Thinking about becoming a truck driver. These are the requirements if you want to become a heavy truck and tractor-trailer driver.
Education: High school diploma + completion of professional truck driver training program (recommended)
Licensure: Commercial driver’s license (CDL)
Job responsibilities: Move cargo over long distances + load and unload cargo + maintain equipment + log activities
Job outlook: 5% growth
Average salary: $42,500
Truck drivers who can’t keep their cool in traffic won’t last long in the profession. It’s a must-have for every professional driver. To help you out, we compiled a list of 5 tricks for staying calm in traffic.
5 Tips for Staying Calm in Traffic
1. Listen to calming music
It may not be very wise to turn up Metallica’s Kill ‘Em All CD, when you’re bumper-to-bumper on the highway. Try to listen to some smooth jazz or country and sing along.
2. Get zen
You may be in proximity of thousands of other vehicles over the course of a day driving. You can’t control what other drivers do. Don’t let them affect you and drive as professionally as possible.
3. It’s not personal
A car that cuts you off probably doesn’t do that simply to bother you; it’s just driven by a bad driver.
4. Keep a lovely picture in the cab
Whether it’s your family, dog, or a beach, as long as it keeps you calm you should keep it in the cab of the truck.
5. Listen to a good book
A good book can take you places far away from the horrible traffic jam in which you’re stuck. Find some great title and see horrible traffic as a way to listen to another chapter.
Gas is an important and unavoidable aspect of the trucking industry. Although all truckers eventually has to refuel, the price you pay for fuel can differ quite a bit depending on your operating state. Truckers in the states mentioned below are out of luck: they can expect to pay up at the next gas stop.
Top 25 States with the Most Expensive Gas
- Hawaii: 3.419
- Alaska: 3.232
- California: 3.225
- Washington: 2.969
- Oregon: 2.823
- Nevada: 2.784
- Pennsylvania: 2.776
- Connecticut: 2.719
- New York: 2.696
- Montana: 2.630
- Colorado: 2.602
- Rhode Island: 2.600
- Idaho: 2.598
- Vermont: 2.564
- Utah: 2.559
- New Jersey: 2.557
- West Virginia: 2.549
- Massachusetts: 2.542
- Maine: 2.540
- North Dakota: 2.535
- Nebraska: 2.521
- Iowa: 2.516
- Wisconsin: 2.503
- South Dakota: 2.502
- New Hampshire: 2.495
Let’s be real, your truck is your home away from home, so shouldn’t it feel like it? One way to to avoid missing home as much is to make your cab as much like your real home as possible. A lot of these items will be one-time purchases, so invest in yourself a little bit! Since you probably don’t do a lot of spending on other home supplies, getting yourself a few nice things for your cab can make all the difference.
A few easy things you can get to spruce up your cab are
- Good quality bedding!
- The best part of being home is getting to lay in your own bed, so treat yourself a little bit and buy yourself some high-thread count sheets, nice pillows, and soft blankets.
- Now, before you say that “decorating is waste of time and money,” think about if you walked into your house and saw no pictures of loved ones or completely blank walls. It would be weird, right? Spend a little bit getting some pictures printed, or a cool poster to brighten up the place.
- Whether you measure out the dimensions of the flooring in your cab and get something that fits perfectly or you find some 1’x2’ carpet samples, your cab will go from industrial to comfortable with little to no effort. On a long trip you may be tempted to take your shoes off for a little while, and stepping down onto the floor feeling soft carpeting will make you forget you’re in your truck at all!
Ever check your phone while driving? The consequences can be a lot greater than you think they’d be. Listen to Brad Gorski’s personal story about distracted driving to gain insight about the risks of texting and driving.
For the first time since 2011, driver turnover rates for large truckload fleets has decreased by 16 percent. Trucking companies that bring in more than $30 million per year typical face a high turnover rate. Due to concerns with driver shortages, however, these companies have avoided turning over employees. Experts predict a similar trend in upcoming years.
Proper brake maintenance is vital to a safe fleet. Whether you’re an owner-operator, or part of a fleet, checking your brakes helps avoid any accidents or lawsuits. Follow these tips to make sure your brakes are all top-shape.
- Replace Parts: during your brake exam, make sure you check for any worn parts in need of replacing. These parts include brake pads (which should be replaced regularly), linings, hoses, and s cams. All these parts work together to make the truck stop, so it is imperative that they are up to date.
- Check the Air Compression Pressure Gauge: make sure your air compression pressure gauge runs between 100 psi and 125 psi. This is the ideal amount of pressure for your brakes to work properly. If your gauge is below 60 psi, it should not be driven. Make sure you check your gauge before you hit the road to avoid any accidents.
- Grease Up: a couple parts on your brakes should be greased. The first is the slack adjusters, which keep the brakes in alignment when they are in use. The second are the S Cams, which push the brake shoe into the wheel drum to stop the truck. While they do not have to be greased regularly, they should be checked that they are properly greased to keep them working well and prevent your brakes from seizing up.
Thinking about becoming a driver? Or, maybe you’re new and need a little guidance? Check out these tips from a fellow truck driver, who talks about some potential problems new drivers might face, and how to combat them.
From last month to now, diesel prices dropped $0.03. While we may think that’s a nice little discount, think about last year at this time. Diesel prices were $0.30 more expensive! I think we can all remember how much of a strain filling-up was on our wallets. Don’t worry though, prices are expected to drop more as the tax on oil decreases. You’ll be able to drive your truck with peace of mind knowing you won’t owe an arm and a leg every time you go to fill up your tank.
Trucking factoring is a way for trucking businesses to manage some of the financial stresses of waiting to be paid without waiting to pay employees. This method of insuring payment to employees and getting the funds needed to carry out other day to day business is becoming more and more popular among trucking companies. Utilizing trucking factoring companies is not quite like taking out a loan, either. Since it involves the sale of invoices to a factoring company, there generally isn’t a credit check or qualifying check like there may be with a bank loan. Overall, it is simply a way for a company who has a late-paying client to make sure the employees are paid and that business runs as normal.
There are times when a trucking business may face the harsh reality of a client who waits to pay for their shipment. Hopefully most trucking companies have clients that reliably pay on time, but sometimes there may be an issue where the client is late with the payment. This can be stressful when there is maintenance to be done and employees to be paid for the work they have completed. When something like this occurs, a trucking factoring company can step in to help.
Unlike applying for a loan, utilizing a factoring company involves the selling of invoices. When the factoring company purchases the invoices, they pay the trucking company so that the employees can get their paychecks on time. Then the factoring company waits to be paid by the client who is late. Once the client has paid in full, the factoring company generally hands over any reserves back to the trucking company, with a small percentage left as payment for services.
The nice thing about using a factoring company is that it can take much of the stress of waiting for payment off of a company owner’s mind. Instead of having to wait for the client to make the payment, the factoring company does the waiting for the trucking company. Instead of employees waiting to be paid, they receive their money right away. In addition, the trucking company does not have to go through the process of applying and waiting for approval of a bank loan.
Trucking factoring is a rather simple way to make sure a trucking company is able to pay employees and continue to function day to day when a client is late with payment. Rather than having to wait to pay employees due to a late client, a factoring company can give a trucking company the money right away and do the waiting on that company’s behalf. It can be a simple way to reduce the stress brought on by late paying clients.