Though you have earned your commercial drivers license (CDL), you’re not completely finished with your training just yet. The next step in your trucking career will be to finish the orientation process at the trucking company you’ll be working for.
There are a few things you can do to prepare yourself for your orientation training. Follow these 6 steps for a successful trucking orientation process!
Step #1: Understand the Importance of Orientation
The trucking orientation may be the first point of contact you have with your coworkers or managers. Consider your orientation an introduction to the company that has hired you. Learning how the company operates, will help you understand what they’re expecting of you. Paying attention and asking questions during your trucking orientation can make a huge difference down the road.
Step #2: Come With An Open Mind
It’s important to come to your trucking orientation with an open mind. You may have a general idea of what the company is like before you accept the job. However, it can sometimes take a minute to fully understand the company culture. Come with an open mind. Allow them to welcome you and make yourself accessible. Being open and friendly shows the trucking company that you’re a team player and are willing to work with others.
Step #3: Learn Everything You Can in Advance
Being proactive and learning all that you can about the trucking company will show that you have initiative and are a step ahead of the game. Don’t waste the trainers time by asking trivial questions you can find the answers to with a simple google search. Learning everything you can ahead of time will help you make the most out of your trucking orientation. Understanding the basic information about the company will allow you to focus on the tasks and responsibilities that lie ahead.
Step #4: Meet Their Expectations
Trucking companies will often cover what they expect of their drivers during the orientation. They’ll likely touch base on important topics such as their company policies and procedures, how to handle yourself on the road, and give an in-depth explanation of their facilities and equipment. Taking the time to soak up this critical information will tell you exactly what to expect from the job. When you’re out on the road you want to be certain you’re performing to the company’s standards.
Step #5: Review Your Employee Handbook
Read through your employee handbook if they give it to you before orientation. Jot down any questions that come to mind while reading through the handbook. Not only will it tell you what the trucking company expects of you, but also what you can expect from them. Reading through the employee handbook will prepare you to react properly to any issues that arise.
Step #6: Expand Your Driving Knowledge
Many companies include basic defensive driving and safety training in their trucking orientation process. While you may have learned the basics in your CDL training, orientation is an opportunity to improve your skills one more time before hitting the road for real. Remember, this is a new industry to you and there is always room to expand your driving knowledge. Becoming a safe truck driver is the ultimate goal.
These are 6 great steps that you can take to make the most of your driver orientation. Allowing yourself to fully immerse in the company’s culture will give you the opportunity to get out on the road armed with as much information as possible.
If it’s your first time hitting the road, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared. Check out this list of “must haves” for every new driver! Having these essential supplies will make all the difference once on your route.