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Your skillset should include more than just backing up a truck in one shot. Developing and building beneficial characteristics is very important personally and for your career as a truck driver. Every day you will be tested. You’re tested even more when you first receive your class A driver’s license and every time you start a new company.
If you are paying attention to yourself, you will begin to notice certain characteristics of your personality that are either good or bad. Your moral compass will be called into question as you travel around the country, seeing the good and the bad. I want to discuss some beneficial characteristics that can help you personally and within your career as an OTR truck driver.
Patience With Self And Others
Patience with yourself and others is probably the most important beneficial characteristic you can develop and have in the trucking industry. It all starts with your training. Driving a truck is not for everyone. Trucking can be hard for some and easy for others. You may get frustrated while learning to back a trailer into a spot. Turning corners may be difficult for you because you are not turning wide enough.
Whatever the struggle is, you need to learn patience. Learning patience will help you be patient in other aspects of the job. If you can’t be patient with yourself, how can you be patient with others?
Trucking is a lifestyle, and every OTR truck driver needs to understand this. Trucking is a lifestyle because you live it more than anything else. Meaning, you are in your truck more than you are at home; you are with yourself more than you are with anyone else. So, you must develop patience. You will go completely crazy if you lack this characteristic. You will fail your training. You will never make more money because you will not make it past the first year.
How to Develop Patience
If you want to develop patience, you need to understand it. In Arabic, the word patience is Sabr. To define sabr as patience does not give this word its justice.
Sabr ( ṣabr) is the Islamic virtue of ” patience” or “endurance” or, more accurately, “perseverance” and “persistence.” Ṣabr is characterized as being one of the two parts of faith (the other being shukr). It teaches to remain spiritually steadfast and do good actions in the personal and collective domain, specifically when facing opposition or encountering problems, setbacks, or unexpected and unwanted results. It is patience in the face of all unexpected and unwanted outcomes.
When you develop true patience, you will have success. You understand things are as they should be. You will have difficulty before ease. Learning patience, in the beginning, will make your life easier when dealing with dispatchers, brokers, shipping and receiving clerks, four-wheelers, and even other truck drivers.
Develop A Good Moral Character
People may or may not agree on what a good moral character is due to local, religion, politics, etc… but in the trucking industry, among the drivers, there certainly is an expectation of a good moral character.
It would help if you were courteous and thoughtful. These are the two most important traits you should have no matter what.
What does it mean to be courteous and thoughtful? It means you are not blocking the fuel pump when you are done fueling so that you can finish your 30-minute break. It means you are not driving in the middle or left lane at 65 mph or lower when trucks are faster than you. To be courteous means, you clean up after yourself and use trash cans.
Be helpful when you see someone struggling with backing into a spot. Don’t make fun of anyone who may be struggling.
Keep your eyes and ears open for people in need. You may save someone’s life. Sex trafficking is real.
Look out for other driver’s equipment. I have watched a Youtube video of a guy sitting in his truck recording another truck driver pulling someone’s kingpin so that the driving can unknowingly drop his trailer. Instead of recording and sitting there, he should have spoken up. It is of good moral character to help others where it is you would like to be helped. Every time you help people, you are developing beneficial characteristics.
Be Willing To Keep Learning
The trucking industry is vast. You can never claim to know everything in this industry. You must be willing to learn and keep learning. Even scholars still learn. You will become a scholar of the trucking industry if you are willing to listen and keep learning. It takes humility to say I don’t know. It takes even more humility to learn from someone who has less experience.
I watch a lot of Youtube truckers. A lot of these people are new to the industry. They all have been trained differently from me, so I pick up what their trainer has taught them. They may have experienced something on the road I have not, and I learn from their experience.
Then you have the very experienced drivers out there. They have tricks up their sleeve that you would have never thought of. It is good to listen even if it sounds familiar. Refrain from saying I know. Just listen and receive new knowledge and repetitive knowledge.
Learn about dispatching, load planning, safety, logistics, and the different trailer types. Be well-rounded and informed. With this wealth of knowledge, you will have a better attitude when things are not going your way. When you understand freight lanes, you will understand pay and routing better.
Beneficial Characteristics of Truck Drivers
We looked at three beneficial characteristics for truck drivers in this article. These characteristics that you develop can transfer to all aspects of your life. We live in a cut-throat world that seems to be getting worse by the day. As truck drivers, you will see a lot, and you will be affected by what you see. That is why you should work every day to develop yourself into someone of high character.
Allow yourself room to fail and succeed. Don’t allow the bad character of others to make you bitter and bad. Let the beneficial characteristics that you developed rub off on others. They are called beneficial characteristics because they benefit you and the people you come across.
Keeping people honest
While you are trying to develop beneficial characteristics, others aren’t. You will find a lot of people driving very crazy out there. A lot of accidents are caused by four-wheelers and truck drivers blamed. So protect yourself whether in your truck or car. Your license is gold. I make sure I use a good dashcam to protect me from those not interested in beneficial characteristics. It can save you.