so that you can work efficiently and happily.
Baltimore Freightliner-Western for all Your Trucking Needs!
Whether you are looking to upgrade your fleet to tow trucks or simply interested in the latest trucking technology, you can rely on Baltimore Freightliner-Western Star. We have provided top-notch service for the trucking industry for 30 years and would love to assist you in buying a new top-of-the-line truck, finding the specialty parts you need, or repairing your truck. Give us a call toll-free at 800-832-7278 or locally at 410-685-4474, or contact us online. To find out more about what we are up to, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.