What makes for the best CDL truck driving jobs?
This is a question that we’re asked time and time again and with good reason.
So here’s the deal.
You’re just winding up a truck driving job interview and it sounds like a good deal cause the mileage rate is great.
But, be aware that the rate of pay isn’t the only factor you should consider.
Don’t get me wrong!!!! Fair compensation is highly critical for a driving job.
But, if you’re looking for a professional truck driving job, there are some important other factors which will in the long run, contribute to your contentment at your driving job.
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- Rate of Pay. Do the math to be sure the rate of pay they are offering you adds up to a fair wage. Will you be compensated for down time, waiting time, on the road repair times, at the customer waiting to be loaded?
Recruiters can try to dazzle you with some fancy talk to impress you that you’ll be making big money. But when you take the time to do the math, you may find that isn’t the case. Get out your calculator and do the math!
Check around with presently employed drivers to see if your numbers match theirs! Currently employed drivers can be the best source of a trucking company’s credibility.
- Sufficient home time. This is a biggie. Find out how much home time the company allows and if that will work for your personal situation. No point in taking a driving job that pays well and has all the qualities you want, but makes it clear from the starting gate, that you’ll be on the road for minimum 3 weeks at a time before getting home, when for personal reasons, this will simply not work for you.
I do not recommend sacrificing sufficient home time for a truck driving career. It isn’t worth it, period. Look around for another job that gives you the time at home you need.
Good trucking companies with the best CDL jobs know this is important to drivers and they have a system whereby they can easily plan for sufficient home time for their drivers.
- Mileage. The number of miles offered are what you are looking for. Maybe you don’t want to be a member of the high miler club and get as many miles as possible. Be sure it suits YOUR needs.
A good way to confirm whether the recruiter has been honest is to check the trucking company website. I’ve found that if a company is willing to stick their neck out and post the ‘expected miles’ for a particular division, then they are more likely to true to their word.
- No Forced Dispatch. Although forced dispatch is more of a thing of the past, unfortunately, it does still exist. Be sure the company is openly flexible with scheduling and you can say no to a load.
** Tip — Very small companies will often force dispatch as they count on their small pool of drivers. So a larger pool of drivers can be a good thing.
- Equipment. Check out the company trucks and trailers. Are they current models? Or are they junkers? The last thing you want is to work for a company that runs junk equipment.
One of my very first driving jobs was working for a company that ran pure junk trucks and trailers. Honestly, I spent more time roadside than driving!
- Respect. Be mindful of how you are treated in an interview or the first few weeks on the job. Are you being respected and spoken to in a civilized manner by supervisors, dispatchers and managers? If not, walk away. Things will only get worse as time goes on.
- Communication. When there’s an issue that needs resolving, there’s someone to talk to that listens and tries to work out a solution. Also, when the trucker is on the road, an after-hours system in place, for responding to emergencies and urgent needs.
- Accurate Pay. One of the biggest pet peeves of drivers is mistakes in nearly every pay. This is a direct reflection on how much the company could care less about you. If the first few pays this seems to be a problem, get it straightened out asap. You will not have time to be visiting payroll or typing out long texts to the payroll department on a weekly basis. Some companies count on drivers not pursuing errors.
- Simple pay statement. There’s no need for a pay statement to be confusing or difficult to read. A driver has the right to expect a statement for his pay, that is straightforward. It shouldn’t be necessary to call payroll frequently with lots of questions regarding deductions or expenses paid.
I once worked for a large trucking company where the pay statement was so complex, you’d need a Philadelphia accountant to translate it! Needless to say, I didn’t stay there long. It was nearly impossible to tell if I was being cheated or not!
Look For Driver Focused Trucking Companies
Any trucking company can attract a driver, but it can be a challenge to retain a driver.
The good trucking companies which value their drivers, will have many of the above qualities.
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