Seasoned Drivers Tell New Drivers What They Wish They Would Have Known

Oct 16 2017

If you’ve recently earned your CDL A, you may be eager to make a living in your first truck driving job. You may also find the trucking industry intimidating because you’re not sure what to expect. A number of J.B. Hunt veteran drivers remember their first months on the job and wanted to pass along what they wish they would have known as a newbie.

Read further to load up on some hefty industry advice from seasoned drivers. Any advice you’d like to add?

What do you wish you would have known when you first started truck driving, that you now know after years of driving?

  • Driving is not an easy way to get rich quick. It is hard work. You need to be careful, do not become complacent or push yourself too hard. Know your body and your limits. Don’t take risks that may cost your life or others because it’s not worth the extra dollar. – Gary
  • I have a great career driving and if I had started sooner, I would have everything paid off by now.  The work is hard, but the money is great and I pride myself on being a professional. My only regret is not starting sooner, so start as soon as you can. Later in life, you will thank yourself. – Jerry
  • I wish I’d known how to negotiate better with dispatch. It’s not all yes and no. It’s working together to get the job done safely and in a timely matter. It’s understanding both sides of the problem and how to figure out what works best for each load! One load at a time.  – Jodi
  • Don’t have a bad attitude. Never think that you are better than you are. Work on yourself and your own goals. Don’t pick up bad habits and you will succeed.  Smith system keys are very crucial especially G.O.A.L. –  get out and look – it will save your life. – Max
  • Your pre-trip planning and inspection does not just mean inspect your truck and plan your driving route, it involves a detailed look at weather conditions, traffic, construction, road restrictions, etc.  By having a deep understanding of what you are going to encounter on your route, you will be less stressed, more proactive and safer on the road. Having a route is important. – Mark
  • Have the willingness and more so, the ability to suppress annoyance from public driving habits, delays or construction. These things are bound to happen and we are the professionals, meaning we need to be the better driver and always give the public the right of way. Our main goal is safety and that needs to stay in the forefront of our minds at all times… A load can be late, but an accident or unsafe maneuver can last forever. – Edwina
  • I wish I had known that the hardest part of trucking for me was having to be away from my family and home, because of the length of time I had to be gone to gain all of this experience and be able to provide for myself and my family. I know now that it is easier for me to be away from my family working for J.B., who is a family oriented company… – Andrea
  • The grass is not greener on the other side. You will be tempted to switch companies from time to time, thinking that someone else will pay more, get you home more, etc. Often if you do get more of one, you lose something else you wanted.  It’s a balancing act… Longevity with one company will bring you additional happiness because you’ll have extra perks like more money (longevity pay), vested 401K, seniority (for truck assignments, vacation requests, transfers, etc.), more vacation time and Million Miler awards and perks. – Julia


Have 3 months of truck driving experience and ready to drive with J.B. Hunt? Join us. Call 1-877-791-9458 to discuss over the roadregional and local truck driving jobs or fill out a short form online.

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