When it starts it takes a few cranks to get going, and it overall starts pretty rough. I was told that I could turn the key almost to ignition until the humming stops x3 and then start it to stop this issue? Is this just a cold start with a diesel? Are there ways to combat this that are healthier for my truck (methods of starting it for maximum care)?
Textbook no.1 root cause for difficult/rough starting on a diesel are failed glowplugs. I suggest you to check them as it should be an easy task and costs nothing except some time. Perhaps you want to do it before winter as starting gets more difficult in the cold. For the correct starting procedure (unsure if you have a glowplug light on your dash) I must refer you to your user manual.