A steady stream of applicants files in and out of the recruiting office of a company offering trucking jobs in Texas. You can tell who among them are new drivers by the ‘deer in the headlights’ look on their faces. It is that same look displayed by CDL students on the first day of classes. And it is a look that is the direct result of a lack of confidence. The best drivers in the industry learn to overcome their fears and become very confident in their own abilities and knowledge.
To say that a confident truck driver is a good truck driver is to state the obvious. However, for those who do not understand why this is true, we will use the occasion of this blog post to explain how important confidence is to driving safely and productively. As any veteran trucker can tell you, there is little room in the industry for drivers who lack confidence.
Confidence Affects Performance
It has been estimated that 95% of all adults experience a lack of self-confidence at some point in their lives. When this occurs, and how often, directly affects a person’s course in life. A lack of confidence can absolutely devastate the career of a truck driver, especially if he/she is unable to overcome it.
The problem with a lack of confidence is that it directly affects one’s decision-making. If you do not have confidence in your abilities and knowledge, you tend to second-guess already made decisions and avoid making future decisions. This is not something a truck driver can afford as he or she is tooling down the highway. Quick decision-making is part of the truck driver’s daily routine – in everything from braking to turning to backing.
Most truck drivers have observed the consequences of poor self-confidence in car drivers sharing the same roads. For example, picture the driver of a minivan who appears to have no idea where to find a side street he is supposed to turn down. That driver may slow down to a complete stop before changing his mind and accelerating again. An extremely flustered driver may go so far as to attempt to back up in order to recover from a missed turn. It even happens on the interstates. We have all seen drivers dangerously backing along the shoulder after missing an exit.
On the other hand, the confident driver is one who is able to make decisions more quickly. More importantly, he is also one who has the knowledge and experience to recover from incorrect decisions without getting flustered or panicked. The confident driver is a safer driver because he/she is not endangering others by way of poor decisions.
Dangers of Overconfidence
A strong level of self-confidence is generally a good thing in a truck driver. Having said that, there are some dangers associated with being overconfident in a given situation. For example, a driver can be so confident in his/her abilities to control a rig that he/she does not take the necessary precautions during bad weather. Such overconfidence can lead to a serious accident.
Striking the right balance is usually a matter of time and experience. As long as a new driver can overcome an initial lack of confidence while in CDL school, he or she should be able to go on to a safe and productive career. He/she will not be that person looking for trucking jobs in Texas with the deer in the headlights look.
If you are confident in your abilities as a professional truck driver, C.R. England wants to talk with you. We have positions for both company drivers and independent contractors.