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Advice From Veteran Drivers: Choosing a Trucking Company


Before you start searching for a trucking job, it’s important to know what exactly what your priorities are– How important is home time? How much do you NEED to make? What type of freight do you want to haul? Do you want to run on electronic or paper logs? The list goes on and on. Earlier this week, we asked veteran drivers this question: What factors should you consider when choosing to work for a company?

Here are their answers:

Not going to be the same for every driver. What might be the deal breaker for one, might be ideal for another. But some basics should be pay, benefits, home time.- Roxanne S.

Safety rating.- Shawn L.

A small family run company, where they not only know your name but know who you are, as well as how and where you like to run. Good pay, insurance, newer well-maintained equipment and honest dispatch also make the list. Low layover time, you’re not making a paycheck sitting in truck stops. Personally I have pulled a tank for 15 years and would have a hard time going back to a square trailer especially a reefer.- Jeff C.

Safety ratings first and foremost. You can gain a very personal glimpse of how the company operates. Are the drivers constantly getting tickets for log violations? Are the trucks failing inspections? How and where are they failing? Pay and benefits come later. If I care about hometime I wouldn’t drive OTR, I would get a local job. Most pay better for less hours than OTR anyway (in my experience).- Christopher P.

How long old drivers have been with the company, and be able to speak to them , how the dispatch treat the drivers (we are not dirty dogs). See the garage installation to know how the maintenance is a priority. No matter how old is the truck is, if it is on good condition (a new truck would be a trash can if not maintained ). Then after for the pay, insurances and for home time. Not always in this order but all thoses things to check.- Marcel R.

Dispatchers will be one thing I look at.- Anthony E.

Pay, benefits, home time, respect of drivers, equipment, areas of dispatch.- Susan A.

CSA scores…Do they maintain their equipment and will they keep you moving. I run e-logs and just depends where loads land. Have weeks with 3500 have weeks with 2200 but they keep me moving, and their equipment is well maintained and if it’s broke, they tell you get it fixed without hesitation.- Crystal S.

If they have to run a ad in every newspaper across the country or every type of trucking magazine, you can think of you might want to reconsider. Then find out what their turnover rate is.- Randy D.

Miles, money, home time, insurance, equipment, and how they treat you.- Cody S.

Trucks and idle policy.- Michael C.

HOW MUCH YOU’LL HAVE TO PAY FOR INSURANCE! My boyfriend pays $800/month right now for whack ass insurance. That’s $400/check. Which is a lot to pay for basically nothing.- Shandi G.

Longevity of drivers. The more “old timers” that have been there for years.-Lonnie J.

Generally ive been trying to find jobs that pay by the hour or for the trip. This by the mile crap seems to have screwed me when I tried it. Might just be my luck, but getting paid by the hour is a excellent reason to still do speed limits. Keeps you safer and not just see dollar signs fly out the window whenever you need to stop. Lot less stressful…. at least then if your getting paid hourly it doesnt matter if the companys stuff breaks down every run. It is not your problem you’re paid to sit and listen to music.- Alex H.

They all claim to be perfect, if you want the truth, talk to 5+ drivers from said company.- Richard R.

APU, what there trucks governed at, base pay, detention pay, breakdown pay, pet policy , rider policy, home time incentives. E-logs or paper logs, age of equipment, average miles per week.- Nathan E.

Equipment maintenance and driver turnover. If a company has a huge turnover rate, perhaps that is not such a good company to work for.- Carol P.

Talk to current employees..they tell the truth.- Deborah B.

One of my first litmus tests for a company is the initial contact. Are you able to only submit an app online; does it take more than 2 hours for a recruiter to call you back; when you call, how long do you have to sit on hold. If they don’t value your time and effort before you work there, there is no indication they will after you are hired.- Shawn M.

Talk to the drivers. Recruiters will blow smoke up your rear and tell you anything to meet their quota. The drivers will give you a better picture of reality. Funny thing…the company I lease to has no recruiting department. None. When you apply you go straight to the safety director.- Terry S.

If they have the frieght you want to haul!- Freddie S.

The biggest decision makers should be your personal lifestyle and experience level. If you don’t want to go OTR, then don’t. You don’t have to go OTR if you don’t want too. One of the biggest fallacies in the industry is “I didn’t have any other choice.” There are PLENTY of line companies that’ll hire a student driver. As you gain experience, you can be more selective on who you drive for, provided you kept your records clean.- Kevin H.

1: Home time schedule.
2: Miles per week.
3: Benefits.
4: Freight lanes.
5: Pay.
6: Equipment.
– Jimmy B.

Insurance and rates of being on the road . I drove for a company before I started my own business and I only gotten paid. $250 to go from Houston Texas and go all the way to new Iberia,Louisiana. Wasn’t worth it to me.And the diesel I had to put in the truck. I only made $20 out of that run.- Jake H.


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