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Blog11 - 7 Questions to Ask Yourself BEFORE Choosing the Life of a Trucker

7 Questions to Ask Yourself BEFORE Choosing the Life of a Trucker

One of the best things about this life of ours is the ever present reality of choices. When you are thinking about what job to pursue, it is important to take time and introspect. The life of a truck driver is not for the feint of heart. There are a lot of things that are needed to even be allowed to be a truck driver—not to mention all the other demands that the job will ask of you.

We’re not trying to scare you from joining a pretty amazing job. It is better off for everyone if only those that have their priorities straightened out will be the ones to actively pursue the life of a cowboy of the modern road. That said, if you are thinking of being a truck driver, take time to ask yourself these questions:

Do you like driving?

This is a pretty simple but loaded question. Professional and long time truck drivers will tell you that you will need to LOVE driving if you want to be a trucker. A huge chunk of your time, effort, and existence will be on the road and behind the wheel. While it would be ideal to have long unencumbered stretches of road before you, this may not be possible for short haul truckers.

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Driving for a living will mean being subject to other people’s time, availability, and actions while on the road! If you cannot handle the long hours of driving and actually enjoy it, trucking may not be a good fit for you.

Why do you want to be a truck driver?

Knowing why you want to be a driver is a pretty good thing to sort out at the very beginning. Understanding your reasons can be the foundation of a good career move. Alternatively speaking, having the wrong sort of motivations can end up with a pretty miserable existence.

Truck drivers often choose to be what they are because it is something that they saw growing up. It could be possible that someone in their family was a trucker as well. If you are solely after the money that a truck driver can earn, you may want to check out your priorities.

Having a pretty big salary will not always equate to happiness; especially, when you are on your 9th straight hour on the road.

Do you want to work for a company or be an independent contractor?

Truck drivers can choose to work for a small or large company. They can also choose to work for themselves and approach clients directly. Knowing which one you want will help guide your path toward what you need to do.

If you want to be an independent contractor, having your own vehicle is a must. Decide early on regarding what sort of truck you would like to drive. When you do, getting the proper certification for it would be the next step.

If you want to work for a company, try to look for trucking companies that train drivers. This will help save you time and such companies often already have their own fleets of trucks so you can just show up to drive.

Would you be willing to miss special occasions?

Being on call for a delivery can often take you away from special occasions that family and friends are celebrating. If you have ever seen a Coca-Cola commercial, you will see that during Christmas they still have people on the road.

A truck driver must be able to live with the fact that there will be deliveries that will coincide with special occasions. Would you be able to live with that fact?

Are you capable of being alone with your thoughts for extended periods?

Truck drivers are not always paired up with partners when on the road. For long haul drivers, the reality of the situation is that they are alone for the entirety of the journey. People who cannot abide by the silence and the solitude would be best looking for more social forms of employment.

A truck driver is not necessarily a loner. However, the job will require you to be by yourself a lot of the time. If this is something that you cannot do, a trucker’s life is not for you.

How much do you want to earn annually?

Depending on who you work for, the salary may be quite big or it can be quite dismal. Setting a clear bar of what you want to earn will help you determine further what your job options are. If you want to earn at least in the high 70’s on an annual basis, long haul jobs should be what you are looking at.

If you are okay with earning around 30-50 thousand on an annual basis, you would be okay with short haul trucking.

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How long would you want to work as a truck driver?

Longevity of your craft is something that you must consider before you start doing it. A truck driver’s job is not just a job. It is a full on lifestyle. If you are only thinking of being a truck driver for a few years or so, it would be good for you to stick with companies that have their own fleets.

If you want to be a long lived truck driver, having your own truck would be a better investment for you. Knowing how long you want to continue working in a particular job is a great way to plan your future.

To Conclude

Taking the time to really think about your choices, options, and compatibility to the job you are looking at can save you from a lot of trouble down the road. The life of a truck driver can be completely fulfilling (for the right person). If you are not quite sure if the life of a trucker is one for you, ask yourself the questions that we posted above.

They should, at the very least, provide you with some key ideas on whether or not you would be a good fit for the trucker lifestyle.

Post Author: Christopher Burns

Blog10 - Aiming To Keep Your CDL? Four Safety Tips That Will Make You Highly Efficient

Aiming To Keep Your CDL? Four Safety Tips That Will Make You Highly Efficient

Nowadays obtaining a commercial driver’s license is a really big thing. The processes in which drivers are tested have leveled up and everything is a lot stricter than it used to be. This is why it is extra important to be safe when you are on the road and operating your truck. The rules and regulations that govern trucks and truck drivers a world apart from what they use to keep private vehicle owners in line.

A truck is a very large vehicle; this is something that we can all agree upon. In order for you, if you are an independent contractor, to be an ideal hire for trucking companies, you must be highly efficient. This refers to your delivery time and the state of your driving. There are a lot of things that can always go wrong when you are on the road. Despite your best intentions, you cannot control how other people are going to drive.

A whopping 79% of all accidents that involve commercial vehicles, like trucks, are caused by other vehicles. It just so happened that a truck was involved. However, as trucks are the immediate concern (cargo and damages), it has always been easy to assume that it was the truck driver at fault.

Safety Tips

If you are a truck driver, we highly recommend that you keep these safety tips in mind AT ALL TIMES.

Always Check Your Vehicle Before and After a Drive

The one thing that you can always keep under the realm of your control is your vehicle. Truck drivers much make it a habit to run diagnostics on their vehicles prior to a drive out. Once the run has been completed, it would be important to check the vehicle again before rolling out once more.

This makes the likelihood of any unforeseen mechanical developments to a minimum. Mechanical trouble is always a possibility when you are out on the road and running a large vehicle. As trucks are quite large, it can be difficult to rely on your ears and other senses to determine if there has been any damage to your vehicle. Always do ocular inspections of your vehicle before you use it—build your own set of checklists like gas, oil, breaks, tires, lights, and any connections that may have come undone during the drive there.

Keep Lane Changes TO AN ABSOLUTE Minimum

Truck drivers can keep accidents to a minimum if they keep to a single lane. Usually, there are specified truck lanes for larger places like cites. In smaller roads, it would just be best to stick to the middle lane of the road. This way, people who want to drive past you or speed up can do so without affecting you. If you need to make a turn, you will be able to signal way in advance and you will be in a ideal location to do so.

Lane changes can raise the chances of getting into an accident by about 40%. We don’t know about you but that is pretty high—and when you are in charge of precious cargo (i.e. yourself and your livelihood) it is very important to lower any chances of getting into an accident to about 2-5%.

Preempt Your Fatigue

A rule that many of used live by is to not wait until you feel absolutely tired before you take a rest. We have personally met a lot of drivers that often waited until they were feeling like their eyelids were made out of lead before they pulled over to rest. We understand that schedules and deadlines need to be met.

However, you must always be aware of your physical limitations as a driver. When you drive exhausted, you put yourself and others at risk. Since you are carrying a rather large vehicle, you present quite a significant risk for damage and fatalities. Try to watch out for your energy levels. Take note of the times wherein you feel fatigued the most. Make it a habit to preempt your fatigue and try not to take jobs around that time. Or if you absolutely must work, plan your breaks accordingly.

Keep a Handy Emergency Kit Ready

We aren’t referring to a handy-dandy first aid kit (that’s important to have, too). We are referring to a kit that you utilize if you DO get into an accident or run into any mechanical trouble. Have an extra radio that you can use to call for help or assistance in case your truck’s batteries die out and you can’t use your own radio.

Have flashers or reflective images on standby so you can whip them out to warn other drivers.

To Conclude

Safety should always be the number one priority of anyone who has their hands of a steering wheel. It does not matter if you are driving a small vehicle or a significantly larger vehicle, the safety of yourself and others should be a constant presence while you drive. It is hard enough to drive with a regular vehicle, right?

A commercial vehicle, especially a truck, comes with a whole different set of difficulties. There are a lot of factors beyond a driver’s control like weather, traffic conditions, wildlife and other drivers. This places emphasis on the need for defensive driving and presence of mind at all times. This is especially true for those who are owner operators of their own commercial vehicles.

It is the owner operators that have more to lose if they ever get into a traffic accident. We suggest that even if you have been driving for years, you make the time to take a refresher course on the laws and driving techniques that will keep you at the top of your performance game. One of the benchmarks of a great truck driver is one that is self-reliant and highly efficient. They know that they must be able to drive to the best of their capability while en route to a delivery or a pick up.

That said, we’re turning the question to you guys. What particular safety tips to you subscribe to when it comes to driving a commercial vehicle safely?

Post Author: Christopher Burns

Blog9 - Thinking Local? Best Local Truck Driving Jobs to Join in 2018

Thinking Local? Best Local Truck Driving Jobs to Join in 2018

While a lot can say that long haul trucking companies is where the big money is at, it is the smaller and local truck driving jobs that bring in a smaller yet consistent earning for truckers. Today, we take a look at some of the best local truck driving jobs that those aiming to be truckers can join this year.

What Counts As ‘Local’?

This is one question that we have gotten for quite a few times now. To be completely honest, the term local refers to smaller communities and pretty much where you—the reader—are at presently. You could be in the middle of a metropolis and that would still be your local area. What usually make local jobs different from those of a larger scale are three things:

  • The route
  • The company size
  • What you are handling

Local trucking jobs are often thought to be less complicated than long haul jobs but this is not necessarily true a lot of the time. Local jobs often have a lot of growing to do and those that choose to join local truck driving jobs contribute to that growth.

Local firms, especially those that are start ups, will still need to sort out their processes, schedules, client handling, and even the types of services that they want to share with their market. Driving for such companies, as some people may look at it, can come off as shaky but that is simply a matter of perspective. Local truck driving jobs provide drivers with a unique opportunity to grow with the company or the business.

Best Sorts of Local Truck Driving Jobs

When you think on focusing on your local area, this is actually a pretty big thing. Most truck drivers try to aim for larger scale jobs. We are here to tell you that regardless of the type of job that you choose, it is important to be discerning about the company that you pick. There are some issues with both local and larger scale companies and if truckers are not careful, they can end up footing a bill that they really should not be dealing with at all.

That in mind, it is time to shine the spotlight on some of the best sorts of local truck driving jobs we’ve experienced ourselves. Mind you, we are not going to name specific names. Instead, we are going to mention particular industries that are normally found in a local scale. We chose these as they are the most consistent types of truck driving jobs that you can find anywhere.

Parcel/Mail Truck Operators

Any local area will have an established outlet for the larger mailing or parcel delivery companies. There are also localized businesses that handle mail. They will need delivery personnel to make sure that everything is delivered in a speedy and timely manner. If you are not assigned to do actual deliveries, truck drivers can be assigned to be the ones to make pick ups from either homes or establishments.

What makes mail companies one of the best ones to work for is the fact that you will always have something to do! This means that you, a driver, will always have a job to accomplish. This means job security in a climate where jobs in other markets seem to fold.

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Construction Companies

No matter where you go, there will always be a construction firm. They need people to handle their materials and make sure that they get to where they need to go. Construction firms often need specialized truck drivers to handle materials like concrete (mixed and unmixed) and even lumber.

A lot of local construction firms are always looking for permanent truck drivers whose duties are completely separate from any building jobs that they have. Some of the people that write these articles have experienced local construction firms that have strict drive only jobs for truck drivers. This makes them one of the best sorts of local truck driving jobs to go for. They also keep pretty fair hours so you can build a routine a lot easier than other jobs.

Local Farms

One thing that the USA has enjoyed over the past decade is the massive improvement of the agricultural sector. There are more and more locals that have their own farm but do not have the equipment, skills, or the vehicle that is needed to transport their products to an area where they can actually distribute their products for sale.

A lot of local farms are always looking to hire truck drivers to help them out. We counted local farms as one of the best sort of local truck driving jobs because if you really wanted to be part of growth, this is the best place for it. Not only do you provide a business with the means to distribute their product, you also provide a good service for the people who live in the area. You help connect them with healthier and often more affordable options compared to the products that you can usually find in the larger scale groceries.

To Conclude

While larger salaries can be truly enticing, localized jobs—while they do not pay as much—can provide a lot of other benefits for truck drivers. Local jobs will always mean that drivers do not need to be on the road that long. This also means that they are not far away from friends and loved ones that often.

One of the biggest draws to local trucking jobs is the fact that they provide a truly valuable service to local businesses and smaller establishments. As you may know, there is an ongoing trucker shortage and it is usually the smaller towns and districts that feel the brunt of the economic impact of such shortages. When you choose to go with a local truck driving job, you help keep the economy of the area in the green.

Which particular local trucking jobs would you consider to be some of the best? Let us know in the comments or through a call! We would love to hear your thoughts and pass on the knowledge.

Post Author: Christopher Burns

Blog8 - Three Reasons Why You Should Care About the Truck Driver Shortage

Three Reasons Why You Should Care About the Truck Driver Shortage

The trucking industry has been getting a lot of hits for a few years now—a majority of those hits are not very good. Whenever there is an issue in an industry that provides a critical service, it is only right that the everyday consumer should be concerned.

The CDL Driver Problem

If you are not familiar with what we are speaking of, now would be a good time to brush up on it. For the past ten years or so, there has been a massive lack in the number of drivers who take up flatbed truck driving job. There has also been a severe lack in those who are interested in learning to drive a semi truck.

Basically, we need truckers and we aren’t getting them. There are people that say that the trucking shortage is primarily caused by the truckers themselves. There are those that say it is the trucking firms that cause the issue. Regardless of what the source is, the industry is in desperate need of drivers.

Why Should You Care?

A common feedback that we have heard regarding this issue is this: “isn’t this a problem for businesses and not everyday consumers”? While this may seem like sound logic, it really isn’t. Today, we have rounded up some reasons as to why you, an everyday consumer, should care about the trucking shortage.

1)    Less Deliveries = Less Supplies

In your everyday drive or commute, you have probably come across a fair amount of truck on the road. They are normally headed to their point of delivery or headed to a manufacturer to obtain more products for deliveries. Truck drivers are used to get products from point A to point B. These products range from a variety of industries from fashion to agriculture.

So if there are not enough people to sufficiently deliver products on a daily basis, consumers everywhere can soon expect insufficient supplies in every sector. While on the luxury side of things, you can probably live without getting the latest in the releases from fashion brands. However, other more important inventories will have more drastic impact. You can walk into your trusted grocery store and find that there isn’t enough stock to go around for everyone.

In certain establishments, constant supply of stock for their inventory is absolutely critical. The medical sector—hospitals, clinics, and other sources of medicine—cannot afford to ever be low in their supply.

2)    Prices Are Driven Up

This is directly related to the first reason above. If there are not enough to go around, it is inevitable that prices will go up. This is to compensate for the fact that businesses are not selling enough of the product that they are peddling.

The rule of economics state that if something is in demand yet supply is low, the cost goes up. The normal alternative would be to produce more of the product in order to disburse the cost of production. If there was enough stock to realistically compensate for the lessened price, then that would be an ideal situation. As this is not the case with the shortage of truck drivers, the everyday consumer will eventually feel the sting of the increased prices of basic commodities AND luxury goods.

If you’re still wondering how this affects the everyday consumer, let’s put it this way. If the trucking industry continues to not get the people that they need, you should expect everyday needs to put around an additional $10 or even double that on top of what you are already paying.

3)    The Economy Weakens

Whenever there is a lack in an employment market, it creates a ripple effect that ultimately shows up in the country’s economy. When jobs are not taken, less tax go toward the government. This means that there will be less funding for a variety of government projects that should boost the quality of living for its citizens.

When the economy takes a dive, it affects everyone’s quality of living. The currency that you are using will suddenly not be able to buy as much as it used to. When a country’s money is weak, you can pretty much expect everything else to feel it. Jobs won’t be as available, prices will always be a bit out of reach, and everyday commodities will feel like absolute luxuries. If you are wondering how the trucking issue relates to this, a whopping 70% of all freight, product, and stock is moved through trucks.

If there are not enough trucks and if it continues to dwindle (which it is), you can fully expect the economy’s strength follow that path shortly after.

To Conclude

The ongoing truck driver shortage not only affects the drivers in the industry. It affects pretty much everyone. The truck driving profession is the backbone of a lot of businesses and establishments like hospitals. The trucking industry was one of the strongest industries that offered competitive pay, job stability, and even flexible schedules for workers.

It does come off as quite strange that such an industry is suffering from a shortage. While the rest of the world seems to be preoccupied with finding ways to automate a majority of things, the trucking industry is one that relies on actual labor for good reason. Our technology is not yet capable of providing smarter solutions to give ample alternatives to using actual people for trucking jobs. They aren’t intuitive enough to address real-time problems as well.

What we all need to do is to bring this shortage to the forefront of everyone’s consciousness. We need to provide ample support for those that are still in the trucking industry. We also need to write to our representatives to get to the root of the problem. Is the shortage because of insufficient pay? What else can the trucking companies do to provide a good incentive for people to become commercial truck drivers?

This is a problem that needs all of us in order to come to a proper solution. Wouldn’t you agree?

Post Author: Christopher Burns

Blog7 - Myth Busting Time: Five Silly Truck Driver Myths That Will Make You Laugh

Myth Busting Time: Five Silly Truck Driver Myths That Will Make You Laugh

The job of being a truck driver is one of the more established and oldest jobs in the US market. Like anything that has quite a history to it, there are incorrect notions that are attached to it. Myths are stories that many people believe despite not having even an ounce of truth to it. What makes myths dangerous as times is that people tend to pass them off as fact rather than fiction.

The job of a truck driver is not easy. They often take drivers away from their homes and families over long periods of time. Depending on what they need to deliver or what sort of job they have, the level of expertise is much higher and the margin of error is a lot smaller. This is no small feat. Much is to be commended about anyone who has taken it upon themselves to be a commercial truck driver.

Myths

In light of this, we have gathered some of the silliest myths about truck drivers in general. We hope that by discussing some of these, a better understanding can be gleamed about this longstanding industry.

1)     Truck Drivers Are All Men

A common title that is used to refer to truck drivers was ‘cowboys of the paved road’. The male gender has long been associated with the profession of trucking and at some point in history, this was actually true. However, time has progressed yet this ‘fact’ about truck drivers has refused to be shaken off.

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As of 2015, there were over 200,000 female long-haul truck drivers in the USA alone. This number does not account for the number of female short haul drivers and those that work as independent contractors. Female truck drivers account for around 48% of those that take on flatbed truck driving jobs.

2)     Truck Drivers Barely Contribute to the Economy

This is by far one of the silliest myths that we have heard about truck drivers. If you ask anyone that runs a business that needs constant stream of stocks, they will immediately tell you that truck drivers are primarily responsible for making sure that they always have their products at the ready.

Truck drivers are also primarily responsible for ensuring that supplies from manufacturing sources reach their intended destinations. While on the road, they also affect a massive market. They need to use gas, they buy food from any local business they pass, they bring truck stops to life, and so many other things. If a majority of the old world thrived because of the trade routes, you can be sure that where truckers go, there will be a market that flourishes.

3)     Truck Drivers Are Smelly, Unwashed, and Uncultured

While there are examples that may support this belief, they are mostly obtained from the script of some movie or TV show. Truck Drivers are some of the most well travelled individuals you can meet. Long haul drivers often cross state lines and even borders on a daily basis. They get to see sights that many of us wish that we could travel to.

Also, if you have ever seen one of the dedicated showers at a truck stop, you will know that hygiene is one of the top priorities of drivers. Many people who fall under owner/operator truck driving jobs will tell you how they keep their vehicles clean at all times. They often consider their rigs their ‘home away from home’. After all, if you had to spend weeks at a time on the road, wouldn’t you want to be as comfortable as possible?

4)     Just About Anyone Can Become a Truck Driver

While anyone can try to be a truck driver, not just about anyone can be one. Despite the shortage in truck drivers, the requirements and tests that need to be met are only getting tougher. It’s the same concept of anyone practicing medicine. There will be those that can certainly try but only the best made it to the very end of the line.

mm2 - Myth Busting Time: Five Silly Truck Driver Myths That Will Make You Laugh

Obtaining a commercial driver’s license takes time and a lot of effort. The physical and mental demands of the job can be something else entirely. This is why it is important that anyone who dreams of joining the truck driver profession needs to really analyze themselves. Determining if they would be a good fit for the job is critical if they want to get off the right foot.

5)     Truck Driving Is a Dying Trade Because of Drones

Around last year, Amazon tried out a delivery that was made solely by a drone. It was a successful test. However, it is still not a viable replacement for truck driving as a whole. One of the reasons why deliveries by truck are a highly used option is because of the sheer number of stocks that it can carry in one delivery.

Think about it. If drones were used to carry the regular stock for a hospital that a truck would usually do, it would not be able to carry the weight. This would mean a lot of return trips which completely wastes time.

To Conclude

Truck driving is one of the professions that have a massive subculture in the USA. There are entire communities, festivals, and even large representation in popular culture about trucks and truck drivers. Truck drivers and the service that they provide to communities—both big and small—are highly valuable and cannot be overstated!

Studies have shown that if all truck drivers suddenly decided to not do their job even for a day, it paralyzes the country. It only takes about 24 hours for a hospital to start running out of supplies. The ones that enable manufacturers to deliver their goods to their intended clients are no one else than the truck drivers themselves.

We hope that beyond the humor and the laughter that the myths we discussed brought you will come a better understanding of the lifestyle and the culture that is the backbone of an industry that carries the world in their cargo hold. Which particular myth about truck drivers did you used to believe?

Post Author: Christopher Burns

Blog6 - Top Five Reasons Why Long Haul Trucking Companies Pay the Most

Top Five Reasons Why Long Haul Trucking Companies Pay the Most

For a lot of truckers who desire to earn quite a bit, they often aim for long haul trucking companies. Today, we take a look at some of the top reasons why they do pay so much.

What Are Long Haul Trucking Companies?

These are the trucking companies that mostly cater to clients that require deliveries over long distances. The logistics behind such drives are usually planned out months and weeks in advance. While localized trucking companies will usually require their drivers to do deliveries within the same city, long haul trucking companies will normally require their drivers to go over state lines.

In some cases and in other countries, long haul drivers are made to deliver to other countries (that are nearby).

Why Do They Pay More?

If compared to short distance trucking jobs, long haul or over the road truck jobs do pay significantly more. Some of the US based companies pay to around $72,000 annually. If you work overseas, they pay even more. There are a variety of reasons as to why companies that prioritize long haul deliveries pay more.

Here are the top five reasons why they pay more:

Delicate Handling

A majority of long haul firms have clients that necessitate the transport of commodities that require some careful handling. Expert driving is required in some conditions that may be quite challenging even for a lot of the well trained operators.

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Not all truck drivers have the experience or the patience to be trained in ways that would best fit long haul deliveries—especially when what is being transported is toxic or in liquid form.

Driver Shortage

One of the biggest reasons why long haul firms offer larger salaries is due to the fact that there is an ongoing driver shortage. There has been quite an issue regarding this as a majority of the established truckers have reached an age where they can no longer able to do the job. Driving over long distances is a physically demanding job—it will require someone that is physically fit and able to accomplish the job.

While there have been enough drivers to make ends meet in terms of deliveries, there is still an existing shortage that needs to be filled. A lot of companies have tried to offer massive sign up bonuses to any new drivers.

The Demands of the Job

Long haul firms have an intrinsic understanding of the demands that the job requires of the drivers. Drivers need an understanding of topography and the best roads to pass through in the event of an emergency. Long haul deliveries also take individuals away from their homes and families for several weeks at a time. Those that would like to keep their drivers know that they should be well compensated in order have an incentive to stay. After all, short-haul jobs are available.

In some cases, the long haul job will require the driver to pass through some pretty dangerous territory. This is particularly true when it comes to trucker jobs in the Middle East. Hazard pay adds quite a bit to the base salary of truckers.

Alleviate Costs and Expenses

For some who have their own vehicles and are owner/operators, the expenses can be quite high. There’s making sure that the vehicle’s papers are all up to date and have the necessary permits to traverse different locations. Then there’s the everyday expense of being on the road like food and water for the driver; then, comes the ever rising cost of gasoline.

Long haul companies take this into consideration when offering their base salaries. What they usually do is offer incentives for their drivers. Depending in what company they sign up for, there are instances where gasoline is reimbursed. It would be best to really be discerning about the company that you are looking at. There will always be companies that offer more than others.

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Independent Contactors

One of the biggest reasons why long haul firms are incentivized to pay their drivers quite a bit is the rise of independent contractors. There are truckers that have their own rigs that approach clients and offer their services directly.

This means that the competition is quite fierce and more clients are turning toward the lighter fees of independent workers. After all, larger firms have several layers of people that need to be paid before the end product is delivered. While some clients may find the lesser fees attractive, there is still something about the security that established businesses offer that cannot be beat. They just need to find drivers to be able to deliver their services.

To Conclude

Long haul trucking companies know that the job that they require people to do is not easy in the least. Also, if they want to beat off any offers that may entice their drivers away, offering a pretty good salary is only the tip of the iceberg. A truck driver’s salary is an integral part of why so many are interested in joining the profession.

However, any experienced trucker will tell you that money is not the end all and be all of what you should prioritize at a job. Yes, the money can help a lot. What anyone who is aiming to be a long haul trucker should look at is how the payment is doled out and what the basis is. To date, there are still companies that offer payment based on miles despite the fact that truckers spend a lot of hours on the job not driving.

It has been “part of the job” to sit in hours of traffic or wait for several hours outside a warehouse waiting for it to open. Paying by the mile is an old practice and is one of the reasons why there has been a continuous shortage of drivers.

When looking at the salary that is offered to you by long haul trucking companies, make sure that what you need to do in order to earn that money is a fair exchange.

Post Author: Christopher Burns

Blog5 - Drivers 101: Qualities that Truck Drivers Looking For Jobs Must Possess

Drivers 101: Qualities that Truck Drivers Looking For Jobs Must Possess

Job hunting has always been challenging. This is especially true for truck drivers looking for jobs. Today, we take a look at some qualities that they need to possess if they ever dream of being employed. While a lot of people may argue that back in the day all you needed was a truck and a sense of direction, things today are completely different.

As the importance of trucking services cannot be understated, governing bodies have made it quite clear that they now hold a much higher standard for those that would like the privilege of being behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle.

Not only is there a lot of physical testing involved, there are higher standards that are expected from those that obtain certification and licensing. Beyond the legal requirements, companies often look to the drivers themselves to see if they have the qualities that make them ideal members of their company.

Qualities that Local Truck Driving Jobs Look For

When it comes to driving a truck, whether for a local or long haul driving, it takes more than just the piece of paper that tells people that you are a good fit for the truck you are aiming to control. Much like any job on the face of the planet, it takes more to accomplish the task at hand. There are qualities that a person must have and these are the qualities that they look for.

img5 - Drivers 101: Qualities that Truck Drivers Looking For Jobs Must Possess

Here are some of them:

Self-Regulating

Driving a truck, especially over long distances, will mean a lot of alone time for the driver. As such, it would be critical for a driver to be able to determine if they are still in good condition or will require a rest. Self-regulating individuals do not need to be told what they have to do. This means that the company does not need to keep a massive amount of dispatchers on the payroll to check up on their drivers.

A trucker’s job is difficult one. If anyone ever tries to convince you otherwise, you should probably not take them very seriously. Any jobs that make you keep some odd hours or long periods of being by yourself is challenging. It takes an individual who can self-regulate successfully to be able to last in this profession.

Consistently Reliable

We place much emphasis on the word ‘reliable’ because it is fairly easy to only be dependable at the first few years of a contract or a job. Most local truck driving jobs require a driver that is able to maintain good performance through the years of service. Consistently reliable drivers will mean steady streams of deliveries—which in turn, mean happier clients in the long run.

Any trucker will tell you that no delivery is ever 100% smooth. There will be slip ups and delays. However, if a driver is consistently reliable, both the company and the client will know that it is their processes that need to be improved and not the driver themselves.

Honest

Trucking companies highly value drivers that are honest. This means that if the company asks for feedback about any of their processes, they can count on the driver to give them actual feedback that they would be able to use. People who are inherently honest will be a greater help for companies that are still finding their way through any bureaucratic motions that delay deliveries or release forms.

When drivers are honest about what they do and what they experience, they know that they will only be improving things for themselves. After all, if the company that they work for cannot grow or accept frank input, why would they want to continue working for such a company anyway?

Fit and Capable

One of the biggest requirements of companies would be for their drivers to be fit and capable. Driving a large vehicle requires someone that is both physically fit and mentally capable. Long hours and unpredictable traffic or driving conditions require steady hands and an even steadier mind. When you drive a commercial vehicle, it is not just your safety that is at stake. It is someone’s property or livelihood as well.

driver2 - Drivers 101: Qualities that Truck Drivers Looking For Jobs Must Possess

Large trucking companies prioritize those that are both fit and healthy.

Courteous

Social skills are quite necessary even if a lot of truckers spend a lot of the time by themselves. Truckers need to be able to address any questions appropriately and courteously when doing deliveries, pickups, or drop offs. Trucking companies understand that the job itself is pretty challenging. As such, they will need people who are able to do the job and still be personable.

A lot of the time, an impression that a customer has about a trucking company is because of the driver and the state of the delivery. A good trucking company will know that they must employ drivers will great social skills in order to avoid any sort of misunderstandings with their clients at the delivery points.

To Conclude

Truck driving companies that pay for training often only employ people that have shown the qualities that we have discussed above. They know that people are an investment. Like all investments, there are good and bad ones. Which is why through the years, trucking companies have further improved their hiring process.

So before you go to your computer and type up “truck driving jobs near me”, you had better do a pretty frank assessment of your qualities as a professional and as a truck driver. The two are not necessarily one and the same or interchangeable. Don’t be too hard on yourself though, chances are you can start out at a smaller company and work your way up. Qualities that larger companies are looking for can be learned and improved with smaller companies.

Do yourself a favor. After you figure out the sort of qualities that the target larger company puts value in, practice it where you presently are. Those who handle truck driving recruitment often look for experience as well as the good qualities that they target.

Post Author: Christopher Burns

Blog4 - Joining Team Driver: What Sorts of Trucking Jobs Are Available to Choose From?

Joining Team Driver: What Sorts of Trucking Jobs Are Available to Choose From?

The world of truck drivers are not as cut and dried as many would expect. When you say ‘truck driver’ or ‘driving for a living’, most people just envision unhappy bus drivers or sleazy long distance drivers. What a lot of people may not realize is that there is quite a number of local truck driving jobs that are available on a fairly regular basis. Today, we take a look at some of them!

One of the reasons why being a truck driver is pretty great is because you are not confined to just a single field or market. Much like being a doctor, there are a lot of sub-specialties that have their own sets of requirements and tasks. When you are thinking of being a truck driver or a wide load driver, it is important that you consider three things:

  • The task
  • The requirements
  • Where the job is

Commercial Vehicle Driving should never be taken lightly. Such jobs provide a very important service to industries both big and small. While there are fields that will require a bit more in terms of training and education, they are fields that can still be pursued by anyone with the gumption to do so.

Dedicated Truck Jobs

One of the reasons why truck jobs are so lucrative is due to the fact that there are several industries that utilize them for delivery of goods and even their services. Here are a few examples:

Dry Van Operators

For any location in the world, on a local level there will always be dry van operators that are a part of the community. Usually, a dry van operator is the entry level truck job that a lot will come across. Those that become dry van operators often drive a single, but large, container vehicle. They are primarily used to cart around dry goods. You may even see them used to transport furniture (although it is highly irregular).

driver - Joining Team Driver: What Sorts of Trucking Jobs Are Available to Choose From?

What is often good about being a dry van operator is that you are simply hired to drive. The loading and unloading is normally assigned to a different team altogether.

Flat Bed Operator

This is quite different from a dry van since flat beds require several fastenings to secure the cargo. Think about it this way, flat beds are what is normally used to transport other vehicles like cars or bikes. Much like a dry van operator, flat bed operators are not required to be the ones to put in and take off what is delivered. Although, they are normally expected to know how to operate any mechanisms that may help to unload the cargo once they are at the destination.

Tanker Operators

The first thing you need to know about a tanker job is that it is highly specialized and very in demand—no matter where you go. Tankers are usually responsible for transporting different types of liquid. Usually petrol is transported through tankers. Other highly volatile liquids are also transported through tankers. As such, tanker operators are expected to be aware of any sort of maneuvering that would be needed in emergencies.

Tanker operations are some of the highest paying truck driving jobs available. Regardless if they are localized or long-haul drives, tanker operators can expect to get paid a pretty penny for their troubles.

Refrigerated Freight Operators

A bit of a step up from a dry van operator simply because what they usually transport is highly perishable. While the dry van operator usually has a flexible schedule on their deliveries, refrigerated freight operators are usually under very strict transport schedules. Medicine, medicinal supplies, meat, and other animal bi-products are usually transported using refrigerated freight type vehicles.

While there is very little to separate refrigerated and dry trucks, the ones that are licensed to operate refrigerated freight trucks are normally paid more. This is due to the fact that they are often expected to cross state lines while still maintaining their strict delivery schedules.

LTL Freight Operators

For small-time operators, this is the sort of driving job that is available to them. If you are not familiar with the concept of LTL (Less than truckload), they are usually the ones that are normally used for personal use. Although, smaller businesses utilize them as they are normally a more affordable alternative. These are used to transport any sort of dry goods. LTL operators are normally expected to be the ones to load and unload their own cargo.

As pay goes, this is not the most lucrative job in the field of trucking but it is an entry level job and is highly used by startups. What they do have going for them is the fact that there are a lot of clients out there that would prefer to make use of a small truck to transport their things even if it takes several trips instead of just one.

To Conclude

A trucking job can be something as simple as a dry van or something as a bit more complicated like OTR jobs. For anyone who is aiming to be part of Team Driver, it is important to be aware of the different types of jobs that are available in the area. After all, you never know when the ideal job is right under your nose.

Each type of trucking job comes with its own sets of pros and cons. For anyone who is aiming to become a truck driver, it would be prudent to be aware of which sort of job would be a best fit for where they are presently in life. For example, anyone who enjoys adventure and lots of alone time would benefit from a long-haul trucking job. For those who are already under the family bracket it would be better suited for a more localized truck job like mail delivery or for those that are employed by local grocery establishments.

As you can see, there are a lot of different driving jobs available. All you need to do is to know where to look and more importantly, have a solid idea what exactly it is that you are looking for.

Post Author: Christopher Burns

Blog3 - Starting It Right: How Exactly Do You Become a Truck Driver?

Starting It Right: How Exactly Do You Become a Truck Driver?

Trucking is an industry that supports a multitude of business markets. The job of a truck driver is not something that you just come across and sign up for. It is something that does require quite a few steps to it.

What is a truck driver?

Going by the strictest definition, a truck driver is any person that is mentally and physically capable of driving a vehicle under the classification of ‘truck’. They are normally hired to transport a variety of goods or even personnel. It all greatly depends on who they work for and what their field of expertise is.

Usually, there are truck drivers that are good for local distances and there are those that work for national coverage deliveries. The requirements for either are not that different but they do have their differences.

Skills

In terms of skills, truck drivers are usually expected to be able to operand and maintain their vehicle or the vehicle that is assigned to them. They need to keep logs of their schedules, destinations, and what they are carrying. They also need to make sure that everything is signed for when the goods are both picked up and delivered.

Ultimately, the company that they work for will determine any additional job descriptions and skills that would be needed for a delivery.

What sort of education is needed for local truck driving jobs?

This is usually where most things start. For a local trucking company (depending where local is), an education is not something that is always required. Although, being a high school graduate is always a good starting point. For a majority of US trucking companies, they at least require a GED.

Once you get your educational requirements sorted out, it would be time to get licensing for the class of vehicle that you want to drive. This early on it would be important for you to understand that the license required to drive a regular car is different from the one that you would need to drive a truck. While there are trucking companies that train drivers, a lot of the smaller companies expect their drivers to come with the necessary licensing and experience.

truck1 - Starting It Right: How Exactly Do You Become a Truck Driver?

How to Land a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License)?

This depends primarily on the state that you are in, if you are in the USA. There are several states, like Ohio, that will require around 160 or so hours of training time both in a classroom environment and hand-on training. First of all, it would important to go down to your local doctor and obtain a clean bill of health. Most laws will require truck drivers to have near perfect vision and good health.

Those that plan on applying for a CDL need to be, at the very least, 21 years of age. They also need to undergo a duly accredited CDL training program. Normally, companies will require their drivers to take refresher courses. This ensures that all driver be highly aware of any new rules and regulations regarding wide load vehicles.

Once the classroom training is done, there will normally be a written exam of at least 30 questions. The test usually will require a score of at least 80% in order to pass. From then, there will be a hands-on exam with an instructor in the vehicle with you. You can say that it is much like getting a normal driver’s license except the vehicle you will be driving and tested with will be a LOT larger.

Once you pass both with flying colors, it would be good to get registered with the proper channels like the National Driver Register.

Landing the Job

Once you get the necessary skills and licensing, it would be time to look around for trucking companies around your area. Normally, there will be job ads in your local newspaper or even through the company’s website. Each company will have their own set of requirements for the drivers that they want to hire.

They can require the drivers to have their own vehicles or at least have the clearance for the sort of vehicles in their fleet. When then offer employment, try to determine if their packages or salary offerings is competitive enough for you. If you do think that they are a good fit, send in your application and wait to be notified.

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Be prepared to undergo testing on several levels. Trucking companies have a very strict no drug policy. So you had best expect to submit yourself to a battery of physical examinations like blood and urine exams. These sorts of exams will be a regular thing in your life if you aim to be a long distance truck driver. It is all to ensure that you are optimized for the road and will be less of a risk. After all, they will want to keep you safe for future jobs.

Once that’s over, you will be handed a contract that you can peruse. If everything is to your liking, you can sign up.

Congratulations!

You are now a truck driver.

To Conclude

While the steps to becoming a truck driver may seem a tad intimidating to some, it shouldn’t put you or anyone off the scent. Being a truck driver is one of the more fulfilling jobs that a person can have. If you think that movies and TV shows have glamorized the lifestyle and the actual life of a truck driver isn’t anything like that, you would genuinely be surprised! We are not going to lie and say that there are no hardships that come with being a truck driver.

However, this is one profession that not only provides a massive service to others and the country’s economy. This is a profession that provides a wholly unique way of earning a living. Before you choose to pursue this profession, it would be important to determine what your priorities are. It wouldn’t do any good for you and the company you join if you find out too late that you would rather be somewhere else—instead of behind the wheel, facing a wide open road.

Post Author: Christopher Burns

Blog2 - 7 Qualities of the Best Trucking Companies to Drive For

7 Qualities of the Best Trucking Companies to Drive For

When you are thinking of working for a trucking company, it is important to see if their qualities are in line with the qualities of the best trucking companies that exist today.

Why Would This Be Important?

Trucking is very serious business. It is not something that should be taken lightly—especially if you are aiming to become a truck driver. The many hours on the road, the often unforgiving traffic, being away from friends and family, the list goes on and on. Everything about being a truck driver is already pretty challenging so it would only make sense to sign up with a trucking company that has its ducks in a row—so to speak.

A universal truth is this: it does not matter how much you get paid if the company that you work for is toxic. For a trucker to be able to perform well consistently, they need proper support and incentive. You know who provides that? Good trucking companies, of course! You can spot good trucking companies based on their qualities.

Qualities of Excellent Trucking Companies

A truck driver looking for jobs will know that there are A LOT of different trucking companies out there. So how do you differentiate one company from the other? Try to spot these qualities in them:

Fair Benefits

You should always be suspicious of any company that dangled benefits that sound too good to be true. The best companies often have fair benefits that go beyond the scope of government required ones. There are trucking companies that offer good bonuses after certain conditions are met. If you are aiming to be part of a long-haul company, try to see if they offer insurance as a part of their package.

Good Pay for All Employees

It would make no sense for a company to only pay well for those at the very top. A sign of a good trucking company is one that offers competitive pay for their drivers. Depending on the sort of job that you are assigned to, the pay should differ. After all, it would only make sense that those that drive for longer distances should get paid more.

truck - 7 Qualities of the Best Trucking Companies to Drive For

Good Equipment

This is for those that are aiming to drive for companies that have their own fleets rather than rely on drivers to bring their own trucks. If you are going to be putting in massive hours driving around, it would only make sense that you will want whatever it is you are driving to be reliable. If the company you are looking at wants you to drive rigs that have seen better days, it should be an indication of how highly they value your safety.

Transparency

A good trucking company will be very clear on who their clients are and what they will want you to transport. Always remember that even those who are working for the government will have an idea of what they are transporting. That way, the driver can optimize the route and at least determine the conditions in which the cargo must be handled.

Steady Clientele

In this sense, companies that will always need truck drivers are best. The usual suspects in such categories are those like UPS or other courier services. Mail and parcels get transported in the millions each day. Of course, the number of delivery men needed is only going to go up. If you want to have job security, go for a company that has a steady stream of clients.

Reasonable Scheduling

A good trucking company will have more than one sort of schedule available for their drivers. If you are looking to be able to be home at the end of the day, looking for a good company that can meet this request is important.

It is important that the hours that they advertise at the job ad will be the hours that you are expected to complete when you sign up for the job. If not, you have a big case for misrepresentation. Think of your health when you sign up for a trucking company. Make sure that the schedule is something that you can keep up with.

Proper Accreditation and Licensing

While this comes in a little late in our list, this is actually one of the more important qualities that a trucking company must have. A trucking company, no matter what the size, must be properly accredited. It would actually put your licensing at stake if you work for a company that doesn’t have the proper papers and accreditation.

To Conclude

Before you choose to sign up with any trucking company, it is ultimately in your best interest to learn what they are like. The power to do so is right at your fingertips. All you simply need to do is either:

  • Call them up
  • Ask for recommendations
  • Search online for reviews and discussions

The power of the internet is something that you should be taking full advantage of. It has never been easier to obtain information that is sought for as it has been in recent years. However, this too, carries a bit of risk. When you are going through information, it would be important to ensure that the source is credible. It would be good to utilize that main websites of businesses like FTC Transportation or Nussbaum Transportation.

Make use of forums like Reddit that are used by millions of individuals each day. They have a vote system that boosts the most useful information towards the very top of the discussion. Always double-check any sort of information that you see online. It is best to confirm with other sources to ensure that what you are reading is truly reliable.

In the end, always remember that the quality of the company that you choose to work for will help to determine how fulfilled you will be in it. Regardless of what benefits or schedules they may offer you, if it is a company that doesn’t share the simple principles as yourself, you’re setting yourself up for some major disappointment down the road.

Post Author: Christopher Burns