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Do NOT take a new truck driving job until you ask these 100 questions


Whether you’re a veteran driver or a rookie, it can be hard to break through a driver recruiter’s song and dance to get the information that you need about a job you’re considering taking. That’s why CDLLife put together a list of over 100 essential questions that you need to get answered before you take a new job.

General Questions to ask your Recruiter

  • Is the company privately or publicly held?
  • How many total employees does the company have?
  • How many drivers does the company currently have?
  • What is the company’s turnover rate?
  • How many empty trucks does the company have right now? (If the company has a lot of empty trucks it might be a sign that more drivers quitting then they are able to hire.)
  • How many terminals does the company have and where are they?
  • How long has the average driver been with the company?
  • What is the passenger policy?
  • What is the pet policy?

Operational Questions to ask your Driver Recruiter:

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

Equipment questions to ask your Driver Recruiter:

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

Question to ask your driver recruiter about new hire orientation:

  • How long is the company’s orientation process?
  • Are new hires paid anything for orientation?
  • Does the company pay for all travel arrangements?
  • What method of travel does the company use?
    • Flight, Bus, Rental Car?
  • Does the driver get their own hotel room or are drivers required to room with another driver?
  • 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?
  • After orientation is finished how long will it take for the driver can get dispatched home to pick up his/her gear?
  • Are pets and passengers allowed to attend orientation with the driver?
  • 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 to ask you recruiter about compensation and pay:

  • How does the company pay?
  • Based off of my level of experience – how much is the company willing to pay me?
  • What is the max rate of pay for your drivers?
  • How does the company handle raises?
  • 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
  • How long must a driver be employed before benefits kick in?
  • Does the company offer a fuel bonus program?
  • Does the company offer a safety bonus program?
  • Does the company offer a performance bonus program?
  • Does the company offer any sign on bonuses?
  • How does the sign on bonus pay out?
  • Does the company offer longevity bonuses or retention bonuses for tenured drivers?
  • Does the company offer a driver referral bonus program?
  • Does the company offer transition pay for changing employers?
  • Does the company offer orientation pay?

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

  • Does your company offer a Lease Purchase Program?
  • Is the driver required to be a company driver first before becoming eligible to lease a truck?
  • Are your hiring qualifications for Lease Purchase different than what they are for your company drivers?
    • If so how are they different?
  • What is required from the driver to get started with the Lease?
    • Money Down
    • Money in reserves
    • Credit Check
  • What type of equipment do you lease?
  • 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?
  • How long is the lease for?
  • How much does is cost each week for the lease?
  • Are driver required to pay truck payments when they are off the road?
  • 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
  • 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
  • What type of insurances is lease purchase drivers required to pay?
    • Physical Damage
    • Bobtail
    • Occupational accident
  • Are drivers responsible for finding these insurances on their own?
  • What type of escrow accounts does the company make the driver set up?
    • Maintenance
    • Tires
    • Walk away lease escrow
  • 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?
  • Do lease purchase driver get special preferences for freight?
  • Are LP drivers paid for all miles?
  • Does LP driver get 100% of the fuel surcharge?
  • Are LP drivers paid by the mile or by Percentage?
    • If by the percentage how will drivers know what they true percentage is?
  • What type of maintenance is the driver responsible for?
  • Will someone in the office keep track of when regular maintenance is due or is the driver responsible for scheduling their own maintenance?
  • Where are the repairs preformed? Does the driver have a say in this?
  • How often are driver paid? By the week or by the load?
  • Do LP drivers need to have their own Trailers?
    • If not, are drivers charged a rental fee for the use of the companies trailers
  • Does your company offer any type of tax services to help the driver out when filing their taxes?
  • What are the total weekly expenses for all charges on the lease each week not including fuel?
  • Can driver get fuel anywhere or are they limited to certain fuel stops?
  • 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?
  • Can the driver get the contract for the lease sent to them before coming in so the driver can review the lease?
  • What are the most negative things about your lease compared to what other companies are offering?
  • 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?
  • Is the driver allowed to customize the truck, such as installing new wheels, shifters, seats, stacks, etc… before having it paid off?

What did we miss? List any question that you think should be on the list in the comments below!


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