Larger companies also have a large pool of equipment to use. A variety of tractors to choose from and a huge number of additional trailers available make life much nicer for the driver. With the extra trailers you get to do a lot of “drop and hooks” where you pull into the customer, drop your trailer, grab a different trailer, and leave. You don't have to wait around to be loaded or unloaded.
This is really huge because most jobs pay by the mile so the time you spend sitting around waiting to load or unload is unpaid, wasted time. You want to keep rolling as much as possible and drop and hooks can help you make a lot more money in a lot less time. Drop and hooks also give you more flexibility as far as when you make your pickups and deliveries. Often times they will give you a deadline to pickup or deliver but you can generally get in there as early as you like, 24 hours a day.
So if you have to pick up a load that's sitting in a trailer in downtown Chicago you don't have to try to push through rush hour traffic to arrive at a certain time. You can go in late at night when traffic is light. Or maybe you're gonna get there really early but you really would love to take a nap for an hour or two or sit down for a nice meal first.
Go for it!
As long as you arrive ahead of the deadline everyone is happy. Believe me you're gonna LOVE having this kind of flexibility.
To continue with this theme larger companies tend to have a long list of perks.
I've worked for companies that had things like free family counseling, large plush driver facilities with arcades, big screen TVs, restaurants, free 24 hour medical phone lines where you can call and talk to nurses confidentially about any medical questions you might have, discounts on travel accommodations, top of the line health insurance, 401k and direct deposit, free high speed wireless networks, shower facilities, and on and on and on. I must say at times we'd wish they would just pay us more instead, but you know how that goes. The perks really are unbelievable though.
Ok so large companies must have some disadvantages right? Of course, they do. At a large company, you are simply a number not a name. You hopefully will get to know a few people working in the offices like your dispatcher, his or her boss, and maybe one or two middle managers like a terminal manager or operations manager.
If you get to know that many people... and by get to know I mean they actually recognize you by name or truck number, you've probably done either an excellent job or a terrible job over a period of many months or more likely a couple of years.
It's tough to stand out when there are thousands of drivers at one company. So if you like that personal attention and family-type atmosphere, a large company is not going to provide what you're looking for.
Because of this you will find it very difficult to get any special consideration for anything. Doing a great job for a couple of years is going to get you an automated thank you letter and maybe a patch for the company jacket you had to buy from your own company when you wanted one.