Being new to the trucking and transportation industry can be intimidating. You have a lot of things to think about as you shoulder a lot of responsibilities. What should you plan on?
The answers are simple, but they aren’t exactly easy. How you perform in the first year driving can impact a lot about how you earn for many years to come. So while these goals are achievable, you will have to work at them diligently to succeed.
However, if you focus, it can be done and you will definitely stand out to carriers looking to hire. And believe us – they will be looking. Qualified driver shortages are one of the most concerning issues for carriers in 2012.
Earn Your Safety Bonuses
Safe truck drivers save carriers money, and many will pass part of these savings on to you each quarter. The bonus varies different at each carrier, but bottom line is that safe drivers earn more. Getting there requires a cool head, getting plenty of rest and keeping distractions to a minimum.
Prioritize Keeping Your CSA Score Low
Be a hero – score a zero. Every truck driver is graded in 6 different areas by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in a program called Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA). This report details your performance on the road. The 6 areas are used to determine the likelihood of a crash occurring that’s your fault. Any violation you receive will put points on your CSA score, so a perfect score is zero.
Do All You Can to Keep Your DAC Report Clean
DAC reports are like the credit scores for truckers. It grades your performance as a commercial truck driver with respect to time budgeting, efficiency with pick ups and drop offs, avoiding any type of stationary object and causing damage, and keeping a close eye on your tractor trailer and freight when outside of the cab. Using common sense and keeping track of details is the way to succeed here, so start building good habits early. It will become easier for you, which translates into quicker hires from carriers later.
Let’s make 2012 a great year. Good luck truckers!