If you’ve been fortunate enough to earn a career as a truck driver, it’s only right that you pay it forward. Teaching someone else this skill set can help them start a flourishing career with ample opportunity.
More than 72% of freight in the United States is transported by truck. This means that there’s no shortage of work for a good truck driver.
Here’s your guide to training truck drivers to control their vehicles, navigate the road, and build amazing careers.
Find Out Their Career Goals
Begin by helping your budding truck driver see the big picture for their career. Having solid career goals is the difference between just passing time and filling your time with purpose and intention.
Before ever sitting down for class sessions or getting behind the wheel of a truck, ask your student what made them want to sign up for driving school. Some people just want to enter a career path that is filled with opportunities. Other people have aspirations of becoming owner-operators, while others might like spending time traveling long distances.
No matter your reasons, you’ll be better able to reach your students when you understand what motivates them.
Have a Good Practice Truck
You’ll be better able to impart skills to a new truck driver when they have a quality truck to practice with. Make sure that the truck that they practice on is as close to the one that they will be driving as possible.
Above all, the truck should be safe and well-maintained. This way, you don’t have to worry about it breaking down while the new driver is learning. Check the fluids, get the truck inspected, and always make sure that the lights and safety equipment are in order.
Start With Safety and Awareness
Safety and defensive driving are the most important skills that your drivers can learn. This will help keep them safe and protect their lives and the lives of others.
This is important because trucking injuries can be costly, carry huge liabilities, and lead to serious medical needs – or worse. The best thing you can do is teach them things like monitoring blind spots, traveling safety, maintaining speed, and understanding some safety maneuvers.
By preventing accidents, your new driver can ward off these problems and build a flourishing career without setbacks.
Go Through Several Repetitions of Maneuvers
As the old saying goes, repetition is the mother of skill. This means that your driver will engrain their skills into their muscle memory the more that they practice. Have a course set up that allows people to practice without the pressure of being on the road and around other drivers.
Make sure that the course has as much wide open space as possible and enough maneuvers for them to get a realistic impression of what driving in a live situation will be like. Ease them into their new skillset and make sure that they have mastered the basics before adding to them. The more you are able to drill these skills, the better your student driver will be.
Log Meaningful Hours on the Road
Once your new truck driver is skilled enough to maneuver the truck without error, take them out onto the road so that they can get some live experience. These are the most meaningful hours that they will log, since it’s an accurate representation of what they will face when they’re doing their daily routes.
You can spend some time in the truck with them guiding the driver through different maneuvers and situations and providing some counsel so that they have another set of eyes and ears on the road. This will ease them into these situations and will help them build the confidence to eventually do it on their own.
Teach Them the Trucking Business
Becoming a truck driver is about a lot more than just driving – you have to also teach them the business. This is important whether they’re a professional that works as a freelancer, for a company, or as an owner-operator. Your driver needs to understand the various prerequisites for building their career, how to maintain their truck, getting reimbursement for their mileage, and more.
You can also teach them some basic record keeping and accounting practices that will help the new driver stay more organized and diligent about the work that they do. Learning the business is what will help your driver build a lengthy and successful career.
Test Them on the Laws
When you’re teaching your new truck driver, you need to make sure they have a thorough understanding of the law. This will help them drive legally and prevent infractions and penalties. These penalties add up over time and can even lead to them losing their driving privileges.
Teach them the various regulations set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and how they apply. They should understand signage and how to respond to different conditions and circumstances.
Training Truck Drivers 101
Training truck drivers fills two major purposes. It helps someone start a flourishing career, while also providing the industry a capable driver that can keep the economy going.
When your student driver is informed and prepared for the road, it becomes easier for them to build a career that will benefit them and others in the industry for many years to come.
OnlineCDLCourse.com can help you further. For information on courses and training, contact us via our site, or by calling 814-755-3100.