Posts


A Yard Jockey is a driver who moves trailers within a cargo yard, terminal or warehouse. Though it may not seem like it, yard jockeys are the life force of any yard. Their job is to keep everything moving smoothly and help to avoid congestion. Without them, the smooth operation of the yard would cease to exist. 

We spoke with Pete, a CDL A yard jockey out of New York. He talked to us about what it’s like to be a yard jockey.   

CDL A Yard Jockey, Pete

“I wanted to become a yard Jockey to help other truck drivers be ready for the road. My job entails filling up diesel gas tanks and making sure that everything on the truck is working in proper condition. I also wash trucks, and make sure they’re safe to the fill up for the next delivery. I enjoy the repetitive exercises and keeping the yard in order. Being a yard jockey also gives me the opportunity to sharpen my skills as a driver for when I get on the road,” Shared Pete.

What are a Yard Jockey’s Responsibilities?

The job goes by many names, including yard jockey, yard spotter, or yard dog, but the job description is the same. While their main ones are moving trailers around the yard and loading and unloading them, there’s a lot of other things they’re responsible for as well. They take on duties like cleaning trailers, fueling reefers, inspecting and maintaining equipment, and filling out paperwork as need be. 

Do Yard Jockeys Need a CDL?

The short answer is no. According to federal law, since yard jockeys don’t leave the carrier’s private property, they aren’t required to hold a CDL. That’s not to say that every company will hire someone without a CDL for a yard jockey position. While yard jockeys won’t be driving a trailer down the highway, they’ll still be doing it in the yard and will need to know the basics of how to maneuver it to be successful in the role. 

What Do Yard Jockeys Drive on the Job?

Instead of driving a cab attached to a trailer like a typical CDL driver, yard jockeys use what’s called a terminal tractor to move the trailers throughout the yard. Terminal tractors are smaller than cabs and are built specifically to maneuver trailers and hook or unhook them quickly. They even have a sliding door in the back for easy access to the trailer. This increases overall yard efficiency along with saving carriers money on gas, since terminal tractors are more fuel efficient. Aside from tractor trailers, yard jockeys use other standard warehouse equipment, including forklifts and pallet jacks. 

“An average day for me isn’t set in stone. It’s all dependent on the routing schedule and how many drivers are coming back to base on a given day. On busier days, my job is much more active, both mentally and physically, which can make it a bit stressful at times. But, there are also the lighter days, when trucks come in spread out. Then, I’m able to organize my train of thought and have a plan of how to work ahead for the next driver that comes into the yard,” Shared Pete.

Why Should I Be a Yard Jockey Instead of a CDL Driver?

While the choice is always up to the person, there’s a number of reasons why someone would choose to be a Yard jockey. The first reason is that a CDL isn’t always necessary. It’s up to the company’s discretion at the end of the day, but there are some carriers who will hire jockeys who don’t have their CDL. This is great for people who are interested in driving as a career, but don’t have the money for CDL school at the moment or want to see the industry first-hand before they decide to go to CDL school.  Some carriers will also pay the tuition for a yard jockey who expresses interest in going to CDL school, so it’s a win-win.  

The second reason is the set hours and predictable pay. While some may enjoy the trucker lifestyle of making their own hours and being on the road, it isn’t a life for everyone. As a yard jockey, you’ll have a set schedule, work predictable hours, get predictable pay, and be able to come home every night. Depending on the company, yard jockey can also get the same company benefits drivers do, including medical, dental, and vision insurance along with a 401K.  

“My advice to those who want to become a yard jockey is to simply do it! It not only pays a hefty paycheck each week, but it also sharpens your skills as a driver.  You get to learn the ins and outs of different trucks, as well as backing, fueling, coupling and uncoupling. You’ll learn pretty much all the basics of truck driving you’ll need before you get out there as a full-time CDL A or B driver,” Shared Pete. 

While yard jockeying may not pay as much as CDL driving, it’s a great position for anyone who is interested in taking their first steps into a career in trucking, or just wants to earn honest, reliable pay.

We Want to Hear Your Thoughts on Trucking

Are you looking for a job or have you looked for a job in the past 18 months? We want to hear about your experience!
Register Here

truck parking
If you were to ask truck drivers to list their biggest grievances about their job, there’s no doubt that parking would be at the top of that list. In fact, drivers were asked, and truck parking was number 5 on ATRI’s Top Industry Issue’s poll for 2021. It’s become such a pervasive issue in the industry that legislation has been introduced to congress urging them to act on the problem. While it may fly under the radar nationally, but the issue of truck parking is nothing new.  

What’s Causing the Truck Parking Issue?

Truck parking has been an issue for many years, but with the increased demand for freight and more trucks on the road than ever before, the situation is only getting worse. In short, there are just not enough safe and reliable places for drivers to stop while they’re on the road. 

How is it Affecting Drivers?

Although the issue of truck parking affects everyone, including management and customers, it’s the drivers who feel it worst of all. They’re often faced with the decision to either stay on the road well past when they should have turned in or park somewhere unsafe and possibly illegal. Aside from that, it’s also turning into a financial issue for drivers as well. All that time spent looking for parking is time that could be spent driving, which means less miles and less money at the end of the day. The issue is becoming so large that it’s beginning to turn some drivers off from the industry altogether.  

What’s Being Done to Stop it?

The Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act was introduced to the House of Representatives in March of 2021. If passed, the act would authorize the Department of Transportation (DOT) to disburse funding for more truck parking throughout the US highway system. Unfortunately, the house hasn’t acted on the bill, and it now sits dormant in congress.   

Additionally, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act initially allotted over $1 billion in funds to truck parking, but that part of the bill was dropped before it was passed. In the private sector, companies that already offer truck parking try and expand their current offerings but are often met with resistance from state and local government red tape and citizen pushback.  

What Can Drivers Do to Combat it?

All these things unfortunately put the burden of figuring out truck parking on the drivers themselves. Drivers have been relying on parking apps like Trucker Path for the better part of 10 years to find available parking while on their route. Millions of drivers have downloaded the app and use it daily to try and find nearby parking. While it’s certainly not ideal, it’s much better than just winging it and hoping you’ll find a spot when it’s time to shut down for the night. 

truck parking

CDL A Owner Operator, Larry

But, as many drivers will tell you, the best thing you can do is to plan ahead for parking and get a start on it early. Just take it from Larry, a CDL A Owner Operator, 

“Plan where you’re going to stop, and pay for parking if necessary. Never park on the side of the road or on an on ramp. That’s very dangerous. Planning is a very big part of knowing where to park. Remember, if it seems sketchy, it probably is! Keep it moving,” shared Larry.

While the truck parking shortage looks to be here for a while, the good news is that it’s becoming more and more widely known outside of the trucking industry. As long as drivers, carriers, and all those affected continue to speak out against it, there’s hope that the parking shortage will become a thing of the past.  

We Want to Hear Your Thoughts on Trucking

Are you looking for a job or have you looked for a job in the past 18 months? We want to hear about your experience!
Register Here

time management tips
Most truck drivers enjoy the freedom that the job and lifestyle gives them. But this freedom comes at the cost of being able to manage your own time. For experienced truckers who have been on the road for years, this isn’t a problem. But for new drivers, who have come from different workplaces, like restaurants or offices, this can be a bit of a culture shock. 

New drivers, not versed in the best practices of the road, can have difficulty getting shipments delivered on time. This can lead to stress, unhappy customers, and even disciplinary action from their employer if if it keeps happening. The good news for new drivers is that time management skills will come in time. But to help jumpstart the process, here’s a couple of tips from current CDL drivers on how to manage your time effectively while on the road. 

1. Avoid Unnecessary Stops

This can be the biggest problem that new drivers face. You have 14 hours total in your day, 11 to drive, three to do with as you please. While three hours seems like a ton of time for breaks and stops, ask any trucker and they’ll tell you that it adds up quickly when you factor in trying to find parking, long lines and other time drains.  

Jimmy’s Kenworth

“Use your time wisely. Always remember that as soon as your clock starts for the day, you only have a total of 14 hours to work and 11 to drive. Don’t spend any more time at shippers/receivers or truck stops than necessary while your clock is running. Just be diligent in utilizing your time wisely,” shared Jimmy, a Flatbed Driver in PA. 

The best way to combat this is to limit the stops you make for food and drinks. Try stocking up your truck on the essentials while you’re at home so you’ll have to make fewer stops while driving. Another tip is to monitor your gas as well. Instead of stopping once for food and once again for gas, get them both done in one stop. 

2. Plan Your Parking

Over the past few years, there’s been more of a light shone of the lack of legal and safe parking available for truck drivers. So much so that some drivers stop driving earlier than they need to, just to guarantee they’ll have a good place to park.  

“Having a place to park that is safe and has amenities is important for all drivers, whether you’re a veteran or a rookie. New drivers always need to have a plan B, or even a plan C when it comes to parking,” shared Jimmy. 

While this still continues to be an issue for truckers, technology is on your side when it comes to parking. There are a number of great apps that help drivers find the closest and best parking spots, rest areas, and even weigh stations. Try and plan out where you’ll be stopping for the night by checking these apps early. Always have a plan B or C as well in case there’s no space at the first spot. 

3. Try to Avoid Traffic

This tip is of course, much easier said than done. Even if you do everything right, sometimes traffic will be unavoidable. But there are a few things you can do to avoid getting caught in it. 

Angel, CDL A Driver

“From my experience, I always add an extra 1.5 hours to my ETA to accommodate for stops, traffic, etc. Always plan for the worst but expect the best. Strive to be early for your appointment times and use trucker apps to check for parking. Most importantly, have your CB radio on and use it,” shared Angel, a CDL A Driver.

Try and strategize your routes so that you avoid driving through busy streets or stretches of highway during peak rush hour traffic and use that time for your breaks and stops instead. Also, just like with parking, there’s a number of apps, like Waze that can help you avoid heavy traffic and plan your route.  

“Pre-plan your route. Know where you’ll need to fuel up. Know at what time you’ll hit major cities. That’s crucial if you want to avoid traffic jams. I’ll just say don’t go through Chicago during rush hour if you can help it,” shared Uros, a CDL A Driver.

4. Avoid Going Too Hard

Uros, CDL A Driver

Having great time management skills is essential for any driver. Experienced drivers can get so savvy that they’re actually able to take a full day off their routes at certain times. But the flip side to that is knowing when too much is too much. 

“Get your sleep—seriously. Rest is an important element of trucking. After all, you’re operating heavy machinery and need to be alert at all times,” shared Uros.

While optimizing your time is great, it should never come at the expense of rest. It’s essential that drivers get an adequate amount of sleep each night, for both their safety and the safety of others. It may seem like a good idea to try and get some extra miles in when you should be sleeping, but the risk is never worth it, and you may end up costing yourself more time if you end up getting into an accident because of it. 

If you’re a new driver worried about time management, you’re not alone. Even the most experienced drivers were rookies at some point. Just keep driving, follow these tips and you’ll be a time management expert in no time.  

two men in a truck

Find a Truck Driver Job

Drive My Way matches you with a job based on your personal preferences and qualifications.
Create a Free Profile


Over the past few years, there’s been a lot of talk about driverless trucks and the impact they’ll have on the trucking industry. But, it’s important for drivers worried about their jobs to not give in to the sensationalist headlines. While driverless trucks are definitely the wave of the future, they won’t be replacing truck drivers in the foreseeable future. Here’s the basics on driverless trucks and why truck drivers will still be needed, no matter what.  

What is a Driverless Truck?

A driverless truck is any semi-truck that has at least some level of autonomy. SAE International, (formerly the Society of Automotive Engineers has laid out six levels of automation in regard to semi-trucks.   

Level 0 is no automation, and level 1 includes assisted steering and lane departure warnings. Level 5 is a fully automated truck that can drive itself, even in inclement weather without needing a driver. Most companies are introducing level 2-3 automation right now, with level 5 only happening in controlled demonstrations.  

Driverless trucks have been in development by dozens of companies over the last ten years. Big companies like Tesla and Waymo (Subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., the company that owns Google) have been developing self-driving technology for years. There’s also lesser-known tech companies like Plus, TuSimple and Embark that have already gotten billions of dollars in investor funding for their trucks. While there’s a lot of money going into driverless truck technology, drivers shouldn’t be worrying. 

What Do They Mean for Truck Drivers?

While it makes sense on the surface, it’s a common misconception that driverless trucks will put drivers out of jobs. Since most companies are only testing level 2-3 automation right now, the trucks aren’t doing everything themselves. And even when level 5 trucks are on the road, an experienced driver will still need to be in the truck at all times in case something goes wrong. 

That’s because truck drivers do more than just drive. A truck can’t load and unload freight or talk to customers and dispatch about the details of an order. This means that truck driver jobs will be more than safe for the foreseeable future.  

What’s the Future for Self-Driving Trucks?

As of right now, it’s full steam ahead for the companies investing time and resources in driverless technology. Some in the industry believe we’ll begin seeing driverless trucks as the norm in the next decade, but this estimate may be a little optimistic.  

Yes, the big players in driverless trucking are talking about implementing the technology, but it’s still a long way from happening on a large scale. The majority of trucking companies, especially smaller ones, don’t have the money to use this technology within their fleets anytime soon. But, even if and when that does happen, trained drivers will still be needed in the cab at all times. If you’re a truck driver, don’t spend time worrying about driverless trucks any time soon. 

two men in a truck

Find a Truck Driver Job

Drive My Way matches you with a job based on your personal preferences and qualifications.
Create a Free Profile

truck driver health problems
We all know that truck driving isn’t the healthiest profession. Hours of sitting in a cab with little access to healthy food can unfortunately lead to a number of health problems. While there has been a recent push in the trucking industry to provide drivers with more resources and opportunities to be healthier on the road, it’s still important to understand what health problems truck drivers are prone to.  

We talked with Bob Perry, the Trucker Trainer™ about the biggest health risks currently facing truck drivers and what causes them. 

Bob Perry, the Trucker Trainer™

Bob shared, “Being a Professional Truck or Bus Driver is not the healthiest job. The combination of too much sitting, too little exercise and an unhealthy diet can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep disorders, heart conditions and more. This can make passing the DOT re-certification exam daunting without education and support. After spending the last several months talking with TPA’s, clinics, carriers and drivers to gather the most current DOT Exam results from the National Registry, the results we’ve found are very concerning.” 

Bob continued, “What we’ve learned is that over 50% of our current drivers are on short-term cards, one year or less. Even more alarming is that over 300,000 drivers are disqualified each year from health issues. 

In most cases these include 1. hypertension, 2. prediabetes, and 3. sleep disorders. How do these short-term cards and disqualified drivers affect our industry? We keep hearing about the 80,000-driver shortage, but what if we spent 25% of recruiting budgets on providing the resources to educate and rebuild our skilled driver’s health? Could we save 10% of our drivers? That 80,000 driver short-fall would look different.”

1. Obesity

Obesity is one of the biggest issues facing truck drivers right now, and it’s associated with almost every other health problem on this list. According to the CDC, truck drivers are twice as likely to struggle with obesity compared to other US workers. Obesity can make it difficult to pass a DOT Physical too, taking it from a strictly health problem to a financial one as well.  

Luckily, there are a number of things drivers can do to combat obesity while on the road. Consider packing healthy meals in advance while you’re at home, instead of relying on rest stops and fast food. Even small changes like using your mandated DOT break to do some light exercises or go for a walk can have great results.  

2. Diabetes

The CDC found that truck drivers are 50% more susceptible to diabetes than the national average. A healthy diet and exercise are the best ways to avoid diabetes, but any driver over 45 who has a family history of diabetes is at a higher risk for it. Visit your doctor promptly if you start to exhibit any of the early signs of it.  

3. Smoking

It’s common knowledge that smoking is linked to numerous health problems, including heart disease and of course, cancer. But did you know that truck drivers are twice as likely to smoke compared to other workers? 

There’s a number of reasons why a driver might pick up smoking, whether they feel it helps with fatigue, weight loss or boredom. But, the risks heavily outweigh whatever benefits there might be. The obvious answer here is to quit smoking, but that’s much easier said than done. Luckily there are more resources available for drivers who want to quit than there used to be. Nicotine patches, prescription drugs, and behavioral therapy are all proven ways to help truck drivers stop smoking. Even vaping is a better alternative, though it’s not completely nicotine free 

4. Hypertension

Hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure, is when a person’s blood pressure rises and stays risen for an extended period of time. On average, truck drivers are more prone to hypertension than the average person and can be caused by a number of things, including an unhealthy diet, high in salt. Like many things on this list, making an active effort to eat better is the best way for drivers to avoid hypertension or at least keep it in check.  

5. Sleep Disorders

Sleep problems, including insomnia and sleep apnea are common in truck drivers. Unfortunately, they’re also deadly if gone untreated. If you’re not getting the recommended 6-8 hours of sleep a night, your body will try and compensate by “microsleeping” or sleeping in extremely small quantities (between 1-30 seconds) without warning. This is just an annoyance for most people but can be deadly when it happens to someone who’s on the road driving a 15-ton semi-truck.  

Fortunately, modern medicine gives drivers many different ways to get a good night’s sleep while on the road. Depending on the problem, a CPAP machine or melatonin may do the trick, but visiting your doctor is always the first step.  

While truck drivers face more health problems than average Americans, these can be mostly be avoided through a proper balance of diet and exercise. Some issues, like diabetes and hypertension may be linked to family history, which is why having regular visits with your doctor is important.  

two men in a truck

Find a Truck Driver Job

Drive My Way matches you with a job based on your personal preferences and qualifications.
Create a Free Profile

What is the Vaccine Mandate?

In early November, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) issued an emergency order that starting in early January, all companies with 100 or more employees would be required to implement a vaccine mandate for all employees or do weekly testing for those who wish to remain unvaccinated. The announcement caused a stir in a lot of industries, especially trucking. Here’s all the latest news on OSHA’s recent announcement and how it will affect truck drivers.  

What’s the Latest News?

A similar mandate will be put into place by the Canadian government in early January. This will require U.S. drivers who go across the border to provide proof of vaccination before entering the country. The compliance date for U.S drivers entering Canada to be vaccinated is January 15th, 2022. While proponents of the mandate say it will help curb the number of people infected with the virus, opponents say it will add stress to an already stretched supply chain. 

cdl driving test

The Supreme Court held an emergency hearing on the subject on Friday, January 7. The court is deciding whether or not the executive branch has the authority to implement such an order. While we don’t know when the court will make a ruling, it’s likely that it will be sooner rather than later, due to the urgency of the issue.  Early reports indicate that the court is leaning towards blocking the mandate. 

The American Trucking Association, (ATA) had this to say about the mandate,  

“Based on survey data, we believe a vaccine mandate would fuel a surge in driver turnover and attrition, with fleets losing as much as 37% percent of their current driver workforce to retirement or smaller carriers not subject to the mandate.” 

How Will the Vaccine Mandate Affect Drivers?

The mandate states that any company with 100 or more employees will need to issue a vaccinate mandate or have employees tested weekly. There are a few exemptions to this rule that will affect truck drivers;

  • Employees who do not report to a workplace where other individuals are present 
  • Employees who work from home 
  • Employees who work exclusively outdoors  

OSHA had this to say about how the mandate will affect truck drivers specifically,

“There is no specific exemption from the standard’s requirements for truck drivers. However, paragraph (b)(3) provides that, even where the standard applies to a particular employer, its requirements do not apply to employees “who do not report to a workplace where other individuals such as coworkers or customers are present” or employees “who work exclusively outdoors.” Therefore, the requirements of the ETS do not apply to truck drivers who do not occupy vehicles with other individuals as part of their work duties. Additionally, the requirements of the ETS do not apply to truck drivers who encounter other individuals exclusively in outdoor environments. On the other hand, the requirements of the ETS apply to truck drivers who work in teams (e.g., two people in a truck cab) or who must routinely enter buildings where other people are present. However, de minimis use of indoor spaces where other individuals may be present (e.g., using a multi-stall bathroom, entering an administrative office only to drop off paperwork) does not preclude an employee from being covered by these exemptions, as long as time spent indoors is brief, or occurs exclusively in the employee’s home (e.g., a lunch break at home). OSHA will look at cumulative time spent indoors to determine whether that time is de minimis.”

While most company drivers will fall under these exemptions, this would not cover drivers who work in teams or drivers who need to go inside buildings regularly for trainings or orientation, but once again, it’s unclear how OSHA will treat these cases.  

How Will it Affect Employers?

Employers, just like drivers, will need to comply with the new regulation. Some in the industry worry that the mandate will give an unfair hiring advantage to companies who employ less than 100 people that don’t have to comply with the regulation. 

While this would be the first time the government has mandated vaccination for workers, many employers in the trucking industry have already been requiring vaccination for their drivers for some time now. This means that not much will change for them. 

As of right now, this story is still unfolding, and a lot could change between now and if and when the vaccine mandate goes into effect. That includes a possible Supreme Court ruling that would make OSHA’s emergency order unconstitutional. Make sure to look online regularly for updates to stay informed on how this will impact you or your company.  

two men in a truck

Find a Truck Driver Job

Drive My Way matches you with a job based on your personal preferences and qualifications.
Create a Free Profile

4 of the Best Sleeping Tips for Truckers

Truck drivers and a good night’s sleep don’t always go well together. Besides being a major annoyance, lack of sleep can lead to safety issues while on the road. Many drivers, specifically OTR drivers, experience poor sleep habits, which can lead to irritability and slow reaction time—two big issues if you’re driving a large vehicle for extended periods of time. It’s also a major factor in accidents involving truck drivers.

There are a few reasons that truck drivers, specifically OTR drivers are at a greater risk for developing sleeping problems. Aside from the difficulty of finding a place to sleep, they may have to deal with noise, lights as well. While these challenges can be difficult, there are a lot of things that truck drivers can do to help them sleep better while on the road. Here are 4 of the best sleeping tips for truck drivers.

1. Find a Safe Spot

This first tip comes to us from Larry, a CDL A Owner Operator.

“I tell new drivers to sleep at truck stops or rest areas. Preferably well lit, especially if you are a female truck driver. Also, plan where you’re going to stop, and pay for parking if necessary. Never park on the side of the road or on an on ramp. That’s very dangerous! Planning is very big part of knowing where to park. Remember, if it seems sketchy, it probably is! Keep it moving.”

2. Eliminate Distractions: Light and Sound

There are two main types of distractions that drivers who are trying to sleep deal with: light and sound. For light, we recommend using a visor shade for your windshield, as that’s the biggest place where light can pour into your truck. If that’s still not enough, wearing a face mask is your best bet. A heavy duty one that won’t move around much while you’re sleeping works best.

sleeping tips

Eliminating sources of sound is also important but can be a bit trickier. While this is easier said than done, the best thing you can do is to try and park away from other trucks if possible. But this, of course, isn’t always an option. If it’s specific noise, like people talking or engines that keeps you from falling asleep, consider using a white noise machine. These are devices that look like a speaker and emit sounds similar to TV static or waves that many people find it easy to fall asleep to. If it’s all noise that bothers you, you might want to think about a pair of ear plugs. Take this as a last resort though, as it’s important to still be aware of your senses, especially if you’re in an unfamiliar truck stop or rest area.

3. Get a Better Mattress

Having a quality mattress is an often overlooked but crucial component for driver sleep, especially in older drivers. Mattresses, especially higher end mattresses, can seem like a big investment. But when you consider how much time you spend in your tuck, it’ll prove its value in no time. The Sleep Foundation has a lot of great information on the best mattresses out right now for truck drivers.

4. Consider Caffeine Alternatives

Coffee, Red Bull and soft drinks are very popular with truck drivers thanks to their caffeine content and wide availability at restaurants and gas stations. But, having too much caffeine during the day or any within 5 hours of going to sleep is shown to cause issues like not letting you access deep sleep, which can have negative effects on your short and long-term memory.

For many long-haul drivers, getting a good night’s sleep can prove difficult. There are any of number of challenges that affect your sleep and subsequently, your performance on the road. While these sleeping tips can help, it’s important to know when it’s time to see a licensed sleep specialist. If your sleep issues get bad enough, a professional is your best resource in keeping yourself healthy and safe while on the road.

truck driver at loading dock

Find a Truck Driver Job

Drive My Way matches you with a job based on your personal preferences and qualifications.

Create a Free Profile

new year's resolution
Each year, people all over the world decide which New Year’s Resolution they want to commit to for the following year. Exercising more, learning a new hobby, and eating better are all common resolutions people try to stick to.  Truck Drivers are no different, but their lifestyle of being on the road makes finding resolutions, let alone sticking to them that much harder.  That’s why we’ve compiled 7 common resolutions for truck drivers and how to stick to them! 

1. Eat Better on the Road

This is a very common New Year’s resolution, but it’s also the one that most people fail! Why? Many people set unrealistic expectations that they can’t reasonably meet when it comes to eating better. The lesson here is that you don’t need to do it cold turkey. Instead of cutting out all energy drinks, start with drinking them 3 times a week instead of everyday. This is a much easier resolution to stick to that can lead to you eventually cutting them out entirely, if that’s what you want.

2. Find a new podcast 

Finding good podcasts is a great New Year’s resolution for drivers. Spending hours and hours behind the wheel can get a little dull, so finding interesting podcasts is a great way to keep yourself engaged while on the road.  

There are a huge number of trucking podcasts out there that will connect you with other drivers, give you tips for being on the road and provide you with industry news. The Trucking Podcast, Driver Hub and Trucking for Millennials are just a few of the trucking-specific podcasts out there. Aside from those, there are podcasts out for every interest or hobby. Ancient Rome, fly fishing, engine repair, there’s a podcast for everything! Do a quick search on Spotify, Apple Music or any other streaming service to see what’s out there.  

3. Take care of your eyes

Driving for extended periods of time can really put a strain on your eyes. That’s why taking care of them makes a great new year’s resolution for truck drivers. You can start by making sure to wear sunglasses during the summer or whenever the sun’s out. Aside from being a fashion statement, they help protect your eyes from UV rays that can do damage to your eyes over an extended period of time. Another tip is to be honest about yourself when it’s time to start wearing glasses or contacts, even if you only need them at night or when it’s raining. Schedule a yearly visit with an optometrist to get ahead of eye problems as they occur.  

4. Get some exercise in

Whenever possible, get some light exercises in while on the road. There’s been a lot written about this subject in recent years, so we’ll just give you the highlights. If you’re in an area you’re familiar with, think about using your 30-minute DOT break to talk a short walk or do some bodyweight exercises like push-ups, sit-ups or crunches. There are also some lightweight equipment options like resistance bands and grip trainers that are easy to use as well.  

5. Sleep Better

sleeping tipsGetting a good night’s sleep is vital to being a great trucker. Unfortunately not sleeping well is a problem many drivers face. Simple fixes like eliminating light and sound distractions and limiting your caffeine intake before bed can make sleeping on the road much easier.

6. Keep a Clean Cab

The benefits to keeping your cab clean are the same as keeping a clean room or house. The act of cleaning and having a tidy, neat space are shown to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. If you need any more incentive, clean cabs probably aren’t going to get as much DOT attention as a cluttered one will.   

As for the outside of your truck, keeping that clean is extremely important too, especially if you’re an Owner Operator. Make it part of your new year’s resolution to wash it frequently, as dirt, mud, and road salt can add premature wear to different parts of your truck. If a truck’s dirty enough, structural problems that you’d be able to see on a clean rig can be hidden.   

What are your New Year’s resolutions for 2022? If we missed it, let us know in the comments!  

two men in a truck

Find a Truck Driver Job

Drive My Way matches you with a job based on your personal preferences and qualifications.

Create a Free Profile

two men in a truckThe truck driving community is very tight-knit. There are a number of unspoken rules and courtesies that truckers follow that aren’t covered in CDL school. These unspoken truck driving rules are passed down from driver to driver and generation to generation. We talked to drivers who shared a few of the unspoken rules they’ve learned over the years.

Spacing and Passing

A common pain point for many truck drivers is when cars zoom around and cut them off with little regard for their safety. This behavior is frustrating, but it’s much worse when it comes from a fellow truck driver.

Jerry shared, “If you have room, use it. Don’t cut it short if you don’t have to.”

When passing another truck driver, make sure you have at least 200 feet of distance from the back of your trailer to the front of their cab. This may seem like too much space, but it’s really not. Being any closer could mean that the driver behind you can’t see their surroundings, which could be disastrous if they need to make a sudden stop.

Tina shared, “Drive as far ahead as you can, and don’t wait until the last moment to make a move.”

Don’t Talk About Your Haul

truck at gas station

This is a big one for many new drivers. While you may trust the person you’re talking to, you never know who could be listening in, especially if you’re stopped at a truck stop or gas station. Telling others about your haul is a high-risk, no-reward situation. You don’t gain anything from telling someone your freight, and you stand to risk a whole lot by doing it.

This tip could seem a little too over-cautious, but there’s good reason for it. According to the FBI, $139 million was reported stolen via cargo theft. The best way to avoid being part of this statistic is to keep what you’re hauling close to the chest.

Get Your Gas and Go

This unspoken rule is more common courtesy than anything else. Don’t be that driver that sits at the diesel pump for an extra 15 minutes while you grab your snacks and go to the bathroom.

Donald shared, “Be thoughtful of the other drivers and move off the fuel pumps. No parking at the pumps or area just ahead of the pumps. Just get your paperwork and park in the lot if you want to buy lunch, take a shower, sleep, etcetera.”

While this is a problem for regular drivers as well, it’s worse for truck drivers. Why? Drivers are on a tight schedule and need to get moving as quickly as possible. Your quick trip to grab candy and a drink could be costing a fellow driver money.

Follow Lot Courtesy

Lot courtesy goes a long way in trucking. Make sure you’re driving carefully and following all posted speed limits in any lot, especially at night or when it’s crowded. Also, make sure to respect drivers who may be sleeping.

Chuck shared, “Don’t sit there side blinding a guy with your headlights when they’re backing up.”

The last thing they want to see is someone blasting their headlights while they’re already parked in a space. And if you’re planning to catch some shut eye, take a quick look and make sure you’re not blocking anyone in who was there first.

Jerry shared, “Do not block someone in! If they were parked there before you got there, common sense should tell you that their break will be up before yours.”

Honk!

Honking for kids has been a trucker tradition for generations. Kids love doing it, and it can make their day while on a long car trip with the family. And who knows, your honk could be inspiring the next generation of truck drivers!

These are just a few of the unspoken rules of trucking. There’s countless more out there, and as the industry evolves, there will be new ones as well. What are some of the unspoken truck driving rules that we missed? Let us know in the comments.

truck driver at loading dock

Find a Truck Driver Job

Drive My Way matches you with a job based on your personal preferences and qualifications.

Create a Free Profile

backing up a semi trailer

Backing up a semi-trailer is one of the most difficult skills to learn as a driver and an even harder one to master. It’s a weakness for many new drivers straight out of school and even some more experienced ones. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Here are 6 of the best tips drivers use to back up a semi-trailer with confidence. 

1. Practice

This is obvious, but for good reason. Practicing is the number one way to become comfortable backing up a semi-trailer. If you’re able to, try finding an empty lot or truck stop to practice in. Perfecting your technique in an empty space is a lot easier than doing it when you’ve got shippers/receivers staring at you while you try to back into a difficult dock. 

We spoke to Natalie and she shared her advice for other truck drivers.

“Do everything yourself in confidence. When I first got into trucking, I never wanted to back in. I was always looking for someone else to help me. I had to overcome that fear and that anxiety, so I said to myself one day, “no, I’m going to do this on my own.” I’ve gotten to the point now where I can back in and remain much more calm than I could at first, ” shared Natalie.

 

 

 

2. Watch Your Wheel

This is a tip usually learned during CDL training and one many experienced drivers still use. Simply put, place your left hand on the bottom of the steering wheel. Whichever direction you move the wheel is the direction the trailer will move. If you move the wheel left, that’s where the trailer will go, and the same for moving it right. From there, it’s a matter of looking at your mirrors and not oversteering. It seems too simple to be true, but it’s a tried and tested technique.  

This can also be done the opposite way, where a driver puts his or her hand at the top of the wheel and moves it in the opposite direction of where he or she wants the trailer to go, but it’s all a matter of preference.  

3. G.O.A.L

Tyler, CDL A Driver

G.O.A.L “Get Out and Look” is the number one way to avoid damage to your equipment as well as your surroundings. It may seem like common sense, but some drivers avoid this method because they feel it makes them look like an amateur. But the results of not doing it can be disastrous. Here’s what Tyler, an experienced truck driver, had to say about the G.O.A.L method. 

“No matter how many times you have to get out and look, DO IT! Better to be safe than the person who backed into someone or something because they were too lazy to take a few minutes to check. Part of the job to not tear up your property or someone else’s. Lose the ego and get out and look. Do it ten times if you have to. It’s better than the alternative.” shared Tyler.   

4. Use Experienced Spotters

Sure, anyone can spot you if you’re trying to parallel park a car on a side street. That doesn’t mean anyone can spot you backing a tractor trailer into a loading dock. They may be trying to help, but spotters without truck driving experience can do more harm than good, as they don’t understand the finer points of maneuvering a vehicle of that size. So, unless you know they’re an experienced driver, the G.O.A.L method is your best bet.  

5. YouTube It

Watching a video is no substitute for the real thing, but if you’re in a pinch and can’t find a place to practice, they can come in handy. YouTube has hundreds of videos from experienced drivers giving their tips and tricks on the best way to back up a semi-trailer. This can give you a great visual if something’s not clicking. 

Every driver is going to have a slightly different way of doing things, so do a little research and find a video that works for you. The best practice for finding some of the best videos is to choose based on view count or positive comments. Take this one for example, which has close to one million views and counting. 

6. Know When to Say No

In all parts of life, if your gut is telling you that something’s a bad idea, it’s probably a bad idea. The same is true for backing up a semi-trailer. There’s no shame in telling a shipper “No” if you honestly think your trailer won’t make it in. You know your vehicle much better than they do. If there’s debris or something like a stack of pallets in your way, don’t be afraid to ask them to be moved so you can safely back in. Your safety and the safety of your truck are more important.  

When it comes to backing up a semi-trailer, patience and practice are the keys to success. No one comes out of CDL school an expert at it. Just have confidence in your abilities as a professional driver, and you’ll be a pro at backing up in no time.

truck driver at loading dock

Find a CDL Truck Driver Job

Drive My Way matches you with a CDL job based on your personal preferences and qualifications.

Create a Free Profile