Company Driving Jobs

The most common type of CDL truck driving jobs within the transportation industry is company driving positions. Company drivers typically get consistent pay, access to employer sponsored benefits, and steady home time.  Most truck drivers start their driving career as a company driver.  If you are looking for trucking companies that are hiring company drivers visit our company driving jobs page.

Lease Purchase Driving Jobs

Once truck drivers get some experience and they want to venture out to try something new they can look into lease purchase programs.  Lease purchase trucking jobs are designed for truck drivers who want the opportunity to be considered an owner operator, but might not have the credit or available financing to purchase a tractor on their own.  There are many trucking companies that offer lease purchase programs.  Our recommendation is to research each company thoroughly to make sure that the lease program is going to match up with the need of your lifestyle.  We have provided several resources to help educate drivers on what questions to ask your recruiter and to showcase the differences between company driving jobs vs lease purchase programs.

Owner Operator Jobs

If you are a professional truck driver and you already own your tractor then congratulations. This means that you are one of the most sought after drivers in the transportation industry.  Owner Operators are typically among the highest paid truck drivers in the industry.  There are 2 types of owner operators. The first type is called power only owner operators.  These are owner operators who only own the tractor.  These owner operators will lease their equipment onto a transportation company.  Power only owner operators will normally run under the DOT authority of the company they are leased on with.  The second type of owner operator are made up of an even smaller segment of truck drivers that own both the tractor and the trailer.  These owner operators most often run their own authority and they broker freight from various transportation companies and 3rd party brokers.  If you are an owner operator and you are looking for trucking companies that are interested in working with you visit out owner operator jobs page.

Local Truck Driving Jobs

Truck driving is a demanding profession.  The work life balance for the typically OTR driver is poor because most truck drivers spend the majority of their time on the road and away from their family.  Many truck drivers simply cannot work over the road due to family constraints so their only viable alternative for working in the transportation industry is to find trucking jobs that can get the driver home every day.  If you are CDL driver looking for local driving jobs visit our list of trucking companies that offer local truck driving jobs.  Many transportation companies have local truck driving jobs, but most companies have limited hiring areas for local drivers so if you need local work research the companies that have terminals close to where you live.  Chances are if the company has a terminal near your address then they might have local work within your area.

Dedicated Driving Jobs

Dedicated driving is desirable because it normally provides routine miles, steady pickup and delivery times, consistent pay, and even regular home time.  Many trucking companies reserve their dedicated driving jobs for current drivers that have proven themselves and some companies will only assign senior drivers to their dedicated accounts once the driver demonstrates a good record of on time deliveries. Even though this is the case for many companies we have found several companies that offer dedicated driving jobs to new hires as a way to attract them to their company. If you are looking for a dedicated driving job visit our dedicated driving jobs page.

Team Truck Driving Jobs

Team driving is when 2 drivers pair up in a single tractor and drive together to haul freight. Team driving allows companies to haul high mile freight and get it delivered quickly since the truck rarely has to stop moving.  Many times, expedited freight is hauled by teams.  Customers who operate with just in time or exactly on time manufacturing processes will typically employ teams to move freight quickly and efficiently.  Team drivers are extremely difficult for companies to recruit and due to the increased competition between companies team drivers usually demand the highest pay and largest sign on bonuses. If you are a team and want to explore team driving opportunities visit our list of companies that offer team truck driving jobs.

Student Truck Driving Jobs

If you are new to the transportation industry or you are researching the career path of new entry level driving then you have come to the right place.  Visit our FAQ page for a list of questions that you should know the answers to when researching future trucking companies. Typically, new drivers have 2 options for obtaining their CDL. Option 1 is to go through a community college of truck driving school. This option normally requires tuition and can get expensive for people who do not have the funds needed to pay for the costs of the training program. Option 2 is to sign on with a transportation company that has an established truck driver training program that is designed to teach the driver how the driver a commercial vehicle in addition to providing full time employment with the company at the end of the training program.  If you go the truck driving school route please keep in mind the some truck driving schools do not guarantee employment with a carrier at graduation so it may be safer to partner with a trucking company that has a student training program.  Visit our student truck driving jobs page for a list of employers offering entry level training programs.

Driver turnover in the trucking industry is on the rise:

If you are a driver you have probably seen firsthand the effects of driver turnover within the trucking industry. Many drivers have worked for multiple trucking companies in the last few years and few drivers are finding driving jobs that offer stable employment which allows them to settle down and build longevity with a single employer.  Many trucking companies have a consistent revolving door with new drivers coming into the company and current drivers leaving the company.  A trucking company may bring in 20 new drivers into orientation to replace the 21 drivers that quit or was terminated the previous week. Turnover within the trucking industry is not just isolated to a few companies, instead, turnover is widespread and it is a grim reality that has negative consequences for both the driver and the trucking company. Most drivers that we have talked to are aware that there are turnover problems that exist primarily in the for hire truckload sector, but what they may not understand is how severe the problem is or how it effects them.  In an attempt to better understand this we want to take a more in depth look at the turnover problem within the transportation industry to help educate the general public and job seeking truck drivers on exactly how trucking industry turnover impacts a driver’s future job search.

 

What are the facts?  How much driver turnover is there in the trucking industry?

According to the most recent data published by the American Trucking Associations “the annualized turnover rate for large truckload fleets rose two percentage points in the fourth quarter of 2015 to 102%, the second straight quarter it was at least 100% – the first such streak since 2012.”[1]

Knowing that the trucking industry is currently facing upwards of 100% turnover may not adequately explain the severity of how bad the turnover problem is within the trucking industry.  For example, let’s say a trucking company has a current driver fleet size of 500 drivers. If this company has 100% turnover it means that they need to bring in 500 new drivers in a 1 year time period just to maintain the same number of 500 drivers in their fleet. What this means is that a large percentage of the trucking companies fleet size is comprised of drivers that have been with the company for less than 1 year.

Let this thought sink in for a minute. At any given moment a trucking company that has been in business for years might have a fleet size that is primarily composed of drivers that have been with them for a short amount of time, in many cases less than 1 year.

 

Why is there so much driver turnover in the trucking industry?

Once you realize that the trucking industry is plagued with turnover the next logical question to ask is why? There are multiple variables at play, but here is a list of common reasons that we think causes turnover within the trucking industry.

  1. The current CDL driver shortage causes increased competition among trucking companies for the same driver.

    Increase competition forces trucking companies into offering enticing sing on bonus, higher pay packages, and other new hire incentives to attract new drivers away from their current employer. In a way, the trucking industry is creating its own turnover due to the nature of the recruiting process within the trucking industry. In addition, many trucking companies are able to give the driver a job offer the same day that they apply.  When truck drivers are able to find work this quickly it promotes turnover because drivers always have another employer on the back burner that they can go work for whenever things turn sour with their current employer.

     

  1. Unforeseen problems causes the driver to have a bad week.

    Trucking is like Murphy’s Law. Basically, whatever can go wrong will go wrong for drivers who run OTR. Think about it.  The driver’s truck may break down, loads may be cancelled, weather may cause the driver to get shut down, pre plans are not ready like planned, shippers or receivers create unexpected delays, companies offer low miles, drivers run out of hours, etc., etc.   Anyone one of these problems can cause a driver to have a bad week. When a driver has a bad week they tend to get upset with their current employer.  It may be the companies fault or it might not, but regardless of whose fault it is when drivers get upset they start the process of looking for new work with other prospective employers. Since drivers are able to find work so quickly it means they may sometimes quit their current employer prematurely based off of anger.

     

  1. Some drivers may fail to rationalize their problems before decided to quit their current employer.

    Sometimes the grass in not always greener and drivers find out that jumping from one employer to another does not solve any problems for them. What happens is that drivers can be so eager to quit one employer that they end up taking a job with a different employer that ends up being worse than their first employer.  I’m sure everyone has heard the saying “Out of the frying pan, into the fryer.”  This concept applies to truck drivers as well. When drivers go from bad to worse more turnover is created because a truck driver will not stick it out with a trucking company that ends up being worse than the company they just left.

     

  1. Drivers feel like they were lied too about the job.

    Recruiters may misrepresent the details of the job or maybe the driver did not ask all of the proper questions. Whatever the case, when drivers feel like they were misled or lied to they get a bad first impression about the trucking company. Due to this, every additional problem that the driver faces ends up adding to the negative feeling they have about the trucking company.  Once the driver gets fed up with the company they start looking for new work. Retention starts with recruiting.   The recruiting process can go a long way into determining how prepared a driver is about what to expect when taking a new job.  Once recruiting offers the driver the job and goes over all the details the responsibility now shifts to operations to make sure that what was committed to the driver is followed through with. Sometimes recruiting may have over promised the driver, other times operations is under delivering. Either scenario will promote turnover.

     

  1. Trucking companies do not always live up to what was offered to the driver.

    Dispatch and or operations is not delivering what was committed to the driver.  We are sure that every driver has at one point and time face this scenario.  A driver start a new job and their recruiter told them 2500 miles per week and home every 2 weeks.   After the drivers 3rd week miles decrease to 2200 miles and the company was not able to get the driver home on that 2nd  There are numerous excuses to why this may be the case, but whenever this scenario occurs it is hard for the driver to not look at it like he was lied to or the driver feels like the company just doesn’t care.  Drivers start thinking that trucking companies feel like drivers are replaceable so there is little urgency to solve a driver’s problem or go the extra mile to help them succeed.  When a driver starts feeling this way about a trucking company they are going to turnover by looking for new work elsewhere.

 

How does turnover effect the driver?

We have already provided some insight into why there might be so much turnover within the trucking industry, but why should a driver care?   How does turnover effect new hires?

  1. Drivers with a lot of jobs reduce their chances of being hired by a company that offers stable employment.

    The more jobs a driver has on their work history the less and less trucking companies are going to want to offer the driver a job. We understand that turnover is not always the drivers fault. We have already covered why there is turnover, but let’s say a driver has had 5 employers in the last year.  Well, this means that when the driver applies for another truck driving job their prospective employer is going to look at their application and say “Why is this driver quitting so much?”  or “Why can’t this driver be happy with any employer he works for’. Trucking companies are not always going to sympathize with why the driver has had so many jobs, instead, the trucking company is going to turned off from the offering the driver a job due to fear that they would be hiring their own turnover.  If the company is going to be the drivers 10th employer in the last 3 years then it means the driver is only averaging 4 months per employer. To many trucking companies the driver becomes another statistic. This does not mean that all turnover is bad, but it does mean that drivers who have a repeat pattern of job jumping should be aware that the more they change jobs the less and less attractive they will be to future employers.

     

  1. High turnover at a trucking company can lead to poor equipment due to repetitive truck changes.

    Typically, a driver that stays with a trucking company long enough will eventually get place into the company’s better equipment, but this may not happen right away. This usually means that new hires are seated into the companies open equipment at the time they start. Usually, the open equipment ends up being the turnover tractors. Think of this process as a never ending cycle. The more drivers in the same truck the more wear and tear it causes. This constant turnover means that the same trucks keep turning over which further puts more wear and tear on the equipment. Poor equipment might end up further influencing more turnover. New hires do not appreciate being placed in trucks that have a history of turnover and the truth is that the new hire will never know how many drivers their tractor has seen in its lifetime. Also, for many trucking companies the average new driver will last less than 120 days with the company before turning over. If this is true then it is not hard to imagine how the same tractor may see 4+ drivers within a 1 year time frame and some tractors might see substantially more drivers.

 

  1. High turnover increases the companies overhead cost due to recruiting replacement drivers.

    Recruiting drivers is an expensive cost for many trucking companies.  Think about all the costs that go into recruiting a truck driver.

  • Advertising cost
  • Background check cost
  • Processing cost
  • Travel expenses
  • Hotel and lodging arrangements while the driver is in orientation
  • Food and meals
  • Sign on Bonus or other new hire incentives
  • Orientation pay
  • Cost to get the turnover tractors detailed and cleaned for new hires. New mattresses.
  • Recruiter Pay
  • Driver referral pay if any

These cost of just scratching the service, but the point is that is costs trucking companies a lot of time and money to recruit drivers. Trucking companies that have a lot of turnover end up spending more money on hiring drivers which decreases the trucking company’s profitability.  In effect, this means there is less money available for driver wages, better equipment, retention programs, etc.  This is another one of those scenarios where the more turnover a company has the harder it becomes to ever correct the problem.  Think about it for a second –for a company to fix their turnover problem they need diagnose why their drivers are leaving. If there drivers are leaving because pay is too low it means they need to pay their drivers higher wages. How does a company how room in their operating expenses to pay higher wages if a large portion of their budget it going to recruiting more drivers? The company may afford to pay their drivers more money if they could reduce their turnover, but now we enter into a chicken or the egg scenario.  Overall this is an over simplistic view of the problem of turnover, but the general point is that trucking companies spend so much on recruiting expenses that it may take away money that could be used to provide a better place to work for the driver.

What can the driver do to reduce driver turnover?

After reading this article hopefully you are a little more educated about trucking turnover and what it means for both the driver and the trucking company.  Turnover is a viscous cycle, a constant revolving door and with the growing driver shortage we do not anticipate it changing anytime soon.  With that said, is there anything the driver can do to reduce their chances of turnover?  To us, our biggest piece of advice for the driver is that they should take it upon themselves to research their future employer as best as they can before accepting a new job. Read our article about 5 tips all new driver should follow when searching for a new truck driving job.  This article should give help you analysis your job offers to make sure you are choosing a job that best meets your needs.  Also, if you care about helping other drivers then we ask that you take time to visit our trucking company review directory. Please help by submitting reviews about other trucking companies that you may have worked for.  Collectively, if the truck driving community speaks out for the good and bad trucking companies in the industry to might help reduce future turnover for truck drivers by educating other drivers on the pros and cons of potential trucking companies.

 

 

[1] Turnover at Large Truckload Fleets Rose to 102% in Fourth Quarter. (2016, April 25). Retrieved June 08, 2016, from http://www.trucking.org/article.aspx?uid=e1bdd516-e113-4667-9644-838c097c307e

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.

Tip #1

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?
  •  Compensation/Pay
    • 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?
  •  Benefits
    •  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.

Tip #2

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

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.

Tip #3

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.

Tip #4

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.

Tip #5

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.




Questions for Truck Drivers to ask their Driver Recruiter:

  1. Is the company privately or publicly held?
    • Most drivers do not go this far when researching a future trucking company, but if the company is publicly held the driver can look up company’s stock symbol and access financial statements to help determine the financial health of the company.
  2. How many total employees does the company have?
  3. How many drivers does the company currently have?
  4. What is the company’s turnover rate?
    • Most companies will not give this information out. Many trucking companies have over 100% turnover so be sure to ask and see if the recruiter is honest with you about it. For more info about turnover in the trucking industry check this out.
  5. How many empty trucks does the company have right now?
    • If the company has a lot of empty truck it might be a sign that more drivers quitting then they are able to hire.
  6. How many terminals does the company have and where are they?
  7. How long has the average driver been with the company?
  8. What is the passenger policy?
  9. What is the pet policy?

Operational Questions for Truck Drivers to ask their Driver Recruiter:

  1. What kinds of freight does the company haul?
  2. In what states does the company operate in the most?
  3. What is the ratio of driver mangers to drivers?
  4. What is the ratio of load planners to trucks?
  5. What is the average length of load?
  6. What is the average # of miles per tractor?
  7. How are the drivers miles calculated?
  1. What percent of your freight is Drop and Hook?
    1. What is Drop and Hook?
  2. Are drivers required to physically unload freight?
  3. How many hours are free before the driver starts receiving detention time pay?
    1. What is detention time?
  4. Does the company have multiple stop loads?
  5. How long do stops take to get offloaded on average?
  6. Is the company forced dispatched?
  7. What happens if a driver refuses to take a dispatch for a legitimate reason?
  8. Are drivers able to stay within a certain geographically area or are they required to run wherever the company runs?
  9. Does your company use customer based freight or brokered freight?
  10. What percentage of the companies freight is brokered freight?
  11. Does the trucking company have an idle policy?
  12. Does the company use satellite communications?
  13. Does the company use E-logs or Paper Logs?
  14. If the company uses e-log which system is used? People-Net, Qualcomm, etc?

Equipment questions for Truck Drivers to ask their Driver Recruiter:

  1. What type of trucks does the company use?
  2. What is the average age of the company’s tractors?
  3. What is the average age of the company’s trailers?
  4. Do the trucks come equipped with APU’s?
    1. What is an APU?
  5. Do the trucks come equipped with power inverters?
    1. What is an power inverter?
  6. If no power inverters are installed can the driver install one aftermarket?
  7. Is there a wattage limit for aftermarket power invertors?
  8. Does the company “slip seat” drivers or assign drivers to trucks?
  9. If a driver takes extended home time is there a risk that their truck will be taken away and reassigned?
  10. Are drivers able to take the tractor home with them on home time?
  11. Do drivers need to be prepared to have a place to keep the trailer on home time?
  12. Can drivers leave the trailer locked up in a different location than the tractor on home time?
  13. Do the trucks come equipped with refrigerators?
  14. Do the trucks have single bunks or double bunks?

Question truck drivers should ask their driver recruiter about new hire orientation:

  1. How long is the company’s orientation process?
  2. Are new hires paid anything for orientation?
  3. Does the company pay for all travel arrangements?
  4. What method of travel does the company use?
    1. Flight, Bus, Rental Car?
  5. Does the driver get their own hotel room or are drivers required to room with another driver?
  6. Does the company expect the driver to pay them back for orientation expenses if the driver does not drive for them for a certain period of time?
  7. After orientation is finished how long will it take for the driver can get dispatched home to pick up his/her gear?
  8. Are pets and passengers allowed to attend orientation with the driver?
  9. Does the company have enough trucks for all of the drivers it hires at orientation or will the driver need to travel to another facility or terminal to recover a truck after orientation is finished?

Questions Truck Driver need to ask about compensation and pay:

  1. How does the company pay?
    1. Here are some details on how to compare pay packages.
  2. Based off of my level of experience – how much is the company willing to pay me?
  3. What is the max rate of pay for your drivers?
  4. How does the company handle raises?
  5. What type of benefits does the company offer?
    • Medical
    • Dental
    • Vison
    • Life Insurance
    • Accident death
    • Disability
    • 401K & retirement benefits
    • Vacation
    • Sick pay
    • Payroll deduction programs such as a flex spending account or health saving account
  6. How long must a driver be employed before benefits kick in?
  7. Does the company offer a fuel bonus program?
    1. What is a fuel bonus program?
  8. Does the company offer a safety bonus program?
    1. What is a safety bonus in the trucking industry?
  9. Does the company offer a performance bonus program?
  10. Does the company offer any sign on bonuses?
  11. How does the sign on bonus pay out?
  12. Does the company offer longevity bonuses or retention bonuses for tenured drivers?
  13. Does the company offer a driver referral bonus program?
  14. Does the company offer transition pay for changing employers?
  15. Does the company offer orientation pay?

Questions that truck drivers need to ask their recruiter before thinking about a “Lease Purchase Program”

First off,  before thinking about any lease purchase program check our our article Company Driving Jobs vs. Lease Purchase Program.

  1. Does your company offer a Lease Purchase Program?
  2. Is the driver required to be a company driver first before becoming eligible to lease a truck?
  3. Are your hiring qualifications for Lease Purchase different than what they are for your company drivers?
    • If so how are they different?
  4. What is required from the driver to get started with the Lease?
    • Money Down
    • Money in reserves
    • Credit Check
  5. What type of equipment do you lease?
  6. Does the company buy the trucks from a dealership when a new driver starts or do new drivers use equipment that has already been leased out?
  7. How long is the lease for?
  8. How much does is cost each week for the lease?
  9. Are driver required to pay truck payments when they are off the road?
  10. Is there a balloon payment or a buyout at the end of the lease
    • What happens if drivers are unable to pay this at the end?
    • Does the company help driver finance the remaining balloon
  11. What are all of the “other” charges that drivers are required to pay in addition to the truck payment?
    • Plates
    • Permits
    • PrePass
    • Tolls
    • Scales
    • Lumpers
  12. What type of insurances is lease purchase drivers required to pay?
    • Physical Damage
    • Bobtail
    • Occupational accident
  13. Are drivers responsible for finding these insurances on their own?
  14. What type of escrow accounts does the company make the driver set up?
    • Maintenance
    • Tires
    • Walk away lease escrow
  15. What happens to the driver in the event they are unable to finish the lease?
    • Are drivers charged a fee?
    • Are escrow accounts and maintenance accounts refunded to the driver when they leave?
  16. Do lease purchase driver get special preferences for freight?
  17. Are LP drivers paid for all miles?
    1. What you need to know about getting paid for empty miles vs loaded miles.
  18. Does LP driver get 100% of the fuel surcharge?
  19. Are LP drivers paid by the mile or by Percentage?
    • If by the percentage how will drivers know what they true percentage is?
  20. What type of maintenance is the driver responsible for?
  21. Will someone in the office keep track of when regular maintenance is due or is the driver responsible for scheduling their own maintenance?
  22. Where are the repairs preformed? Does the driver have a say in this?
  23. How often are driver paid? By the week or by the load?
  24. Do LP drivers need to have their own Trailers?
    • If not, are drivers charged a rental fee for the use of the companies trailers
  25. Does your company offer any type of tax services to help the driver out when filing their taxes?
  26. What are the total weekly expenses for all charges on the lease each week not including fuel?
  27. Can driver get fuel anywhere or are they limited to certain fuel stops?
  28. Does the company keep track of all maintenance records for each truck?
    • If so, can the driver see of copy of all maintenance on the truck before leasing?
  29. Can the driver get the contract for the lease sent to them before coming in so the driver can review the lease?
  30. What are the most negative things about your lease compared to what other companies are offering?
  31. Can you give me a name and number of a current Lease Driver so I can get feedback directly from a driver on how the lease works?
  32. Is the driver allowed to customize the truck, such as installing new wheels, shifters, seats, stacks, etc… before having it paid off?

How to decide between a Company Driving Jobs or a Lease Purchase Program?

 

When looking for a new OTR driving job CDL truck drivers will find that they have options between company driving jobs and lease purchase trucking jobs.  There are advantages and disadvantages for each option so we encourage OTR drivers to evaluate their long term career goals when exploring each opportunity. Asking the right questions and knowing the general details of each job should help the driver find the best trucking job for their lifestyle.

Overall there is less uncertainty with being a company driver. Company drivers know what to expect and they tend to get more stable paychecks week in and week out. The stability in pay allows company drivers to budget their household finances.  In addition, company drivers usually have access to their employer’s benefits package. For some drivers, benefits is a major factor when selecting a new employer. Many lease purchase programs do not provide benefits since lease purchase drivers are considered independent contractors.  Furthermore, many CDL drivers will never consider a lease purchase program for fear that they will not be able to make enough money.  Some OTR drivers feel that the various truck expenses with lease purchase programs makes it difficult for the driver to maintain steady weekly pay. Due to this, many OTR drivers are more attracted to company driving jobs over lease purchase trucking jobs.

With that being said, company drivers need to keep in mind that in Over-The-Road truck driving there is little room for advancement.  From our experience, the transportation industry does not have a “corporate ladder” that drivers are able to climb and it is uncommon for truck drivers to get promotions like in other industries.  A driver with years of experience and safe qualifications should be able to qualify for the highest paying trucking jobs within the industry, but the difference in pay between drivers at the low end of a company’s pay scale and the high end of a company’s pay scale is small enough that experienced drivers are not properly rewarded for their talents.  This prospect is demoralizing for some drivers so they venture out in search for better opportunities. Many times, those better opportunities comes in the form of trying to become an owner operator.

Drivers want room for advancement.  They want to be their own boss, select their own loads, and find higher pay for the work they do. All of these things are achievable by being an independent contractor. The challenge is that many drivers do not have the credit or the financing capabilities to go out and buy a truck on their own. One major benefit of doing a lease purchase program is that, if successful, the driver is able to walk away with a tractor that is paid off.  Once the lease has been completed the driver becomes a full-fledged owner operator with the potential to start brokering their own loads or working as a true owner op for a carrier.  This is the main reason why OTR drivers are attracted to lease purchase programs.  For many drivers, the only legitimate option for becoming a true owner operator is to find a company that has a lease purchase program that is designed to provide the driver with true truck ownership at lease completion.

Lease purchase trucking jobs come with more risk though because the nature of lease purchase programs means that the driver only generates a profit after all truck expenses have been paid for the week.  Lease purchase drivers must maintain weekly tractor payments in addition to truck expenses such as fuel, maintenance, insurances, and other misc charges.  These charges are normally deducted from the driver’s settlement first before the driver receives any sort of paycheck.  After all expenses have been paid for the week the left over amount is the drivers profit for the week. If the driver does not bring in enough revenue there is the possibility that the driver will go negative for a week. This is a scary thought for many drivers which is why they refuse to consider lease purchase driving jobs.

Typically, CDL drivers start their OTR driving career as a company driver, but once new drivers develop a firm foundation on how the trucking industry works they might later look into lease purchase programs.  The way company drivers are paid makes it easy for drivers to compare one company driving job to another. On the other hand, there are so many variables with lease purchase programs that it makes is difficult for drivers to truly compare one lease program to another. Lease purchase program can be more rewarding to OTR drivers looking for advancement, but at the same time they can be more risky if the driver is unable to maintain truck expenses.  At the end of the day both options have their pro and cons.  Ultimately, only the driver can determine what option fits their needs the best.

Experienced truck driver vs. student drivers with no experience

 

This may be an overly simplistic view, but in our opinion, there are only 2 different types of truck drivers. There is The Veteran Driver & then there is The Rookie Driver. Regardless of whether you are a new driver getting started out or you are the long seasoned veteran – the role you play within the industry as a whole is a valuable one. Consumers should never forget that if they bought it, a truck driver brought it.

Truck Driving Veterans:

Veteran drivers are an expert at their trade.  They are true professionals with the skills to haul whatever type of equipment the industry tries to throw at them.   They are capable of hauling dry vans, reefers, tankers, containers, flatbeds, lowboys, drop decks, step decks, and oversized loads.  You name it, if it needs to be hauled you can count on veteran OTR driver to get it there safely and on time. They know how to operate their truck in all weather conditions. They know the rules and regulations to stay compliant and above all, veteran drivers RESPECT the road.

The vast majority of veteran drivers we talk to have told us that they love their job. What they love the most is the open road, and many tell us that they love the solitude of the truck. Veteran drivers have mastered the lifestyle that comes with being an OTR driver.  Many of them have been company drivers all of their life, while other drivers have taken it upon themselves to start their own business by becoming an owner operator or going through a lease purchase program. Regardless of what type of driver they are, the fact remains that veteran drivers have invested years working in an industry that is undergoing changes.

For the past several years the transportation industry has been navigating through a progressively growing driver shortage and transportation analysts are predicting the driver shortage to worsen. This is partly due to the rate at which veteran drivers are retiring and exiting the workforce. As old-timers and veterans retire and make their way out of the industry a new generation of drivers needs to be trained up to take their place. The problem is that very few people grow up wanting to become a truck driver. The industry is not attracting new talent to replenish the dwindling workforce. This is why it is so important that all veteran drivers take it upon themselves to train, educate, mentor and help aid student drivers to help them grow in their trade.

 

The Rookie/ Student Truck Driver:

These OTR (Over-The-Road) drivers are the newbies to the industry. Many rookie drivers were enticed to the industry with the promise of great pay and great home time. Or maybe the freedom of working alone with nothing in front of them except the open road is what attracted them to begin this new journey. For whatever reason, these drivers have taken the first steps towards learning what it truly means to be a professional driver. With that being said, the trucking industry makes it easy for potential drivers to get started out.  There are many CDL training programs and most student driving jobs are designed to get the new driver their CDL and provide them with an entry level job within the industry once their training is complete. Most students will start their journey by going out OTR (Over-The-Road) with a seasoned veteran for a predetermined amount of time. The veteran driver is tasked with mentoring and training the student. After the student driver graduates from their training program they are free to start driving on their own as a solo driver. Even though this training process sounds easy, it can be hard for new drivers to find a career within the transportation industry that provides the long lasting financial security that rookie drivers are looking for.

The unfortunate reality is that most student drivers fizzle out and stop driving before they get the chance to experience how good this industry can be to them. There are many high paying trucking companies out there, but many trucking companies will not hire entry level student drivers until they have 6 months to 2 years of recent OTR experience. This means that student drivers are left with few options when choosing who to first drive for. Usually only the largest carriers within the industry will take new entry level drivers.  Because there are so few options it means pay is low for beginning drivers.  Companies that hire student drivers know that these drivers have few options so they a pay students less money due to lack of competition.  This means that the majority of the high paying trucking companies who offer the best OTR driving jobs are out of reach for a lot of the new student drivers.

The complaint from student drivers is this: How can I get enough OTR experience if trucking companies refuses to hire me because I lack experience. The compliant is logical. It is the chicken or the egg argument. The end results is that student drivers can fall in the trap of jumping from job to job. Because of the lack of good pay – new drivers are forced to jump from job to job at the beginning of their career with the hope of finding an employer that is financially rewarding for the sacrifices that they are making. It is not uncommon for a new CDL OTR Driver to have 4 or more jobs in their first year of employment within the transportation industry.

 

How Can OTRDRIVING.COM help?

Otrdriving.com has been created to serve all drivers with finding their next OTR (Over-The-Road) driving job. Truck driving pay is very competitive and the honest truth is that if you are not making an above average wage then the chances are that you are probably driving for the wrong carrier. We connect truck drivers with the best trucking companies in the marketplace today. We do this by collecting information from trucking carriers and compiling only their best driving jobs in a single place. Using our website drivers are able to quickly research potential trucking companies by seeing what they offer, reading trucking company reviews, and connecting with these future employers by filling out a quick contact form. Let us help you in your job search. We promise you will not regret it.

 

Info About the Current Truck Driver Shortage:

 

Today, the United States is currently experiencing a massive driver shortage in the transportation industry.  Baby boomers are on their way out of the industry and the transportation industry has done a very bad job at attracting new talent to replace the dwindling workforce. According to the American Trucking Association there is currently a driver shortage of 48,000 truck drivers and this number is expected to grow to as many as 175,000 by the year 2024.[i] Due to this shortage, Class A CDL drivers are in high demand.

Many trucking companies are desperate to grow their fleet sizes and they are putting together lucrative pay packages to attract new drivers to their company to drive growth.  Driver wages are rising and in the last couple years alone wages have increased an estimated 8%-12%. One time wage expenditures such as sign-on bonuses and transition pay is also growing. In addition, OTR (Over the Road) transportation companies are doing more to develop lanes and obtain freight that puts their drivers in a position to be home more often.  All of this is being done with the goal of keeping their current fleet of drivers happy, while at the same time, positioning them to offer better paying OTR driving jobs in the future to attract new drivers.

The driver shortage has also increased competition within the trucking industry. Transportation companies are fighting for the same driver which has the unintended consequence of intensifying driver turnover. The qualified drivers bounce from one company to another looking for a better position that more closely fits the drivers desired needs. Some transportation companies are facing over 100% driver turnover. This means that their recruiting efforts never stop.

If you are a driver and you are looking for a new OTR Driving job you have come to the right place.  Our goal is to help educate drivers on the jobs that are out there and let them decide for themselves what new driving job will be the best fit for them.  Our biggest piece of advice is to take your time and do your research. We offer a lot of resources to help aid you thorough this process. Visit our carrier directory or our carrier review pages to learn more about what other drivers are saying about their past employers.

We wish you the best on your job search.

 

 

[i]American Trucking Association (2015) New ATA Report Shows Growing Shortage of Qualified Truck Drivers

Analysis Shows Driver Shortage of 48,000 Now, Possibly 175,000 by 2024 Retrieved from http://www.trucking.org/article.aspx?uid=ad3cff3e-7c8b-400f-8c68-afbf3dde6898

 

 Student CDL Driver Resource Guide to OTR Driving:

Job Outlook for OTR Truck Drivers

For those of you that are new to the transportation industry or wondering if the life of a truck driver is something you want to explore it might be beneficial for you to know what OTR (Over-The-Road) driving is.  OTR driving can be loosely defined as driving in any sort of capacity that requires the operator to sleep in a state that is other than the state in which they reside.  Typically, OTR Drivers will be away from home for multiple weeks at a time. OTR drivers transport goods from one location to another by operating heavy equipment with a gross vehicle weight of 26,000 lbs or more. Typically, to be considered OTR the driver must sleep within the tractor’s equipped sleeper berth.

Current Pay & home time expectations for OTR Drivers:

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for heavy all drivers across all sectors in 2014 was $39,520 [i] The trucking industry as a whole has the challenge of figuring out ways to attract new talent to the trucking industry due to the growing driver shortage.  Veteran drivers are on their way out of the industry and the new group of truck drivers needs brought in and trained up to take their place. One of the problems that is facing the industry is that on average, pay is too low for the amount of sacrifice that drivers must make to perform the duties of the job. Generally, Over-The-Road drivers will be out for multiple weeks at a time before getting back home. After learning about the nature of the transportation industry and what is expected from them, many potential drivers may start rethinking whether or not they are willing to sacrifice this much for a future career as a CDL Driver. The good news is that the industry has slowly reached a tipping point. The current driver shortage has forced trucking companies to create OTR driving jobs that pays more and has an increased focus of providing more home time.  As a result, current CDL holders who are looking for a career in driving OTR (Over-The-Road) have many different opportunities available to them.

How are OTR drivers paid?

Normally, OTR Drivers are paid by the mile for the freight that that they haul, but some drivers can be paid by the load, by the day, by the hour, or even given a salary. The most common form of compensation is paid out by the mile. It sounds simple, but there are many qualifiers that some companies put into place that may limit the amount of money that the driver can earn. When searching for top paying driving jobs it is critical that the prospective driver asks the right questions to determine how they are to be paid since there are multiple variations in how trucking companies pay out by the mile. Some variations include, practical mileage pay, hub mile pay, and shortest route pay. On top of these different scenarios, the driver needs to determine are they paid for empty and loaded miles both. Some companies pay the same regardless on if the driver is empty or loaded while other companies may pay nothing for empty miles. Again, when researching future companies the drivers needs to ask these questions to find out.   Another type of pay is called sliding scale pay where the trucking company will pay different rates of pay depending on the length of haul for the load that they are on.

For more details about the different types of pay and how they are calculated please visit our FAQ page.

What is the top pay for OTR drivers?

The problem with trying to figure out what the top pay is for truck drivers is that there are so many different variables that determine what a OTR driver can make. For example: Is the driver a company driver, lease purchase driver, or owner operator. Are the miles consistent every week? Are they running dedicated freight that sets the driver up with regularly schedule pick-ups and deliveries? Is the driver getting stop pay, layover pay, detention pay, unloading pay? The list is endless. The best advice that we can give is the make sure you do research, take notes, getting an offer letter sent to you explain the compensation in details. It is not uncommon for drivers to make $1,600 plus per week. For a driver that may only be bring home $400 – $800 this may sound way off, but the competitive nature of the truck driving recruiting market has been empowering drivers to demand higher wages. In our opinion, if you are a safe driver and you are not making at least $1,200 per week you are probably driving for the wrong company.

How competitive is the job market for OTR drivers?

It should be no secret by now, but trucking companies need more drivers and they are willing to go to great efforts to make sure that you know about it. Just look at all of the companies within our truck driving jobs section that is looking for drivers just like you. Stop in at a truck and drivers are exposed to dozens of trucking job magazines that are offered for free. Do a search on google and notice all of the advertising that you will see within your web browser. The point is that companies are competing for your attention. They need your services and a lot of them are now offering big bonuses and incentive programs all with the goal of getting the driver to sign up for orientation. The problem is that all of this competition makes it too noisy. It becomes overwhelming for the driver to read between the lines and find the best driving job that offers the best pay with the best home time to fit their needs.

OTRDRIVING.COM was created to help drivers with this process.  We want to give back to the drivers that have sacrificed so much to make our country function that way that it does.  We will never forget – if the consumer bought it, a truck driver brought it. Our mission statement is to help OTR Drivers by providing them with information on the best truck driving jobs and the best OTR Driving Jobs in the industry today.  When trucking companies compete for your services the driver wins.

 

[i] Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Heavy and Tractor-trailer Truck Drivers,
on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/transportation-and-material-moving/heavy-and-tractor-trailer-truck-drivers.htm (visited February 01, 2016).