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Questions To Ask Trucking Company Recruiters

Last Updated: Jan 7, 2016

What New Drivers Need To Know About Questions To Ask Trucking Company Recruiters:

Recruiters are salespeople. Their sole responsibility is to sell the company to a driver, and convince them to choose to work for their company. Recruiters are typically paid a commission for bringing drivers into the company.

It is generally considered good practice for drivers to get trucking company information (recruiter promises) in writing, whenever possible. A recruiter's job usually ends when they get you signed up, and normally will not have any further contact with the driver.

Most trucking companies tend to operate very similarly to one another, as in any industry. The best trucking company for a driver to work for is the company that best suits a driver's needs, and will depend more on the driver's attitude and what he or she considers important factors for employment.

Forum Threads And Articles On Choosing A Trucking Company

100 Questions That Truck Drivers Should Ask Company Recruiters:

  • General Questions:

    • Company Name:
    • Recruiter Name:
    • Phone Number:
    • Email Address:
    • How long has the company been in business?
    • Is the company profitable?

  • Company-Sponsored Training Questions:

    • Is travel to the school covered?
    • Should I get my CDL permit before attending school?
    • What should I bring to CDL school?
    • How much money will I need to bring, and for what?
    • Will I be paid during schooling?
    • Are meals and lodging paid for by the company?
    • What is the driver's obligation to the company after trucking school?
    • How is the driver's obligation fulfilled, and what happens if I leave early?

  • Getting Hired:

    • What is your hiring area?
    • Do I need to live near a terminal?
    • Minimum age and experience required?
    • Work history requirements, including policy on gaps in work history?
    • Driving record (MVR) requirements?
    • CDL Endorsements required before hire? TWIC card?
    • Is there a sign-on bonus? Or a referral bonus?
    • Describe the pre-employment physical (including sleep apnea)?
    • Programs or policies directed towards veterans and ex-military (if applicable)?
    • Policies on hiring drivers with felonies or DWI/DUI (if applicable)?

  • Training & Orientation:

    • Where is your orientation? Is food, lodging, and transportation to orientation provided?
    • If I am disqualified or decide not to work for the company, how do I get home?
    • How long is orientation? What does it involve?
    • What is the pay during orientation and training?
    • Is training done by team driving?
    • Is there a waiting period for a trainer?
    • How much experience does the typical trainer have?
    • Do the trainers get graded by the students after completion or is there a feedback loop to make the training better?
    • If the trainer takes home time does the rookie keep driving?
    • Can you switch trainers if it doesn't work between the two of you for whatever reason?

  • Pay & Benefits:

    • What is the pay after training completion? List for each division please: tanker, dry van , reefer , etc. Please list if it is for ALL miles, or is a progressive (tiered) pay scale.
    • When will I receive my first paycheck, and can I get an advance against it?
    • How does the pay period work? Do they use TRANSFLO and does it cost you?
    • Do bills have to be sent in by a certain day to get paid during a week?
    • What does the average driver earn per week?
    • What can I expect my first year earnings to be? 2nd year?
    • How often are pay increases given?
    • What are pay increases based on?
    • How do I get paid (Direct Deposit, check, etc)?
    • Is per diem pay offered?
    • If per diem is offered, is it mandatory?
    • Tarping pay for flatbedders?
    • Breakdown and Detention pay?
    • How often do layovers happen, and are they paid?
    • Extra stop-off pay?
    • Safety and performance bonuses?
    • Fuel bonuses?
    • What medical and dental plans are offered? Details and pricing of each plan to include time with company?
    • Is there a 401k and how is it structured? Contribution limits? How much does the company match? When am I fully vested?
    • Vacation policy?
    • Offer paid holidays?
    • Is there a tuition reimbursement program? Explain how it works please.

  • Working For The Company:

    • In what areas does the company operate?
    • What kinds of routes are available (Local, regional , OTR , etc.)?
    • What are your major lanes?
    • Where are the main hubs or terminals?
    • What is the average length of haul?
    • What miles are paid miles, and what miles are not?
    • Will I have a dedicated Driver Manager (DM)?
    • Does the company employ teams? Are drivers forced to team?
    • Does the company have any dedicated contracts? Divisions? Is the rookie eligible for them?
    • How is mileage calculated? (Practical Miles, Hub Miles, Household Goods Miles, Sliding Scale)
    • What is the company's idling policy?
    • Do you reimburse for scales and tolls.
    • What other kinds of expenses are reimbursed, and what is the process?
    • Are they all no-touch loads or is unloading involved?
    • What is the pay structure for driver-unload?
    • How often can I get home?
    • Where do they want the truck when you go home?
    • Does the company use slip seating or assigned trucks?
    • Who pays for lumpers, if necessary? What is the limit to lumper pay?
    • If weather, driver (illness) or road conditions are such that I feel it is unsafe to continue driving, will I be penalized for parking until it is safe?
    • How many miles per week does a driver average?
    • Can I get home for the holidays?
    • What is the driver turnover rate?
    • How many of their recruits as a percentage remain past 90 days?
    • What is the number 1 reason new recruits quit?
    • What is the number 1 reason new recruits are terminated?
    • What is your rider policy?
    • Pet policy?
    • Runs to Canada or Mexico? Extra pay?
    • Am I required to have a passport?
    • Runs to New York City (NYC)? Forced? Extra pay?

  • Equipment Questions:

    • What brands of trucks does the company use?
    • What speed are trucks governed at?
    • How many miles do they usually put on a truck before they pull it from the fleet?
    • What is the average age of the trucks in the fleet?
    • What kind of trailers and freight does the company haul?
    • What is your power inverter installation policy?
    • What size inverters are allowed?
    • Are APU's installed in your trucks?
    • What is your idling policy?
    • What electronics does your company furnish to make a more safe and efficient driver? (Qualcomm, GPS, etc)
    • What equipment is the driver required to purchase on their own? (securement devices, etc)
    • Does the company use electronic logs?
    • Truck washing policy and who pays for washing?

Helpful Forum Threads And Articles For Questions To Ask Recruiters:

List Of Questions To Ask A Trucking Company Recruiter

The Biggest Mistake New Drivers Make When Speaking With Recruiters

Choosing A Truck Driving Job Part 8: Talking With The Right People

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Electronic Logs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

Sleep Apnea:

A physical disorder in which you have pauses in your breathing, or take shallow breaths, during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Normal breathing will usually resume, sometimes with a loud choking sound or snort.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airways become blocked or collapse during sleep, causing the pauses and shallow breathing.

It is a chronic condition that will require ongoing management. It affects about 18 million people in the U.S.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

Driver Manager:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

MVR:

Motor Vehicle Record

An MVR is a report of your driving history, as reported from your state Department of Motor Vehicles. Information on this report may include Drivers License information, point history, violations, convictions, and license status on your driving record.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Company-sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

Per Diem:

Getting paid per diem means getting a portion of your salary paid to you without taxes taken out. It's technically classified as a meal and expense reimbursement.

Truck drivers and others who travel for a living get large tax deductions for meal expenses. The Government set up per diem pay as a way to reimburse some of the taxes you pay with each paycheck instead of making you wait until tax filing season.

Getting per diem pay means a driver will get a larger paycheck each week but a smaller tax return at tax time.

We have a ton of information on our wiki page on per diem pay

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

DUI:

Driving Under the Influence

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APU's:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

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