If they aren't taking the time and care to look after the trucks then not only will you be losing a lot of money while unreliable trucks are sitting in the repair shop all of the time but you'll know that the company's management really isn't concerned with the comfort, safety, and happiness of its drivers.
A poor maintenance program is a huge red flag. Stay away from that company.
Also, be leery of guarantees from a company. The trucking industry is by nature cyclical and unpredictable. If they make promises like “you WILL be home every Friday by dinnertime”, or “everybody gets home for the holidays”, or “you WILL get a minimum of 2000 miles per week” then you KNOW you're being lied to.
There are no guarantees in this industry. Weather factors, fleet size, economic fluctuations, vehicle breakdowns, gaining or losing customers, changes in computer software or dispatching structure, and a massive number of other variables all lead to a naturally unpredictable amount of miles and home time from week to week and year to year.
Staying with the theme of “beware of guarantees”, let me warn you about company recruiters. A recruiter's job is to get you in the door...period. Once you've gotten hired at a company their job is done. They will lie their heads off if it gets them paid...like used car salespeople. Tons of drivers I've talked to have been promised new trucks, certain divisions, big miles, and lots of home time only to find out they've been lied to by the recruiter.
What can you do about it if this happens to you? Nothing.
Everyone will simply shrug their shoulders and say, “don't know what to tell ya”. There's one easy way to test a recruiter...tell them to put it in writing. If they promise you a new truck tell them to fax it in writing to you with their name on it so that you can bring it to orientation with you.
If they'll do that you may actually get what they promised...but I'm not guaranteeing that either. Recruiting can be a dirty process at times.... so watch out for promises. They will lie to you if they think they can get away with it.
There will be good weeks and bad ones, good months and bad ones, even years can fluctuate quite bit from one to the next. You have to take the good with the bad and try to get a good understanding of the big picture and how all of the different variables will affect your mileage and home time.
If a company makes guarantees, they're lying.
If they make statements like, “we try to get everyone home on weekends and holidays”, and “you'll average about 2200 miles per week overall” then you can be pretty sure that they're doing their best to be honest.
Just be aware of the personal interests and possible agenda of the person you are talking with. Remember, you as a driver are the one in demand. You should be interviewing the company, not the other way around. You know if your record is decent then they'll be glad to have you. Make sure they are offering what you are looking for in a company. You may not have ever been in this position before.
Up to this point in your life maybe you were hoping to get a job and were competing for positions. It's not that way in the trucking industry. They need you far more than you need them. Don't let them try to convince you otherwise.
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