The Ultimate Guide to a Successful Commercial Driving Career

Posted by at 9 January 2020, at 10 : 49 AM

The Ultimate Guide to a Successful Commercial Driving Career

Embarking upon a career in the commercial driving sector offers potential for financial stability and personal fulfillment. It is certainly challenging, requiring immense skill and the ability to operate safely under pressure. Those who have the mettle to rise above these difficulties discover a life filled with holistic rewards.

The transportation of goods across the country is a significant responsibility that some find to be daunting. As a driver, your ability to convey goods to their destination efficiently is a key element in the economic growth of the country. The freight sector is even considered an important bellwether of our overall industrial and financial health. A rise in shipping products suggests a thriving commercial environment.

This is a career which can last your entire working life, and provide you with experiences you won’t get from any other industry. We’re going to take a look at a few aspects that can help make your career in logistics a successful one.

Choosing Your Niche

Much as we tend to have a stereotype in mind when we think about commercial driving, it really isn’t a catch-all term. Your success as a commercial driver can depend on your choice of niche. These varieties of trucking can be related to the type of cargo you’re hauling — livestock, or perhaps temperature-controlled goods. Niche’s can also be related to distance; you can be limited to your local and regional areas, or engage in the traditional long distance trucking.

Often the most profitable option for owner-operators are specialized loads. This can include refrigerated goods, livestock, and Best Niche Industry for Owner-Operators liquid tankers. These are usually avoided by the large corporations, which reduces your potential competition in the market. That said, the reason large corporations avoid these loads is their complexity, so it’s important to factor this into your decisions.

When taking on these more profitable, specialist niches, it is vital that you have the correct equipment, experience, and qualifications. For example, transportation of liquid hazardous materials requires not only a specialized tanker, but for the driver to possess a CDL (commercial driver’s license) with a hazmat endorsement. The examinations, which are designed to confirm your ability to deal with spills and dangerous situations, are understandably in-depth. Therefore it is wise to invest your time undertaking sufficient CDL hazmat practice in order to set off on a positive start to your journey.

Developing the Right Attitude

There’s no denying it — for all its rewards, commercial driving can be a stressful, challenging career. There’s a lot of responsibility on your shoulders, high expectations to make your deliveries on schedule, and potentially long periods of isolation. Therefore it is imperative to your continued success that you cultivate a healthy, balanced mindset.

Mindfulness might seem like a popular fad, but it is a valuable tool for commercial drivers. Becoming overwhelmed by the accumulated stress and pressure of the job is hazardous to your personal physical and mental health, and also puts those with whom you share the road at risk. Developing a mindfulness and meditation practice can be useful in regaining your composure during those tough times, and provides you with positive coping mechanisms in the face of depression, anxiety, and loneliness.

Working on your communication skills is vital, too. You will find that you’ll have contact with people from all walks of life, each with their own pressures and priorities. Developing your empathy, and understanding how best to communicate your needs while understanding those of others is invaluable for a successful commercial driving career. From discussing details with your insurers following an accident, to keeping an open dialogue with your dispatcher — your ability to communicate well can bolster your prospects.

Rolling with the Changes

We live at a time in which significant changes seem to frequently occur. Whether technological leaps, or new legislative standards, industries can be significantly reshaped by change. The commercial driving market is no different. In order to give yourself the best chance of success, you must be adaptable.

Over the last several years, commercial fleets have been subject to widespread regulatory changes. Some of these are directed toward the safety of drivers and other road users, bringing in strict maximum daily and weekly driving limits. Others are driven by data analytics and the monitoring of temperature-controlled food and pharmaceuticals. Plug-in technology which monitor driving habits and route information, such as the SmartRide device, has become a requirement for most fleet drivers.

It’s not difficult to see how these changes can alter the role of the driver — these regulations necessarily require greater accountability, and can introduce new responsibilities. In order to insure longevity in the sector, drivers should be proactive in their approach, making personal efforts to keep abreast of how legislation and technology might affect them, and voluntarily making adaptations before it becomes a compliance necessity.


Commercial driving continues to be a popular career choice. It offers many perks — from the opportunity for long distance travel, to a reliable and competitive salary. However, there are steps individual drivers should take in order to insure that their place in the industry continues to be successful for many years to come. This includes intelligently exploring potentially lucrative niches, developing their soft skills, and insuring their agility in the face of change.

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