On the other end, you may find yourself in a situation that nobody will take the time to understand your side of things. They don't have the time and frankly they really don't care. I'm going to go deeper into this subject later on with a few stories related to this theme.
Smaller companies, in my opinion, don't have too many advantages over the larger ones from a driver's perspective. You will definitely get to know everyone in the office and they will certainly know you. Often times if you live nearby your main office the people in your company will even get to know your family and the families of the other employees.
This family atmosphere is nice in a way, but you also have to be aware of a couple things.
For one, just like in any tight group of people, everyone tends to know everyone else's business. Maybe you don't want everyone at work knowing about an operation you have to have, or the tough times you're having with your marriage, or the trouble your kid got into at school.
Maybe you got a well deserved raise but now the other drivers are envious and making a fuss. Or maybe your excellent performance is being rewarded with more miles and a nicer truck which again causes problems with the other drivers.
As you can probably tell, I've been in these type of situations before and I'm not really too fond of them.
The other concern with regard to company size is how much your company counts on you. At a large company if you'd like to take some time off nobody really cares. I've taken MONTHS off at times and simply been told, “ok just turn your truck in to the terminal and let us know when you're ready to return and we'll get ya goin.”
But at a really small company that's not likely to happen. You may be one of ten drivers so if you take time off they just lost 10% of their fleet! The smaller companies rely on you much more so than a big company does, so you don't have as much flexibility.
One time I worked for a small company pulling food-grade tankers. There were only eleven drivers in the company. I ran really, really hard for them and they got a little too greedy about it. It got to the point that I was running an average of about 4500 miles per week. That's a lot!
As time went on the owner expected more and more. It was getting ridiculous. Finally I stayed out on the road for almost six straight weeks, averaged about 4500 miles per week, and when I returned home he booked a load for me to haul two days later. Six weeks on the road, two days at home, and I have to leave again? I don't think so.
Well, he fired me.
I had been there a year and had a perfect safety and service record. I also was second in average miles driven per week but I guess that wasn't good enough. Turns out the owner was in serious financial trouble and I found out the company closed just a few months later.