Tone's tips for aspiring young truckies
DO YOU want to be a truck driver but you're not sure how to go about it?
Truck driver (and social media star) Tony Fulton shared his tips on how to become a truck driver in his latest Facebook video on Tone's Truckin Stories.
"The transport industry is 'absolutely screaming' for young people to come up through the ranks," he said.
"The problem now is the average age of a truck driver is over 55. It's a real market out there and it's going to be a solid career for the future."
TIP NUMBER ONE - WHAT TO DO BEFORE YOU GET YOUR LICENCE
"Right back to when you get your Ls, make sure you've got a clean record because insurance is the biggest hoop to get through when you're a young driver. Blemishes make it hard," he said.
"Teach yourself while you're in the car - read traffic lights, roundabouts, road conditions. Know where everything is because I can give you a tip when you come to a traffic light in a truck, the goal is not to come to a complete stop so that begins with an early read of traffic well ahead."
Tony said to check out what companies were driving in your area and write them down so when it comes time to look for a job, you know exactly where to call.
And keep learning.
"YouTube is a great way to learn about trucks so when the time comes you'll be more educated."If you're too young to get your drivers licence but you know that's what you want to do, Tony suggested getting a job as a truck washer or yard hand.
TIP 2 - HOW TO GET YOUR FIRST JOB
Now you've got your licence, what do you do next?
Tony said drop into all those companies that you'd found before - and make sure you drop in and don't email them a resume - they won't look because you don't have any experience yet.
"The best thing to do is turn up, look them in the eye and say you're keen and eager, and willing to drive everything," Tony said.
"Don't be too picky, they're taking a risk by putting you on with their insurance."
He said expect to drive something a little old and small.
"You're not going to get the flashiest, biggest rig int e world, you'll have to be happy with something small, a little rigid to drive around in the city with to get experience."
TIP 3 - ONCE YOU'VE GOT A JOB
"Now you've landed a job but still don't know what to do, you're pretty nervous. The most important thing to do is ask as many questions as possible - about the job, the truck, traffic," Tony said.
"It doesn't matter how stupid, your boss will respect you more if you're eager to learn."
Tony said to also be punctual and polite - and that kind of behaviour will have feedback about you going back to your boss.
Another point, he said, was to be careful about who you mimic on the roads.
"Ask your boss who you should be looking up too."
He also said to take your time when working - when you're loading and unloading and backing trucks into docks.
"There's no shame in getting out of the truck and having a look. You'd rather look stupid for two minutes that no-one is going to remember than have to ring up your boss and say you backed into something."
TIP 4 - ONE TO TWO YEARS DOWN THE TRACK
After you've got a bit of experience it's time to get your confidence up and start stepping up licence classes.
"During this time do what you can to expand your skill set - tarping, chaining, do whatever you can top get a feather in your cap. Because we're screaming out for young drivers and if you've got the skills you'll be a shoe in."
And last but not least - enjoy it and be passionate about it.
"If that's not important to you then it's probably not the right industry for you."