Choosing A Trucking Company
Getting the right information to start out will be the most important thing on your mind. Your future depends on all of the correct decisions. But, if you are new to this game, then asking the right questions may be a little of a gray area. The recruiters will visit your truck driving school and give a presentation about their company and why you should join them. Listen to them carefully and decide if that is the right company. Do not always take them at their word as to what you be paid to start. I can guess they will say around .34 a mile. The reality is that you may start as low as 25.5 cents a mile. I did, but that was a long time ago. Wages have not changed much over the years for this job. They will give you a spiel about how much you make and promise $1000.00 a week to start, you will make that later on, but not at first as a rule. That will not always be the case, so ask questions and do your research. Yes it is possible and I did make that much. But, you cannot do that every week, your hours will run out and you will have a lower production week. Until you get a 34 hour reset, you will have to work with what hours you have, that’s the way it is.
Everybody that changes jobs has to start from the beginning, we all did out here. There was very few people that had a leg up. Only people I know that got a break from some of this was drivers whose parents owned a company or had connections for hiring. I have seen parents send them to the training company to get that one year over the road, then hire them for the company they own. Because of insurance purposes, that was the way it worked.
Do some research on the company you are looking at on the web. Do a search on their stocks, and see how they are doing. Ask a driver if you can and do a “fuel pump interview”. I have with the place I work now, and I am glad I did. I got a lot of info about how happy they were. Securing that first job is crucial for your success and happiness. What are the benefit packages offered? With today’s volatile markets, 401 k’s don’t seem that great. What other insurance do they offer? How much does it cost?
Do they offer a per diem plan and how will that effect my end of year tax return?
The biggest concern for most new drivers on their first driving truck job is, what kind of truck can I drive? Will it be a new Peterbilt? New Freightliner or Kenworth? Or a newer truck that is not all beat to heck. I have had nine of the Freightliner Classics trucks and I am confident I know a fair amount about that type of truck. I can close my eyes and find any knob or control in it. What kind of trucks does the company have in it’s fleet? These are sure questions to ask the recruiter or person on the phone. If the company has a local terminal, ask to see the trucks. Walk the lot and look at the condition, if they are all beat to crap, then there is a clue. Some places are harder to get a job at, maybe they have special requirements, like longer experience records. Keep a note of these and look at them as a goal for later on. Especially if the equipment and driver satisfaction are top drawer. Happy drivers stay where they are for a reason. Do your homework and don’t expect all of the info to come to you overnight. I interviewed my current companies drivers for 2 years before I actually applied. I am happy where I am now.
Some companies are very quick to pre-qualify you while you are in school, to lock you in to their work force. You can find out more about this from the school. They will have brochures available in most truck driving schools for you to take home with you to look at. Call and ask questions from someone in the main office if you can, this is after you have prepared your list of questions to ask them. Remember, you will not know if you don’t ask. There is nothing wrong with asking. Ask about hometime policy, holiday pay and bonuses for low idle time and production.