If you're an aspiring CDL graduate in school, a "newbie,” a veteran trucker, or just a driver in general, you know there is a lot of anger out on the roads in the United States. The moment you step into your CDL school of choice, which is hopefully through the help of Driver Solutions, you must leave any and all anger behind you. Let me repeat that, you must leave any and all anger behind you. Any professional truck driver with a great record and tons of miles of safe driving will tell you, practicing patience on the road and not getting angry is a huge part of their success.
Million Mile Marker
I am heading towards one million miles driven safely, and every day I'm on the road I'm working towards never letting other drivers bother me. I basically "run my own race.” As part of practicing patience and keeping my temper in check, one thing I do that I find particularly effective is I imagine people who cause me to scratch my head at their actions on the road to be my family members. Below, I expand on why patience on the road, leaving anger behind you, and imagining other drivers to be related to me have helped me succeed in trucking:
Patience, Patience, and More Patience
When you first become a front seat CDL Class A driver you will immediately have issues crop up when you're on the road. Whether it be from a 4-wheeler or another trucker, something will certainly happen that will have you scratching your head. I could list 20 things off the top of my head that other drivers will do that will have you scratching your head and leaving you wanting to become angry. You might pass by them later on the road and they’ll resemble something like this:
What you do after you're done scratching your head will determine your future success behind the wheel of a semi-truck. Patience on the road is critical for you to not only succeed, but to also truly enjoy your new office view from the windshield. If you spend you're time on the road angry at other drivers, you won't ever be able to take the opportunity to truly appreciate the places you get to go.
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You're the Professional Though
But why would I waste valuable energy on this blog by listing a bunch of different scenarious? All of them should have you coming back to a couple of solutions to keep you rolling safely: Patience and not getting angry. I have always believed that you drive like your personality. So this is why it's critically important to learn and train yourself not to get emotional over other people's driving issues. It's really more of a "them" problem, and not a "you" problem. Your professional job is and always should be to stay away from issues and problems that arise while you’re out on the highway. It's unsafe, and you will not be successful over time if you are getting upset over other drivers’ issues.
Imagine Them Like Family
Anger is a natural human emotion. It's how you react and how you deal with that anger that will put you on a path towards success or failure as a professional truck driver. I always keep this in the back of my mind when someone severely cuts me off. I even imagine them to be my mother or my grandmother in that car. How would you treat them if they actually were members of your family? They are someone's family. Why not yours? This has served me very well over the years.
The biggest thing I can preach to new drivers is to practice patience and leave your anger in the dust when you first get on the road. I hope I'm not coming across as a know it all, as I learn something new every day; and every day I scratch my head at things that happen on the road. Multiple times. But, when you listen to speeches from veterans who have accumulated millions of safe driving miles, they almost always mention patience and leaving anger behind you as keys to success. These men and women have truly figured it out, and we can all learn from them.
About The Author
Wayne got his start in trucking by going through the Driver Solutions company paid CDL training program back in 2012. Since then, he has traveled over 300,000 safe miles and counting! After seeing his photos and reading about his adventures, we knew we had to share them on our blog. Join Wayne on his journey for a first hand look at life on the road!