What to Expect as a New Truck Driver

Updated August 2021

If you’re looking to join trucking, you may be wondering what to expect as a new truck driver. Becoming a professional truck driver is a great career choice with a lot to offer. Here are a few things you have to look forward to!

High Demand and Job Security

Truck driving is one of the most in-demand professions in the United States right now. The current population of truck drivers is retiring, which is leading to a big shortage of drivers. As the demand for goods increases, more truck drivers will be needed to keep supply chains moving. High demand in the industry has also allowed truck drivers to be picky when selecting a carrier they want to work for.

Trucking companies are always on the lookout for reliable, skilled drivers who have proper CDL training. In fact, recruiters from some of the top trucking companies are regularly visiting United Truck Driving School to recruit our students and graduates. Our job placement team will help you land your dream job in trucking!

High Earning Potential

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, drivers can expect to earn about $43,000 starting out. No other industry allows you to make so much money in so little time. In just 4 weeks, you could be starting your new career and drastically increase your earning potential!

Truck drivers earn more money the longer they drive. The per-mile rate varies between employers and may depend on the type of cargo and level of experience. Experienced drivers are highly sought after and are able to negotiate for higher wages and better benefits.

Impact of COVID-19

The pandemic took a toll on several industries and individuals, the world of trucking being no exception. As we rebuild and recover, however, there are growing opportunities for those starting a truck driving career in the post-COVID industry.

For one, both the demand for drivers and subsequent wages have increased in recent times. Employees can also feel more confident in their health and safety on the job, as contactless deliveries and payments have become the norm. Furthermore, the pandemic-induced trend of online shopping continues to grow, which means more deliveries and career stability for drivers. Trucking may look a bit different from where it was before COVID-19, but there is no better time than now to start a new career!

Learning From Experienced Drivers

Truck driving can, at times, be a challenging career to break into. Many new drivers are expected to work as apprentices for their first year driving. More experienced drivers are often placed with newer drivers to teach them the ropes and help ensure they are ready to hit the road.

While it might feel limiting to have to pair with a more experienced driver, it will help you out in the long run. Your CDL training gave you the skills you need to hit the road but no real experience driving long distances. View experienced drivers as mentors; they’ll share extra tips and tricks you didn’t learn in CDL school.


In the end, truck driving is a great alternative to the typical 9-5 desk job. Truck drivers are in high demand, are paid very well, and receive great benefits.

United Truck Driving School can help you get started on your career as a professional truck driver. Contact us to learn more!

Sharing the Road With Other Drivers

Truck driving becomes a lot more complex when sharing the road with other drivers. It may be quiet if you are out in the country, but the majority of your time will be spent on highways. Truck drivers must share the road with vehicles of all shapes and sizes including motorcycles and compact cars.

You will be driving a 50,000+ ton vehicle going an average of 55 mph, it’s your responsibility to stay safe and be considerate of other drivers while doing so. Here are some tips to help you stay safe!

Be Aware Of Your Speed

It’s understandable that a 50,000+ ton rig will travel slower than the average car. When on multi-lane highways be considerate of drivers who are traveling faster and stay in the right-hand lanes if possible.

Though semis tend to move a bit slower, you’ll still need to make sure you’re not speeding. It can be tempting to want to finish your route as soon as possible. Remember that you are operating a large vehicle and things could get very dangerous if you go above the speed limit.

Leave Space Between Vehicles

You are driving a much larger vehicle and will need more room to stop than the average-sized car. The standard rule is to leave enough space so that another car could fit between you and the vehicle in front of you. Sticking to this rule will give you plenty of space if you ever needed to hit the brakes to avoid an accident.

If other traffic cuts in, which they will, remain calm and professional. Back off and allow them ample room so that you are following safely. People can be inconsiderate of truck drivers because they don’t realize how difficult it is to operate a larger rig. Be the bigger person. At the end of the day, you are ultimately responsible for the safety of yourself and the drivers around you.

Allow Cars In When Necessary

Being in a massive truck does not mean you own the road. Sometimes accidents, traffic, or road closures force other drivers to switch lanes. Be polite, allow other vehicles in front of you when they need to get over. Drivers will likely return the favor when you are the one that needs to be let in next time.

Give the same level of respect and appreciation you expect to receive on the road. In the end, it’s all about sharing the road and respecting everyone’s right to the road. If you respect other motorists they are likely to respect you in return!

Want some more tips to help you stay safe on the road? Sharing the road is a big concern for a lot of truck drivers⏤especially when driving at night. Check out these tips on sharing the road with other drivers at night!

How To A.C.E. Your Trucking Interview

Demand for truck drivers is higher than ever before. Because of this, drivers everywhere get their pick between carriers. Though demand is high it can be competitive at times to land a higher paying route.

In order to set yourself apart from other applicants, you need to A.C.E your interview. Here are a few tips from the pros at United Truck Driving School to ensure you’ll have a successful interview!


It’s easy to think that your appearance doesn’t matter much in the trucking industry. The majority of your time will be spent on the road, however, it’s important to remember that you’ll also be working face-to-face with customers. Show the interviewer that you’ll be representing your company in the best way.

With just a little effort you can be certain your putting the best foot forward for the interview. It’s best to avoid jeans, shorts, tennis shoes, or tee-shirts with any graphics. Your confidence will shine through if you take extra time to get a fresh haircut or neatly groom facial hair and nails. Also be sure to keep jewelry and fragrances to a minimum as they can be distracting.


Truck drivers have a large amount of responsibility. They are expected to transport millions in freight and equipment, ensuring that everything reaches its destination in one piece and on time. Your new employer wants to know that you are trustworthy, hard-working, and responsible.

It may not seem possible to show your character in a short interview. But there are a few small things you can do that will make all the difference. One of the easiest things you can do is to be on time! Give yourself extra time for traffic and parking, plan to be at least 15 minutes early.

Be polite to everyone you interact with from the moment you arrive. A smile and light conversation will go a long way, especially if you end up working for the company. Be honest about your driving and criminal history come prepared with responses to any questions you think they might ask.


The employer wants to know if you’re able to match their expectations for the job. But don’t forget that you’re also interviewing the company and want to make sure they can match your expectations. Dedicate a little time to research the trucking company. Pay special attention to their online reviews, website, and any recent news updates.

Ask yourself these questions ahead of time to find out what you’re looking for in your next trucking job. Being honest with what you’re looking for will help you narrow your search and land your dream job in trucking.

  • How often do you want to be home? For how many days?
  • How far away from home are you comfortable driving?
  • Do you have or plan to obtain endorsements, such as a tanker or hazmat?
  • Are you qualified and willing to travel into Canada or Mexico?
  • Do you have or plan to obtain a passport or TWIC?
  • Do you have a preference for trailer type? Such as dry van, refrigerated, or flatbed?

Hopefully, these simple tips help you ace your next trucking interview! Remember to focus on your appearance, prove your character, and set expectations for the job you deserve.

Has it been a while since you’ve driven? Or haven’t yet earned your CDL? United Truck Driving School offers CDL training that can be completed in as little as 4 weeks! Contact us to learn more.