Truck Driving Skills: Definition and Examples
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated March 1, 2021 | Published October 9, 2020
Updated March 1, 2021
Published October 9, 2020
Truck driving skills are essential for reliable driving and the safety of yourself and others. You acquire trucking driving skills while on the road and through training. The more practiced you are driving, the better prepared you are for a truck driving job. In this article, we discuss the valuable skills to know as a truck driver, how to improve them, and which ones to share during the hiring process.
What are truck driving skills?
Truck driving skills are the essential qualities needed to operate a large vehicle. They keep you motivated on the road and help you deliver great results. Some common truck driving skills include accurate navigation and long-term focus. Truck drivers also need other skills that are useful in many other careers, such as organization and communication.
Truck driving skills examples
Truck driving skills serve a great purpose in keeping you and others safe on a day-to-day basis. Adding these skills to your resume can help employers learn more about your dedication to your career.
Consider the following truck driving skills:
Safe driving is the top priority for truck drivers and the companies they work for. Keeping everyone on the road safe is very important, especially when driving such a large vehicle. Plenty of practice teaches you the proper techniques on how to maneuver the truck. Extensive company training and certifications give you the formal knowledge you need to drive a truck.
As a truck driver, you need to stay focused for extended periods of time. Focus is important not only for nighttime driving but during daytime rush hours. Consider figuring out your strategies for staying focused, such as eliminating distractions and planning your trip before your drive.
A good truck driver is responsible and prepares for their travel accordingly. This includes packing plenty of food, checking the state of your truck and familiarizing yourself with your map. Responsibility demonstrates you are ready to drive and complete your tasks.
Organizational skills are essential as a truck driver because of the necessary documentation you need to fill out. Some examples include logging in for work and providing details about your travel. Companies often require truck drivers to keep detailed records to ensure they're driving safely and responsibly, and these records also help you stay accountable.
Most likely, you are on the road by yourself. Having mechanical knowledge helps you solve problems without needing additional assistance. This avoids delaying your delivery and extending your travel time.
The cleanliness of a truck shows you are a responsible driver and a respectful employee. As a truck driver, you spend lots of time in the truck. It is important to keep it clean and organized by removing trash and frequently unloading personal items. Consider keeping a broom to sweep away any dirt that gathers over time.
How to improve your truck driving skills
There are formal and informal ways of improving your skill set to make driving easier and also to feel more confident on the road.
Consider these approaches to improving your truck driving skills:
1. Practice driving.
Practicing your driving is a great way to feel more comfortable maneuvering a truck. Experiencing the road even in other vehicles is very useful when learning street signs and figuring out how you drive best. Adapting the way you drive to certain cars and paying particular attention to differences helps you have a broader understanding of driving.
2. Learn from others.
Learning from others and their experience provides you with extensive knowledge of truck driving. Experienced truck drivers might mention tips and rules you might not know yourself. Having conversations with other truck drivers will help you learn additional tips and pieces of advice and form a community with people who also drive trucks.
3. Update yourself on driving rules.
Updating yourself on driving rules is always a useful way to stay knowledgeable about driving laws. Some driving rules change from location to location, while other driving rules are very specific. Laws often change, so it's important to continually learn more about driving regulations. The more familiar you are with regulations and the more of them you know, the better you drive. You can also share this valuable knowledge with other truck drivers.
Truck driving skills in the workplace
Truck driving skills in the workplace help you become a good driver and employee. They aid you in achieving driving goals and delivering supplies.
Consider these truck driving skills that are especially useful in the workplace:
Effective communication with your fellow drivers and the company you work for is vital. Communication encourages you to ask questions and have an open dialogue with your supervisor. In some situations, you might need to radio in for help or explain something to another employee in a way they can understand. Effective and clear communication keeps everyone informed and involved.
The road is unexpected at times, and quick thinking helps you adjust accordingly. For example, if you need to change lanes or readjust your route, you need to be able to think quickly to stay safe and meet deadlines. Quick thinking is well-informed and considers the entire situation. A productive truck driving will exhibit proper judgment in a timely fashion.
As a truck driver, you need to stay alert and be aware of your surroundings. An alert truck driver remains undistracted and goal-oriented and keeps their eyes on the road. You might drive during the nighttime, so you must be ready to stay focused. Every truck driver has their approach to staying alert, so consider what others suggest, and figure out what works best for you.
Driving requires a lot of patience, especially when you are on the road for a long time. As a truck driver, you might encounter a lot of traffic changes on the route. Patience keeps you focused on the task and gives you the ability to wait when necessary.
Self-awareness means knowing yourself and how you work. As a truck driver, you need to notice when you are tired and when help is necessary. When you are aware, you make better decisions because you consider your current state and your needs.
How to highlight truck driving skills
When you highlight truck driving skills, you show the hiring manager that you are a great candidate for the job. Highlighting skills means including valuable skills for truck driving in your resume, cover letter and mentioning them during the interview.
Truck driving skills for a resume
Elaborate on your truck driving skills in your resume by mentioning specific miles you drove and where you have traveled. Including these details provide the hiring manager a better understanding of your previous work experience.
Truck driving skills for a cover letter
In your cover letter, clearly explain why exactly you want to drive for that specific company. Including this in your cover letter helps get you noticed for the job you want. Review their job posting and identify the characteristics they desire. See which skills you have and mention them in your cover letter.
Truck driving skills for the job interview
During the job interview, the hiring manager wants to get to know you and learn about your qualifications for the job. Talk about specific truck driving skills you know and are proud of. Elaborate on the specifics, such as when you learned the skill and how it helps you on the road. For example, you could mention a time when your clear communication aided a delivery process.
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