First year as a truck driver
What to expect as a truck driver in your first year
Starting a new career can be intimidating, and truck driving is no different. We understand the uncertainty of your first year as a truck driver can feel scary, which is why we put together this month-by-month breakdown of what you can expect once you apply and get hired at Schneider.
Month 1 — Starting with Schneider
Weeks 1-3 — Paid Schneider orientation
Once you’ve chosen to drive for Schneider (you can even do that before or during driving school), graduated from driving school and received your CDL, you’ll complete an application review with a recruiter to lock in an orientation start date. Schneider starts new orientation classes each week, and orientation includes a combination of classroom and in-truck training, plus over-the-road time with a training engineer.
More on this elsewhere too:
- Schneider’s Inexperienced orientation explained.
- VIDEO: What to expect at Schneider's OTR truck driver training.
- VIDEO: What to pack for truck driving OTR training.
Week 4 — Your first truck and your first independent load
You’ll get the keys to your truck on the last day of orientation, head home for a couple days to unwind and then return for day one on your own or with your team partner.
Helpful references for new drivers:
Months 2-6 — Hitting the road and gaining experience
You may face some challenges in your first few months as a truck driver, but it's important to remember you’re not alone. Schneider’s support team is available 24/7/365 to help you whenever the need arises.
Useful resources for your first three months:
How much money can you really expect to earn your first year?
Months 7-9 — Getting the hang of life on the road
By this point, you’ll probably be at about 80% of your capability — better at driving longer distances, setting more accurate estimated times of arrival and starting to feel more comfortable with life on the road.
Insight to help you refine your approach:
Months 10-12 — Maximizing your potential
There are always opportunities to grow, but by now you’ll have found your groove. Once you hit your one-year anniversary, you’ll be able to look back on how far you’ve come and be grateful you stuck with it!
Pro tips to take your career to the next level:
- 6 leading truck driver budget and money saving tips.
- 8 truck driver trip planning tips.
- Top 13 truck driver tools to keep in your semi.
- Top semi-truck organization ideas.
Year 1 done — congratulations! Now what?
You made it! Crossing that one-year milestone will be incredibly fulfilling. It also means doors will start to open for more opportunities within the company — driving options that grow with you, training/mentoring opportunities or switching to a non-driving career.
Explore all Schneider’s career paths for drivers