Tips for newbies, How to become a better driver?

by Don
(Vancouver BC)

Hello everyone;

I'm fairly new Driver from Vancouver BC. about a year.
I drove all over US and Canada for Challenger motor freight for about 4 months then switched to being a local driver.

I work in a small company now that has only one truck one driver(me) with no one to learn from or ask advice.
the managers don't know shit about trucks, but very nice people.
I'd like to save them money by becoming a better driver.

I'd like to know if there's anything you can tell me to become a better driver?
for example. I have a bad habit of starting in higher gear rather than using the 1st gear. I have to find out the hard way that this is bad because it wears the clutch.

Also, now that i'm comfortable finding the gear when I missed shifting, I'm starting to develop driving in neutral when slowing down rather than downshifting. (mostly when trailer is empty)

any tips to become a fuel efficient driver?
what kind of maintenance do i need year round and how often should I do it?

Is there anything else that I didn't mention that you would like to share for me to learn?

I started to feel this way after I found out how much money they spend for truck maintenance.
Not only that, This company is family owned and everyone are really nice to me.
I just told them that I needed tires cause winter is coming, and the fact that I do need tires. they send me to Kal tire, change all tires, cost $3000 (single axle)
now, I want to take care of those tires and the whole truck by proper maintenance and better driving.

Is there any other bad habits I haven't develop that I need to watch out?


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Dec 19, 2009
Don is looking out for the Bossman.
by: Jimmy

Good ideas. Don, if you just realize that your boss needs to watch expenses carefully and needless repairs cost him money, then you will realize you have the opportunity to pitch in and help keep expenses down. In the long run, this means you keep your job, maybe get a raise and Xmas bonus too.

I once worked for a very large corporation with a 50,000 sq ft whse. We had 4 drivers returning with loaded trailers between 11pm and 2am nightly. Each driver would turn on the whse lights to see to clock out and clean up etc. Then turn them off and the next driver would do the same an hour later. I thought this was such a waste of electricity, why not install a small light bulb that gave us just enough light to see the time clock and restroom.

When I suggested that to management, they were tickled pink and I got a gift card for a $100 for making the suggestion.

If you are going to work for someone, give it 100%. Jimmy

Dec 18, 2009
Trucking tips for newbies about becoming a better driver
by: Hervy

Hello Don, I just got through talking about you on the newbie driver tips page.

New driver tips

Hey man good for you to have the mindset you do about wanting to become a better driver for you and the company.

It is important to have your mindset for 2 main reasons.

1. It prepares a driver for being an owner operator.

2. When a drivers develops good habits that saves the company money and equipment it may also say his or her own job.


Because is you operate the way Don is talking about then the company is more profitable. Imagine if all the drivers operated this way. A lot of money saved. This means your company is more solid. Which means your more likely to be needed as an employee.

Also if the company is more profitable it increases the chances that you might get a raise or bonus, etc.

Not to mention is just good old fashion good work ethic and the right way to think.

Let's see...... If you were the employer wouldn't you want your drivers to think this way?

I wrote the tips on the page at the link below and I would like for other leaving tips to post them at the bottom of the new driver tip link here. Thanks

New driver tips

By the way go to the bottom of the page and yahoo buzz it, tweet it, stumble upon it, etc you get the idea! :-)

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