What Makes a Responsible Truck Driver?

Training to be a responsible truck driver in New South Wales.

In Australia, a person needs to have a special licence for him to be able to drive a truck. Still, holding a heavy truck licence does not automatically make one a good driver. Training and certification aside, many equally important factors make a responsible truck driver.

10 factors that determine a responsible truck driver

10 factors that determine a responsible truck driver

Certain qualities and skills are necessary to be a responsible driver. These 10 characteristics will also ensure that any good driver turns into a great truck driver.

1. Relevant training and education

Whilst it is not the sole requirement of a truck driver, having relevant training and education is still an essential condition before one can drive, especially a heavy truck. A college degree or a high school diploma is not needed to be a truck driver, though. But going to driving school to obtain a Class A Commercial Driver’s Licence (CDL) is necessary to start a truck driving career.

Some companies look for a Hazmat, Tanker, or other endorsements, while others have extensive driver training programs. Having one or two endorsements, in addition to having completed a training program, will make it easier to be accepted at a job that one has applied for.

2. Have a little more patience

Many things can happen suddenly while on the road. For example, a tire can blow, or the truck can have a mechanical issue. Maybe the nearest truck stop is full, or a customer is taking too long. Often, the traffic situation will be bad to worse.

A driver who is constantly on the road is bound to experience one of these roadblocks. Whatever the situation, it is crucial to keep one’s cool. It is always better to be a safe and responsible driver and show a little more patience than to go rushing on the road and put people in danger.

3. Be alert and aware

Being alert and aware while on the road saves lives – not only that of the driver but those of others around him. A responsible truck driver is mindful of a few things on the road, including the weather conditions, the quality of the road, the traffic, and how the truck is doing.

Senses must be used for drivers to be completely alert and aware. Any unfamiliar vibration running through the vehicle, an alarming or strange smell and sound should not be left unchecked. A responsible truck driver should also be aware of any dangerous situation or accident up ahead, so they have more than enough time to avoid it.

4. Able to manage stress effectively

Effective stress management is also a vital quality of a responsible truck driver. Managing one’s time on the road, the random issues that crop up, relationships with customers and co-workers, and life outside of work can be stressful. Being able to handle these daily stressors is a crucial skill for a driver to have.

Meditation, exercise, talking about family and listening to music are some ways to help manage stress. Drivers must figure out which methods work to help them become better at their job.

5. Be good at managing time

Being efficient can help one keep track of their time. A truck driver who knows how to manage their time can reap its benefits, such as seeing the family on time, taking breaks at the best times, and getting orders to customers on schedule.

Effective time management can be achieved when drivers plan their routes ahead and know when to take a break throughout their trip.

6. Able to communicate clearly

The responsible truck driver knows how to communicate clearly with those around him. Whether he is talking to customers, dispatch, his supervisors, fellow drivers, people at the truck stops, or his family, the driver should be able to do it effectively, professionally, and calmly. This will ensure they get the message across and avoid confusion, apprehension, and other similar problems.

7. Good customer service

Although many people do not equate truck driving with customer service, being able to provide excellent service to customers easily turns a good driver to a great one. They should not only be able to deliver the goods safely and on time, but a responsible driver must also ensure that customers are given regular updates for their peace of mind.

8. Have a sense of independence

Except for team truck drivers, the regular truck driver usually spends most of their time on the road alone. Because there is no one in the vehicle to depend on, they have to have a sense of independence. This will help them solve problems they encounter. An independent, responsible truck driver can face whatever challenges that may come their way on the road.

9. Be of sound mind and body

A responsible truck driver knows when to stay off the road. This means making sure they are healthy both physically and mentally. They should be able to recognise when to stay off the road, as being mentally or physically ill can affect one’s judgment.

10. Know his truck.

A good driver should be familiar with the truck that they are driving, so that any anomalies can be addressed at the outset. They should also have some mechanical knowledge to take care of minor issues until they can get an expert mechanic to look at the truck.

Having even a little bit of mechanical knowledge also helps to see to it that the truck complies with safety standards.

Learn to be a good truck driver from Chris Shilling.

Learn to be a good truck driver from Chris Shilling.

Becoming a responsible truck driver depends heavily on yourself. However, CS Transport Training can provide you with proper training, as well as the knowledge, to be able to start. We offer fatigue management courses, a chain of responsibility courses, and dangerous goods awareness course, among others. Fill out our contact form so that we can get in touch with you. You may also call us on 0434 366 758 at your earliest convenience.

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