Being the new person at any job often results in mistakes and issues that are just a normal part of the process of adjusting to your new job or career. While this happens in the commercial trucking industry as well, some of these common mistakes that are made by new commercial truck drivers have the potential for serious consequences. Mistakes happen, but new truck drivers should make an effort to avoid some of the more common mistakes that have the potential to lead to disastrous results.
This is one of the most common issues that new commercial truck drivers are guilty of. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of your success—you’ve passed your classes and the subsequent testing in order to obtain your CDL, and you feel like you’ve proven yourself a capable commercial truck driver. Passing the classes and acing the tests is a great achievement, but new drivers have not even scratched the surface when it comes to understanding what a career as a commercial truck driver is like. The Dunning-Kruger effect, which essentially states that focusing heavily on a topic can trick us into thinking we are experts on it, even when we are from it, is a common source of overconfidence from new commercial truck drivers that have passed their tests but lack the experience and expertise to really call themselves experts.
Overconfidence manifests itself as speeding, making dangerous maneuvers, and just generally failing to drive in a way that makes the safety of the truck driver and the other drivers on the road a priority.
Not Asking For Help
The problem with overconfidence, other than the fact that it can cause new truck drivers to behave foolishly and sometimes even recklessly, is the fact that it also tends to lead new commercial truck drivers to avoid asking for help. Pride, along with a false sense of superiority, can make new truck drivers think it’s shameful if they have to ask for help. After all, they just went through all of those classes and took all of those tests, so why would they need to ask questions? They should already have the answers. Well, maybe it would be nice if life worked that way, but new commercial truck drivers should always respect the experience of drivers that have been doing this a lot longer than they have—many of these seasoned drivers have tips and tricks you won’t learn in any CDL training class.
New commercial truck drivers, especially young drivers, have a bad habit of neglecting their health when they first get out on the open road. We understand how it is—the new career and the open road are exciting, and adjusting to life on the open road takes time. However, it is imperative that new commercial truck drivers take the time to find ways to maintain their physical and mental health while they’re out on jobs. Make time for exercise and hobbies, practice meditation, practice good hygiene, and get plenty of sleep. It will take some time to adjust, which is perfectly normal, but new drivers shouldn’t just accept an unhealthy lifestyle.
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