Too many people believe that driving a commercial vehicle such as a bus or truck is simple. In fact, driving these hulking machines requires a lot of skill and practice. Driving a commercial vehicle for a living is another matter entirely. You can’t expect anyone to walk in off the street and be able to do the job without the proper training and mindset. If you see yourself becoming a driver, here are some of the key qualities of an excellent commercial driver that will help you excel at the job.
When you’re at the helm of a vehicle, you’re the one who has to make the decisions. You can’t rely on someone else to tell you what you should do every second. You must be able to make tough decisions on your own without anyone else’s input. An independent personality will help you make quicker decisions and react more effectively to changing conditions.
Cool Under Pressure
Driving a truck or bus is rarely a walk in the park. Stressful situations can pop up out of nowhere, from a swerving car on the road to a massive storm inbound to your destination. While the classes you’ll take to get your commercial driver’s license will teach you to remain calm, learning about these situations and actually being in them are two very different things. The less you let the stress get to you, the better driver you’ll be.
Situational awareness is one of the key qualities of an excellent commercial driver. You can’t afford to space out or lose yourself in your surroundings when you drive people or essential goods around. You must be able to perceive threats and dangerous situations ahead of time so that you can deal with them quickly. Whether you’re facing an unruly passenger or a massive pothole in the road, you need to keep your eyes wide open.
If you want to be a good commercial driver, people need to be able to put their trust in you that you’ll do what you claim you will. Getting that delivery to its destination on time or running through your route while staying on schedule is crucial for any good driver. A driver that no one can rely on doesn’t have a long career ahead of them.
Bonus: Mechanically Savvy
Knowing how your vehicle works is a huge bonus for any commercial driver. At some point, you may need to discern an issue with your vehicle quickly, and knowing how all the components work together is a crucial part of that. While you don’t need to know every in and out, the more you understand how your vehicle works, the better off you’ll be if something goes wrong.