If you are looking at hiring a new OTR or CDL truck driver to join your team, there are a couple of things you should consider before hiring the person with the best-looking resume or the most experience. The recruitment process is tedious at best, but finding someone who is going to deliver the goods, pun intended, is key to continue delivering and providing your clients with excellent service. But what exactly should the truck driver’s qualities be apart from being capable to drive a truck?
Whether you are a truck driver or a company, you will find our next article of great help when it comes to the recruitment process. Here, we take a look at the top 10 qualities every great truck driver has, qualities that you should either strive for or look for when you are hiring someone.
This is a trait that will be seen not only in his/her work but also in the day-to-day duties and overall approach. Great truck drivers have a sense of responsibility in the sense that they do their very best to meet requirements with regards to deliveries, they are responsible drivers who won’t endanger their lives or the goods they are transporting, and they will treat their colleagues and clients with respect.
#2 Mechanical Masters
Even though this is a quality and not a requirement, but the majority of the best truck drivers out there will have some form of mechanical background which will enable them to think on their feet and jump in should there be any technical problems they run into while on the road or on a delivery job. Don’t assume we are saying that a great truck driver = a mechanic. We are merely stating that a great truck driver would be able to ensure that your fleet is taken care of and that his/her truck complies with industry standards.
#3 Clean Driving Record
A great truck driver won’t have a lot of records held against him/her and his/her work history will almost be flawless. You won’t be able to find anything related to a fatal accident they were involved with, and this will give you the assurance that they will keep this work ethic up when joining your team. We have to say that unfortunately, accidents do happen, and you cannot hold it against a prospective hire if they had been involved in an accident while on a job before. Their record should indicate that they are responsible drivers with none or few fines or accidents. You are required to get permission before requesting this information from the CSA, but we would suggest that you include this in your recruitment process.
#4 Strength in Independence
This is a trait held by most truck drivers, but it is worth mentioning here just as well. When hiring a new truck driver, you should ensure that the applicant is able to work on his/her own, without constant supervision and guidance from yourself or their direct supervisor. This is also a great trait to have the job entails spending long periods alone on the road, so they should be able to deliver the goods efficiently and independently.
#5 Alert and On the Ball
The best truck drivers out there will be on the ball, alert at all times, knowing how to react in certain circumstances and being ready to react accordingly when the time comes. The best truck drivers will be able to think on their feet and deal with crisis situations. This includes difficult driving situations, mechanical problems with the truck and so on.
#6 Friendly and Reliable
A great truck driver will be able to get along with everyone on your team, but also with your clients. We’ve mentioned this before, but it is of great importance to have a truck driver that is friendly and reliable, as they will sometimes be the face of your freight transportation company. If you hire someone who is rude and does not deliver on time, your client might want to use another company.
#7 Keep Fit
Some of the very best truck drivers will know and understand the importance of keeping fit, especially in their line of work. Staying healthy and looking after themselves by exercising and engaging in other activities is a sign that they take their job seriously and know that they cannot afford to get sick or ill.
#8 Honest and Open
A great OTR or CDL truck driver will be honest and open with you from the get-go. They will take pride in what they do and aim to provide you and your customers with the best service possible without breaking the law or trying to fool you by cutting corners. Really a quality you look for in all your employees, but an important one when looking for the best truck driver to join your team.
#9 Work Well Under Pressure
The best truck drivers are capable of working under pressure and managing stress levels. This is achieved by maintaining a healthy lifestyle while on the road. To decrease pressure and stress levels in your freight transportation company, you could implement a health program for all your truck drivers. But when hiring a new truck driver, you should be able to tell whether the applicant is able to work long hours away from home and cope with the stresses the lifestyle can hold.
#10 Keep Up with Industry Developments
Keeping up-to-date with all the latest news and technologies in the industry could be cumbersome, but this would not be a hassle for a great professional truck driver. The best truck drivers out there will ensure that they comply with all the standards and have all the necessary endorsements should you require them to cross the border. They will also ensure that they have the correct paperwork and that everything is up-to-date, including their CDL license.
We hope that you have found this list of the top 10 qualities of a great truck driver helpful and that you will be able to use it as a guide should you need to hire a CDL truck driver. Those truck drivers out there looking for job opportunities, we hope that you found this article insightful and that you know now what freight transportation companies are looking for in a great truck driver.