My 1st Year with USA Truck - Advice for Future Truck Drivers

So far USA Truck driver Don Dennard has talked about CDL training, what he's learned in the industry so far, and what the truck driving lifestyle adjustment is like. Now, he concludes his interview with some advice to new truck drivers on how to make it in the industry.

Be sure to check out Part 1, 2, and 3 of our interview with Don if you missed them!

Q: We get a lot of questions from new drivers wondering what they need to pack for their first time out with their trainer. What advice can you offer on amount of clothes and other things to bring out on the road?
A: Well, you can do laundry in every truck stop, but I only paid to do my laundry one time. I usually take about three weeks of clothes on my own. I took about two weeks worth with my trainer. I recommend doing your laundry in a terminal where you don’t have to pay. As for what to take with your trainer – don’t take too much! There are going to be two people on one truck, and it’s your trainer’s truck, not yours. Don’t take a lot, there’s not enough room for much.

Q: What tips do you have for us to pass along to people looking to start a truck driving job?
A: Tell them what they’re getting into. Make sure their spouses and/or significant others know what they’re getting into.  Take advantage of home time. Don’t just sit around and watch football, you know. Don’t get into the industry just for the paycheck. You better like driving. I mean, you’re obligated to a company for one year, so this better be what you want to do.

Q: What advice can you give to someone considering truck driving and wanting to work for USA Truck?
A: There are only a handful of companies that you can go to in the beginning. Only a few that are hiring guys right out of truck driving school. Of the ones doing that, USA Truck is among the best as far as pay scale and the obligation you have to make to them. Werner, for instance, I almost went with them. But it was going to take me 3.5 years with them to pay off my portion of that school loan. With USA, it took me 12 months. If you want to be a solo driver, USA is the best place to go, at least for that first year. I’m probably going to stick around though – I’m not going anywhere. When my one year obligation is up I can go anywhere I want to, but I’ve been looking around a bit, and I’m probably going to stick around for maybe another year or so. USA Truck is a good company and they’re getting better all the time.

That wraps up our interview with Don! Be sure to be active on our Facebook page for a chance to win Fan of the Week next time!

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