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Top 15 Rookie
Driving Mistakes 

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#1. Just flat out doing stupid things. This could be anything from taking a curve to quickly to missing a turn.

#2. Grinding gears all day and still struggling with downshifting. Everyone grinds, but not everyone grinds like a driver on their first month.

#3. Fueling too much. Some loads are very heavy. I've had one load where I had to throw away some chains just to make the weight. Fueling too much can put you overweight. Coming in with full fuel for a beer load is suicide.

#4. Not having the fifth wheel in the correct position. There really is a perfect spot for that fifth wheel. Experiment with it and find your spot so you can have more weight off the drive axles.


#5. Driving when the conditions are not ideal. As a rookie you just want to make a good impression. Sometimes you sacrifice safety without you knowing it. As a rookie you don't know all that well about the road conditions.

#6. Failing to trip plan. It's just a thing you learn over time. But it could make you late if you mess up.

#7. Not realizing that you can park at some shippers, or receivers so you can unload or load while taking your 10 your break. Nothing sucks more than having to drive only 6 miles and having to start your clock when you could have just parked at the facility.

#8. Underestimating the stupidity of 4-wheelers. I don't mean this offensively. But the things that 4-wheelers do around trucks is astonishing.

#9. Taking downhills too fast. A lesson I learned the hard way. Don't take downhills fast. Remember you can always upshift but you cannot ever downshift. You can go down a hill a million times slowly, but you can only go down a hill one time fast.

#10. Taking in all the stress. Trucking is very stressful. You need you learn to forget and move on.

#11. Going for the difficult parking spots at truck stops instead of parking in an easy spot and walking an extra 15 feet. Most accidents occur at truck stops so its a good habit to be extra vigilant in them.

#12. Ensuring that you're legal for states that have a strict kingpin setting like CA. There's a simple answer - always scale the load.

#13. Talking in an unprofessional manner to your DM and/or shippers/receivers. These people literally control your life and happiness. Don't mess with them. Be kind, grateful, and professional.

#14. Not taking local directions seriously. This can lead to disasters. This can lead to low clearances, non-truck routes, and a whole lot of other headaches. Always plan every turn and study the route, especially when you're going into a city in the East.

#15. Not balancing your hours each day so you can always have hours coming back and you can always be driving every day. Working 11 hours then 3 hours then 10 hours then 5 hours isn't a good thing. Balancing the days is always better.

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  Surviving The First Year


  A Few Tips For Owner Operators


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