William Gary Gilbert graduated from United States Truck Driving School in 1994. As an experienced long-haul driver, William has spent the last twenty-three years truck driving. As a trucker for Jack Daniels, his typical drive is from Tennessee to Phoenix, Las Vegas or Reno. After three and a half million miles under his belt, William has given us a few tips for new truck drivers.
Tips for Truckers:
Follow the rules
Don’t cheat the system. It’s not worth getting fired or getting in trouble just to make some extra cash. Be smart for your own safety, others on the road, and your company’s reputation.
Watch for lane restrictions
“No Trucks in Left Lane” means just that! William got pinched in Georgia because he passed a guy in the left lane. That pass wasn’t worth the $380 ticket.
Don’t Speed. Ever.
Speeding tickets cost hundreds of dollars these days. If you’re in your first year of truck driving and receive a ticket, it can be pretty difficult to find a job afterward.
No split-second lane changes
Make sure to let the turn-signal blink a few times before moving. It can be very dangerous and will potentially cause a trucker to accidentally hit someone.
Be nice to shippers and receivers
A little trick William learned a long time ago. When shippers or receivers tell you it’s going to take a long time to get the truck loaded and unloaded, pretend you don’t care. William shared that he always tells them it’s no big deal. He’ll say he gets $50 an hour to sit anyway. This is a little reverse psychology. They’ll get angry knowing a driver makes that kind of money for sitting. They will likely unload and load faster, and then back on the road you go!
If you are tired, STOP and SLEEP!
It’s important to be on time, but no load is worth the same as a life of a truck driver or a citizen on the road. Dispatchers are not the ones who will end up in jail or deceased, that will be the trucker. Any company that would give you a hard time for choosing safety first, isn’t worth working for.
After all these years on the road, William has a true understanding of the trucking industry. Here at United States Truck Driving School, we a thrilled to see our graduates still loving what they do every day.
Are you interested in becoming a truck driver? At United States Truck Driving School, we specialize in training for both a Class A CDL and Class B CDL. USTDS campuses are located in Denver and Colorado Springs, CO. To learn more, head over to our Truck Driver Training Program!