There are approximately 3.5 million truck drivers in the USA — and among those millions are thousands of great truck drivers. Don’t get me wrong the vast majority of truck drivers are good, many are excellent, but some reach true greatness. What does it take to be a great truck driver? Is it an impeccable driving record? That doesn’t hurt. Is it customer service skills? That’s certainly important. Is it being safety conscious at all times? You bet. Even more so, the following ten traits set the great apart from the good.

Top Ten Traits of Great Truck Drivers

Practices mindfulness. Great truck drivers are constantly vigilant and alert. They avoid distractions while driving and are mindful of their equipment, conditions, and other drivers. They drive ahead and stay on top of the situation.

Has excellent communication skills. Great drivers know how to communicate with their team, dispatchers, and customers. They clarify points and listen with intention.

Shows Patience. This can’t be overrated in a driver. A driver’s patience is constantly and often unexpectedly tested. A driver that loses his patience is prone to mistakes.

Is mechanically minded. A great driver knows how his machine operates otherwise how can it be operated at peak? He or she has a basic familiarity with tools and minor repairs.

Stays physically fit. What’s hard about sitting and driving? Try handling an 80,000 pound rig for 8 to 12 hours, and then ask me that question.

Remains calm, cool, and collected. Driving can be very stressful. Inclement weather, road construction, and traffic jams, all impact drivers. There are so many things that could lead to anger, but an angry driver isn’t, and never will be, a great driver.

Takes Ownership. Great drivers care about their equipment, their company, their load, and their customers exactly because it is theirs.

Is on time. Great drivers do everything they safely and legally can to be on time. They’re ate up with being on schedule, if not ahead. It’s not always within their control, but when it is, they come through—on time.

Plans ahead and is organized. Driving a truck is a lot more than shifting gears and turning a wheel. Only an extremely organized driver will reach greatness.

And the number one answer is…Survey says…Drum Roll please…

Is tech Savvy – To be a great driver today takes techability. Knowledge of tech and its uses is important and becoming critical. In the next few years being tech savvy will be as important as knowing how to shift gears—maybe more so.

That’s our Top Ten, What’s yours?

There you have it, our top ten traits to becoming a great truck driver. Do you agree or disagree with any of our choices? What would you add or delete?

If you enjoyed this post you might also like, What Does it Take to be a Truck Driver?