5 Tips CDL Drivers Should Use When Searching for a New Truck Driving Jobotrdriving
Tips and Advice for Truck Drivers Looking for a New Trucking Company
So you are a CDL Driver and you are looking for a new job. The good news is that there are hundreds of trucking companies that are looking for drivers to join their fleet. The bad news is that the process of selecting your new job can be overwhelming. If you rush your next employment decision you may find out that you made the wrong choice because you did not properly research the company before accepting their job offer. There is a lot of competition for CDL drivers and this can create a lot of unnecessary distractions for the driver. Many times, a truck driver will be entertaining job offers from numerous different trucking companies at the same time. To help simplify the job search process and to help keep drivers on the right track we have put together a list of job search tips that truck drivers should consider using when trying to find their next employer.
Define your lifestyle needs before searching for different companies.
This tip seems a little too simple, but you may be surprised at how many drivers fail to evaluate their lifestyle needs before they begin their job search. Before starting a new job search, truck drivers should know a few very important requirements that a future employer must meet in order to gain their interest.
- Home Time
- As a driver, how long are you willing to stay out before going home?
- Can the company get you the home time you need on a consistent basis?
- Are you limited to local work or can you expand your job search to include some long hual driving jobs?
- How much is the company willing to pay you?
- What is your monthly household expenses?
- Does the future employer offer enough pay so you can meet all of your monthly financial obligations?
- Are you paid by the hour, by the mile, offered a salary?
- What is the companies reputation like?
- Do you need medical benefits?
- Does the company offer affordable health care coverage for you and your family?
- Can the company provide you with coverage limits, deductible amounts, and co-insurance information before applying for the job?
Knowing the answers to these simple questions can help determine whether to tailor your job search to Local Driving, Regional Driving, OTR Driving, or potentially lease purchase driving. If you need home every day then clearly one of your only options for a new job will be looking for local work in your area. This will make your job search more local to your geographical area and it will eliminate a lot of trucking companies from your list that you otherwise might have wasted time researching. However, local truck driving jobs typically pay less then OTR driving jobs so if you discover that your monthly income needs are higher than what local jobs may provide in your area then you have a tough decision to make. Do you sacrifice home time for more pay or do you learn how to live on less pay to get more home more? Defining your overall needs before you begin your new job search is the first step in discovering employers that might potentially meet the needs of your lifestyle.
Start searching for trucking companies to determine & compare what they can offer you.
There are numerous ways that drivers can take it upon themselves to start finding the best trucking companies. The fact that you’re reading this article tells us that you are already well on your way to finding the best job offers that suits your needs the most. Our biggest word of advice to to spend time browsing our website OTR Driving Jobs. Here you will find numerous articles such as this one, trucking company reviews, job seeking FAQ’s, and trucking company listings to help connect you with a potential new trucking company. Beyond using our website there are multiple other strategies that drivers can employ to start locating trucking companies that meet their lifestyle needs.
Truck Stop Magazine Ads
Magazine ads have been a common advertising tactic for transportation companies looking to attract CDL drivers for years. Stop by a local truck stop and pick up one of the many trucking job books that are available for free. Many times companies will advertising their best bonuses and hiring incentives within these truck stop magazine as a way to attract new drivers to their company. Begin your search by sifting through a few of these magazines to help educate yourself on the potential bonuses and incentives that are available within the trucking industry. Most of these jobs will be OTR based jobs, but we still think it is worth it to read through a few magazines to see what exactly is being offered by the various trucking companies.
Trucking Job Websites & Online Job Boards
Just like our website here, there are many other online websites and trucking specific job boards that are intended to connect transportation companies and drivers. Many times, transportation companies are not able to obtain enough applications and phone calls from truck drivers on their own. To make up for this shortfall and to help supplement their own advertising efforts trucking companies will commonly partner with online job boards & other niche trucking job websites to help supplement them with more leads. With that being said, online job boards and trucking specifics website such as this one can be a valuable tool for connecting truck drivers with multiple different trucking companies in a fast and efficient way. The majority of these online websites simply ask the driver to fill out a short contact form which will be sent to multiple transportation companies with the sole purpose to connect the driver with trucking company recruiters. We find that using these online websites can be a good tool for job seeking truck drivers that are looking to compare who offers the best truck driving jobs that meets their lifestyle needs the most. Since there is so much competition for CDL Drivers among trucking companies it never hurts to at least listen to what a trucking company can offer you. You can start this process today through our website by filling out a short contact form by visiting our home page.
Craigslist can be a great way to find employers hiring within the area that you live. Doing a simple search under the transportation jobs section on craigslist will provide you with a list of trucking companies that are looking for drivers in your area. New job postings are put up every day so checking back daily may allow you to find new employers looking for truck drivers in your area. Often times, Craigslist will become flooded with OTR trucking companies and you will often see the same advertisement over and over again. Our advice is to be patient and keep scrolling through Craigslist until you come across a job posting that catches your interest. Also, if you want to refine the job listings then take advantage of the search bar within Craigslist. If you are looking for a specific type of job then be sure to include that keyword term in your search.
3rd party driver recruiter head hunting firms
A less known about and slightly more controversial approach to finding a new trucking job is to partner with an 3rd party contract recruiting firm or driver recruiter. 3rd party recruiters are commonly referred to as headhunters. Normally 3rd party recruiters work with numerous different transportation companies and their purpose is to “place” a driver on with a company that fits their needs the best. Headhunter are supposed to be industry experts who can listen to the drivers needs and match them with an appropriate carrier that should meet their needs the best. However, since 3rd party recruiters are typically paid by the hire it is easy for them to lose sight of who they are working for. If partnering with a 3rd party headhunting firm use caution and make sure that you try talking to a company based recruiter to validate the details of the job. Also, if you are a driver and you are responding to an advertisement that you saw then we suggest that you ask your recruiter whether they are a company based recruiter or if they are a 3rd party contract recruiter. Sometimes, 3rd party recruiters will disguise themselves as company based recruiters to give them more credibility during the recruiting process.
Be determined and ask your driver recruiter enough questions about the job.
We offer a comprehensive list of questions that all truck drivers should ask their driver recruiter. Be sure to check it out and use it as a guide for questions that every driver should ask when researching each company. Most drivers have the best of intentions to research each company when they apply, but it is easy to lose sight of all the questions that you initially intended to ask. We understand that questions might slip your mind when you have your recruiter on the phone so if you forgot to ask your recruiter a question be sure to call them back. Do not assume anything. Driver recruiters are not always going to volunteer every piece of information about the job so be sure to take it upon yourself to ask the right questions. Keep in mind – every driver recruiter has a job to do and that is to 1) get you interested in the job, 2)get you qualified for the job, and most importantly 3) get you in the door. Driver recruiters typically have a bad reputation among truck drivers with the most common compliant being that they are liars. We do not feel like recruiters go out of their way to intentionally lie to a truck driver, instead, what happens more often then anyone is willing to admit is that driver recruiters withhold the answers simply because the driver never asked the question. With that being said be sure to do yourself a favor, ask the right questions and and keep organize. Some drivers end up talking to numerous different recruiters from numerous different trucking companies and by the time the driver has finished applying to all companies everything becomes one giant blur. Do not be that driver that mixes up job offers and gets information confused. Information overload is common place which is why it is critical to write down all info and do not get the companies you are talking to mixed up. As a driver, if you follow this advice you will be able to properly discern who is offering the job that matches up with you overall needs the best.
Try talking to the company’s current or former drivers for inside information.
One of the best ways to get honest feedback about a trucking company is going right to the source, which is, talking with the company’s current or former drivers. Finding ways to connect with the truck companies current or past drivers will be valuable in assisting you with your job search. Typically you can discover potential pros and cons about the company that a driver recruiter may not be able to provide you insight on. The best ways to hear from a truck companies drivers is to seek them out.
- Social Media:
- Visit the the companies social media pages such as Facebook to try connecting to current drivers from the company. Some trucking companies have a very active online driver community and having front level access to their drivers through social media can be a great tool to use when researching a prospective employer.
- Truck Stops/Common Customers:
- Try locating the company’s drivers at truck stops or at common customers to get info from their current drivers. Many drivers will be honest with you if you reach out to them and ask them how their experience has been with their employer. By going outside of your way to connect with a current driver you may be able to aid your job search by discovering great information about the culture of the company and the type of place it is to work.
- Trucking Company Reviews & Complaints:
- Try seeking out reviews on the company from other drivers by searching for company reviews online. We offer a trucking company review directory that is designed to help aid drivers in this process. Please join us in this process by submitting your own reviews for any trucking company that you may have worked for in the past. We know this requires your time and effort, but it is our hope that an active and engaged online trucking community can be the difference in helping future drivers with the next job choice.
Compare the transportation company’s safety scores before accepting a job offer
This tip is probably one of the least used tips and most drivers will never go this far when doing their research, but we highly recommend it. Did you know that you can check every companies safety scores through FMCSA Carrier Search (Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration) to see how every carrier rates on the 5 basic safety categories that are available to the public. These 5 categories are Hours of Service, Vehicle Maintenance, Unsafe Driving, Driver Fitness, & Controlled Substances and Alcohol. The purpose of taking this approach is to compare trucking companies from a safety standpoint to see if you may be able to eliminate an employer from your list who has unfavorable safety scores. When doing this research you may find that one employer rates really high on hours of service violations while another might rate high of vehicle maintenance. It may help you see where the company has issues at. Companies with high vehicle maintenance scores might have poor equipment while carries with high hours of service scores might be more predisposed to ask their drivers to run illegally or over their hours. Keep in mind that just because the carriers score is high in a certain area does not necessarily mean that the company is a bad company to work for. The scores are simply a indicators that compares each carrier to other same sized carrier within their same peer group.
Overall, if you have a Class A CDL and you have a relatively safe driving record then you should be able to work for hundreds of different trucking companies. There is a lot of competition for your services and as such you will have many different job offers. It is common for many drivers to have multiple employers in the last few years and we would like to eliminate this by setting you up with the best research tactics available to help aid you on your job search. By taking time, researching each company, asking the right questions, and evaluating your lifestyle needs we believe that you can find a future employer that you can settle down with for a long time. Turnover within the trucking industry wouldn’t be as high as it is if drivers would follow our advice more often when searching for their next truck driving job.