You did it! You received your Class-A CDL license and are ready to hit the open road. The highways are your domain and you represent the high safety standards and well-being for yourself and others on your journey. There is a multitude of emotions that come with your new career, the largest trucking fear is of the unknown.
You are eager to start driving, but you also feel fear and reservation. You’re on your own now, ready to meet the endless challenges that come with your new responsibilities. Its a turbulent swirl of emotions. Don’t sweat it too bad though. What perpetuates this fear is simply not knowing what to expect. This comes with any new position.
I have taken the cross country trip by myself. On my journey, I started reading a book called “Dune”. In the book, there is a repetitive phrase.
“I mustn’t fear; for fear is the mind-killer”
Although it is a little intense, it is true. Fear creates self-doubt and self-doubt can lead to a lot of negative spectrums.
You will experience circumstances that your training class will have only been able to describe to you. In this case, you will need to use your problem-solving skills in order to get yourself back up to speed. Everything that you have yet to learn will be learned through experience. We get it, you’re by yourself and there is something wrong going on inside your truck’s engine. You have no idea what’s going on and it can feel absolutely hopeless. Your best bet is to not give up. Every issue that you face is another issue that you will be ready for in the future. These issues grant the opportunity to learn and to grow as a driver and can one day help to assist other new drivers.
Whether you are a seasoned trucking expert, or fresh out of school, everyone will face these challenges at some point in their career. Like any career, you have your good days and your bad days. In the trucking industry, sometimes your bad day can leave you stranded in a blizzard. Trucking fear can get hold of everyone.
Everyone has their horror stories while on the road. Any experienced driver can give you a laundry list of mistakes that they have made. A big fear that most new drivers face is backing up. This is typically where most new drivers have accidents. Backing in can create a series of challenges of their own. Hitting other vehicles, backing into buildings or damaging the truck can put a pretty big spin on a new driver’s head. You’re probably going to do at least 2 of those things while becoming a skilled driver. It isn’t something that will go away anytime soon, either. It is up to you to get it right, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t going to run into accidents.
Established trucking companies know that when they hire someone fresh out of school, there is an increased risk of accidents. They also know that even the most seasoned trucker can do the exact same thing. Statistically speaking, if you have been in the industry for years and have not run into any accidents, then you’re soon to have one. Obviously, if you were reckless the penalties could mean firing, but if it is an honest accident, chances are you won’t lose your jobs over it. Your company expects mistakes, but they also expect you to learn from them.