As a professional driver, you should know how to market yourself as a skilled, valuable driver, throughout your trucking career. Know how to boost your value to trucking companies.
Both rookie drivers and seasoned pros should always be looking for ways to boost their value as a truck driver.
What is a valued truck driver?
- A valued truck driver not only makes a higher income but is also more liked to be hired or contracted by a trucking company and retained as a preferred driver.
- A valued truck driver can expect great pay and consistent work because they are reliable, keep a clean record, stay up-to-date on regulations and are willing to do continuing education.
As a professional trucker, you should focus on improving your value throughout your career.
It boils down to making yourself more ‘marketable’ to trucking companies as a valuable professional driver.
Tips For Marketing Yourself as a Valuable Driver
Choose the Right School
As a rookie, it is important that you get a strong foot forward into the driving industry. Many companies won’t hire you without experience but you also may be overlooked if you received your CDL from a less-than-reputable truck driving school.
Look for a school that includes a lot of drive time, has a good reputation, and one that offers help finding work after graduation. Choosing the right school can give you a little boost in your initial value to companies looking to hire.
Get CDL Endorsements & Continuing Education
If you’ve already earned your CDL and are hoping to boost your annual income then getting a CDL endorsement or taking continuing education courses can give your resume more appeal to potential companies.
Niche markets like hauling oil or food products require specialized training which is usually rewarded with a higher salary. Your education shouldn’t stop with your CDL if you want to be a valued truck driver.
Keep a Clean Record
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been driving, what endorsements you have, or how niche of a driver you are, if you have a bad driving record then you are a liability to your company.
You will not be a valued truck driver if you have a series of accidents or issues with your loads. This can make it hard to get good routes and you can expect lower pay. You are a higher risk to a trucking company’s insurance provider.
Stay Up to Date on Regulations & Technology
Truck driving is a changing industry. While many are upset by the updates to the latest trucks, tracking software and other technology, being open to learning how to use this new tech can increase your value as a trucker.
Truck tech is a huge industry at the moment and we can expect to continue to see big changes in the trucking industry moving forward. A trucker that can adapt to the new tech changes may be of more value to companies in the future.
Adapt to Change
Be prepared to adapt to changes. The trucking industry is always changing and evolving. Keep up with the changes and roll with them.
Foster good relationships and establish workable communication with your dispatchers and trucking company.
Don’t Tolerate Lack of Respect
Don’t waste your time with a company that treats you poorly.
Present a Professional Image
Talk the talk and walk the walk as a professional truck driver. Maintain your hygiene and be respectful to fellow truckers and others you communicate and interact with on a daily basis.
Recognize Your Value and Self Worth
A really important aspect of boosting your value as a trucker is to first recognize that you have value. Self respect will give you the motivation to pursue better paying jobs and gain new skill sets that make you a preferred driver. That self respect will also help you maintain a safe driving record free of drug, alcohol or accident related troubles.
Increase your value as a truck driver by being dependable and open to learning. Getting started in the trucking industry can be difficult at first, even pro truckers can face road bumps as they transition into a different niche or adjust to new tech.
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