A truck driver’s job is to drive, right? Obviously, driving the truck is the biggest responsibility, but it is certainly not where the job ends. As a truck driver you need to take on several additional responsibilities in order to be successful. Here are five of the most important duties that a truck driver has on top of driving:
- Know the rules: As a truck driver you need to know and abide by the rules of being on the road. For example, your hours of service rules, traffic laws and how they may vary by state.
- Know proper procedures: You need to know unloading and loading procedures, how much weight your rig can handle, etc. What are the procedures if you get involved in an accident? Take time to understand these before hopping on the road.
- Know your equipment: You need to keep your equipment in good repair. While major repairs are handled by maintenance or a mechanic, truck drivers need to do basic, routine stuff like keeping the truck clean, inspection before and after any trip, checking your oil, etc. It’s also your responsibility to note anything that needs to be repaired.
- Become a planner: You need to be a good planner. Choosing the best route is up to you and can greatly impact your success as a truck driver. It helps to be familiar with GPS and other route planning technology. However, be careful to not become overly reliant on it. Even in this day and age map reading is a useful skill. You will need to plan alternative routes to get around traffic congestion, accidents, or weather-related problems in order to get your goods to the client on time.
- Keep good records: Although many modern trucks have black boxes that log certain things automatically, truck drivers need to be able to keep all of the required logs. You have to log break times, load and unload times, delivery instructions, etc. In many cases, it is the driver’s responsibility to know what should be loaded onto the truck and make sure that the goods match what they are supposed to be.
Being a truck driver does involve long hours behind the wheel, but there are other skills you need to develop as well. Without these skills, you may not find the quick path to success that you were hoping. Take pride in being a truck driver and with that, take the time to perfect your skills. To find out more about getting the best training to prepare for this demanding job, contact Advanced Career Institute today.