As a student who is currently in trucking school, you may be eager to get out on the highway to make a good living. However, even after you pass your CDL exam and driving test, there are some things you'll have to do in order to have a successful, happy life as a truck driver. Use these tips as a guide to life after trucking school.
Select a Trucking Company to Lease to
While you may ultimately decide to be completely independent with your trucking business, it can be hard to find clients on your own. It is likely that you'll lease your services to a trucking company when you're first starting out so that you can get a steady income while discovering what kinds of loads and runs you prefer.
If you are looking for owner operator jobs that allow you some degree of freedom when choosing what loads to carry and how often you'll be on the road, you'll have to take care when choosing suitable companies. When considering companies, be sure to think about the following:
- if the company does forced dispatches
- if they offer you the chance to do different types of jobs (hotspot, flatbed, van or refrigerated loads)
- if they allow you to set your own freight rates
- if they offer an adequate number of jobs per month to meet your personal financial goals
When you have a few companies in mind, be sure to talk to any contacts in the industry to determine if they might be a good fit for you. You might talk to driving school instructors and other new truckers in online forums. Of course, interview with as many companies as you like to be confident that you will make the right choice.
Plan to Eat Healthy
One thing that is very easy to overlook when you first start driving is what you're eating and drinking. It is tempting to eat out all the time and stop at truck stops for some quick meals, but that can easily become expensive and you might not be making the healthiest choices. Because a great part of your life will be spent sitting down, it is vital that you pay attention to what you're drinking and eating so that you don't pack on the pounds.
In addition to lots of water and healthy snacks, you might want to travel with a crockpot and purchase some lean meats and vegetables so that you can make meals on the road; cut everything before you leave on trips so that you can just pop them into the crockpot and make dinner. You can stick everything in a roasting bag and have healthy meals without having to do a lot of clean up work. You can cook your meals while driving if you buy an inverter, so that your meals are hot and ready whenever you are.
These tips are just the beginning; life on the road is a never-ending process of learning. Be sure to talk with your trucking school instructors about more ways to prepare for your truck driving career.