7 Qualities that Make a Great Truck Driver

Published Date: 5/16/2023

Updated Date: 5/19/2023

What Makes Truck Driving a Unique Profession?

Driving a truck for a living is a challenge, but it is also rewarding. Truck driving requires a unique set of skills and qualities. There’s more to it than holding a steering wheel. You’ve got to have skills, ethics, and a strong commitment to safety. If you have these qualities and are willing to work hard, you can be a great truck driver.

Here are some of the things that make a great truck driver:

Safe Driving Skills

Great truck drivers are always safe and responsible. They are familiar with traffic laws. They have good judgement and quick reflexes. Truck drivers operate large, heavy vehicles around thousands of civilians. Any mistakes or lapses in judgement can have serious consequences.

Safe drivers always keep a safe speed, follow traffic laws, stay alert, stay focused. They must also handle the vehicle in adverse weather or road conditions. Truck drivers who have developed safe driving skills are less likely to get in an accident. This helps to protect both the driver and other road users.

A truck driver's driving record has a big impact on their reputation and their ability to get a job. Companies and customers alike want to work with drivers who are safe drivers. A safe driving record builds trust in the industry.  Truck drivers with a solid safety record are more successful and respected.

Swift Transportation fuel island with a large sign that reads, “Safe By Choice, Not By Chance.”

Attention to detail

The trucking industry thrives on truck drivers who pay attention to detail. They perform every aspect of their operations with precision. They keep accurate logs and keep their trucks in good condition. They follow delivery schedules and properly secure loads. Truck drivers can avoid costly mistakes by paying close attention to details, especially during their pre-trip inspection.

Time management skills

Truck driving is a time-sensitive business. It requires drivers to manage their time. This means being able to make the most of the time they have on the road and being able to deliver their loads on time.

Truck drivers should have good time management skills. Truck drivers must meet delivery schedules every day. Delays can have a significant impact on both the driver and the customer. Good time management skills make planning and delivering easy. 

You must always have a backup plan for things like:

  • Low hours or recaps
  • Traffic jams or accidents
  • Fuel stops
  • Emergency maintenance
  • Highway detours or construction
  • Weather delays

Good time management skills help truck drivers to focus on their tasks. This can help reduce stress and improve their quality of life. Effective time management is a critical skill for truck drivers.


Truck drivers are courageous because they often face a range of challenges. They come across many obstacles as they navigate the roads and deliver their loads. They must drive in bad weather. Sometimes they navigate unfamiliar roads and deal with road closures or detours. They manage unexpected breakdowns or malfunctions, sometimes while stranded.

They also drive in difficult or dangerous situations. Heavy traffic, mountainous roads, or high-crime areas are a real threat. Many people do not understand the dangers of being out on the road day in and day out.

Even still, truck drivers keep rolling. They deliver essential goods to people and communities across the country every day. Their courage and determination keep them going. Truck drivers are the unsung heroes of the road. Their courage and determination are an inspiration to us all.

Swift Transportation truck driver in a cowboy hat standing in front of his truck


The trucking industry is ever-changing and evolving. Regulations, technologies, and driving conditions can change at a moment's notice. Truck drivers must be able to keep up with these changes to be successful. Truck drivers adjust to new scenarios and embrace new technologies. Some drivers find new and more efficient ways to deliver their loads. This improves their own operations and helps move the trucking industry forward.

Adaptable truck drivers take advantage of new opportunities and overcome challenges. Adaptability is essential in the trucking industry. truck drivers who adapt and embrace change are likely to be more successful in their careers.

Good communication skills

Truck drivers with good communication skills are an asset to the trucking industry. They communicate with a variety of people, including customers, dispatchers, and other drivers. Everyone must listen carefully, understand instructions, and give clear and concise updates. This ensures that everyone is on the same page.

Good communication skills also allow truck drivers to share important information and updates. Open and clear communication supply a high level of service to the truck driver and the customer.


Creative truck drivers bring a unique perspective and innovative ideas to the trucking industry. Curious drivers look for new and creative ways to improve their operations. A creative outlook enhances their driving experience and makes driving more enjoyable.

These truck drivers are not afraid to think outside the box and embrace new technologies. They can streamline their work, reduce costs, and provide a high level of service. Some drivers customize their trucks to reflect their personal style. Others find new and more efficient routes that include fun stops. Others use technology to enhance their driving experience. Creative truck drivers are an asset to the industry. They are a testament to the power of innovation and creativity.

Swift Transportation truck driver standing in front of Swift trailer, raising her arms in celebration

Becoming a Professional Truck Driver

Being a truck driver is more than just driving a truck. It requires a combination of skills, qualities, and a strong commitment to safety. If you have these qualities and are willing to work hard, you can be a great truck driver too!

The Author

Swift Marketing

Swift Transportation is the Nation's #1 full truckload carrier. Swift offers Driving careers in our Linehaul, Refrigerated, Flatbed, Intermodal, Teams, and Dedicated divisions.