Much like driving in real life, it pays to be aware of your surroundings in the game. Some of the highway exits (particularly in Arizona) are a bit confusing so be sure to check your map for your turns in advance. Also beware for things on the road like sudden traffic, accidents, road work, and road closures. All of these random events can impact your journey as well. Don't worry about tumbleweeds, though. Unlike real life, you can run over them without messing up your tires!
If you miss your freeway exit or get lost somehow, don't fear—the GPS will automatically redirect you and find you an alternate route. Also, If you get in a bad accident or can't get "unstuck" from a ditch, call assistance services. It'll cost a fee and take some time out of your job, but they will drive you to a nearby town and you can get your truck fixed, or just continue on with your journey. I don't recommend doing this during quick jobs, though, unless absolutely necessary.
As a truck driver, it can be extremely easy to fall into unhealthy habits when on the road. When you don’t have access to kitchens and you’re stuck sitting for extended periods of time, you may find yourself adopting an unhealthy lifestyle. Not much can be done about the extended time on the road, but by focusing on a healthier diet you can help keep yourself in tip-top shape and avoid any adverse effects on your overall health. Plus, physical health goes hand in hand with mental health, and keeping both of these in check will lead to much higher overall satisfaction.
This is more for when you have your own truck and can "free drive", but the GPS isn't just used for getting from one job to another. You can plot pretty much anything on the game's map by dropping pins. Want to drive from the dealership in LA to a rest stop in Vegas? Drop the pins in the menu map and let your GPS show you the way. This is also great to do when you're trying to get to towns you haven't discovered yet.
While this may not seem like much of a career tip, keeping yourself entertained while driving can make a world of difference. It takes time to get used to spending these extended hours alone, but by having a variety of entertainment options you can help yourself adjust just a little bit faster. Many people find that listening to music can get a bit monotonous, take some time to find a few podcasts or audiobooks that pique your interest. That way, you can learn something new while keeping yourself focused on the road.
Now let's get into getting your own truck- one of the game's first big milestones. It can be exciting and tempting to want to buy a truck right away; you can design it how you want (check out my pink truck above!), you can go where you want on your own time, and pick a bigger variety of jobs. However, trucks are expensive, and you need to have at least $120,000 before buying one. On top of that, you'll need to give yourself some extra money, for damages, fines, and gas. I'd recommend not buying a truck until you have at least $150,000 saved up. You can also take out a loan (which you will automatically pay back daily at 12:00pm), but just make sure you have some money leftover before making the big purchase.
There are few things worse than getting lost, and this awful feeling is only amplified when it happens on the job and you’re crunched for time. Because technology has a habit of breaking just when we need it the most, it’s best to keep a backup GPS handy, or else risk finding yourself stranded somewhere unfamiliar. There are several options for which GPS to keep in your truck, and Garmin’s technology remains some of the most reliable while staying within a budget.
If you’re looking to maintain your career as a truck driver, it is imperative that you keep your driving record clean. This doesn’t just apply to your CDL record, but to your personal vehicle record as well. No tickets, no accidents, no log book violations or other citations. Keep your insurance up to date as well, to avoid the possibility of a suspended license. When driving is your livelihood, it’s extremely important that you establish yourself as a safe and responsible driver.
Semi trucks are large and tend to be a bit unwieldy, meaning that parking can be a difficult endeavor. Truck Driver Institute works hard to ensure that drivers are competent at parking their big rigs, but practice truly does make perfect. Avoid any embarrassing mishaps by practicing your parking skills, especially backing, whenever you get the chance. Don’t wait until you have to pull into a tight space to practice, instead take advantage of empty parking lots whenever possible.
As the world begins to reopen post-pandemic, truck drivers are becoming more and more in demand. Don’t waste any time with a company that treats you poorly, because there are countless companies that will recognize just how important you are as an employee. Truckers are an essential part of our economy, and being aware of this will help you make sure you’re receiving the treatment you deserve.