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3 Tips for a Successful Truck Driving Career

Are you beginning your career as a truck driver and wondering what is the fastest route to success? There are some tips that will help you have a successful career that are very basic and something that everyone can do if they choose to try. I often get people asking what is the shortcut to a successful career? When I tell them the basic points they normally give me a silly grin and usually that means they didn’t get the answer they wanted to hear. They were possibly looking for some tip like if you take this course it will take you to the top of the ladder or if you drive a certain truck it will break down less. The truth is that trucking doesn’t work that way.

The transportation industry is a long term play. Success won’t truck showhappen quickly. Oh sure you will have small wins along the way such as successful loads that you make good money on or you might get a new truck from a company right out of the gate. In reality it will take years to realize how success in the industry will relate to you. That’s because everyone has a different reason for being in the industry and different goals for their careers. Since every career is different this is the best place to start a career plan for success so I am offering you three tips to help you get started.

Tip 1: Research Your Career Options and Set Goals

Step one is the most important, but the one that most people forget to do. Many new drivers haven’t taken the time to think about their career for the long term and write down goals that will define their career. Don’t just think about this year or the next couple of years. When we suggest figuring out what you want people think we are talking about when you want to be home or how many miles you want to run. Think bigger than that and try planning out the direction for your career. What type of work do you like to do? How can you get the most out of your training? What type of money do you want to make? These are the questions you should be asking. Sit down and write out that plan.

Tip 2: Get Quality Training

This step cannot be skipped and some say this reason alone is the reason for the driver shortage. It has been stated that there are many licenced drivers in the industry, but due to non-certified training many of these drivers can’t get jobs which is why on July 2017 Mandatory Entry Level Training came into effect. You have to get quality training to even have the chance to talk with a quality carrier and start your career on the right foot.

Tip 3: Operate Professionally

This tip is one that many new drivers don’t grasp. It is important to operate as professional as possible throughout your career. This includes how you dress, how you act, and the way you do your job. This starts in training with taking good notes, listening and be active with training processes. The important part of working professionally is to improve your career as you go along. Keep improving your training, the way you work, and how you treat others. Keep violations and incidents to a minimum and hold a stable work record. Team that with the goals you have set out in the first tip and it will take you a long way to a successful career.

A successful trucking career is long term endeavor and something that needs to be taken seriously. Talk to anyone that has been in the industry with a successful career and they will tell you that the basics of professionalism will catapult your career with many career options down the road, but you have to prove yourself first.

About the Author

Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is an author of the books Driven to Drive and Running By The Mile, and host of The Lead Pedal Podcast. TTSAO also known as the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has certified member schools in the truck training vocation ensuring quality entry level drivers enter the transportation industry. To learn more about the TTSAO or to find a certified school in your area visit

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