What Kind Of Things Do You Care About When Looking For A New Company?

Topic 30743 | Page 1

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Pianoman's Comment
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This time around I've noticed there are really only a few things I care about when I'm looking at companies. I really only care about the hometime setup (home nightly vs. weekly vs. once or twice a month), the type of work (no-touch freight vs. flatbed with tarping vs. hand unload), yearly income, and the amount of work/hours I'll have to do to achieve that income. When I say yearly income we all know that yearly income can vary hugely among the drivers at a company so I base that number off of me hustling and working 5-6 days per week. I'm not looking for otr gigs otherwise I'd probably base that more on mileage than just number of days worked. I don't even know what the going mileage rate is these days because accessory pay like tarping pay and stop pay can add literally hundreds to weekly paychecks so you're often comparing apples to oranges when comparing mileage pay at different companies or even different fleets within the same company.

I don't care about the type of truck, the type of transmission and how many gears it has, inward or outward facing cameras, mileage pay, etc. I do kinda care about the truck having a fridge in it if I'm gonna be living in it since that is a major quality of life thing but even that really doesn't play a big factor because with a big enough inverter you can get your own fridge (not an iceless cooler but an actual fridge with a freezer compartment). I just feel like caring which truck I'm driving is kinda silly for the most part, unless you're at a very small company where they can't just put you in a different truck if your truck takes a dump on you. I feel it's kinda like telling a construction company you won't work for them unless they only use John Deere tractors. I know it's not that simple since we do live in these things and if it breaks down all the time it hurts your paycheck but still.

I'm sharing all this in the hopes it is helpful to some of the new people and lurkers on here looking for that first company, but I would also really like to hear from you guys if there is anything you'd add to this list as I'm trying to decide on a company right now too and could use any insight. I don't know how long I'll stay in trucking this time--might be just a couple years or maybe I'll just stick with trucking for the next 30 years and retire in it--haven't decided that yet. But I do want to pick a company that hits the mark with those more important questions because wherever I pick I'm staying with for at least a couple years.

Sorry I'm not good at making short posts lol but I'd love to hear you guys' input.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
PackRat's Comment
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My biggest sticking points have always been the actual areas of operation, the pay, and the color of the company trucks.

Moe's Comment
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Pay, hometime those are my biggest areas of focus when looking for any new opportunities

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Pacific Pearl's Comment
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You guys are EASY. I drive dedicated so I'm pickier. I try to research both the company I will be driving for and the company they are dedicated to. Look for trends in employee reviews. Are their ratings from employees (not just drivers) going up, going down or about the same over the years? Look for trends in the reviews. One guy saying his boss is a jerk means nothing. 200 out of 250 reviews say the company micromanages deserves some weight. Read news about the companies. What challenges are they facing? What do they do well? How are their financials? (10-K & 10-Q) Here's my list of interview questions:

How are your trucks allocated to drivers? It's a soft way of asking if they slip-seat. If they don't pick up what you're laying down ask in a different way without saying, "slip-seat". If they say it say nothing, but give them a look like they just told you they married their cat.

What's the average age of the trucks in your fleet?

What's your rate per hour for drivers*? What other pay or bonuses do you offer? Ask about special pays too (detention, breakdown pay)

What are the average annual earnings for a driver doing this run?

What happened to the last driver who covered this run?

Do the trucks have cameras? Where are they pointed?

Are the trucks governed? At what speed?

How are your trucks fueled? Drivers choice, preferred fuel stops, planned fuel stops or pumps at the DCs?

While my regular route would be to Upper Marlboro, what other routes may I be sent on if needed?

What equipment to you have in your sleepers? What equipment do you allow drivers to put in your trucks?

*Washington state passed a law a few years ago saying that any employee paid on something other than a salary or per hour rate (such as per mile) gets a paid 10 minute break every 4 hours. 99% of the trucking jobs in Washington immediately switched to hourly pay. YMMV.

Art M.'s Comment
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You can look at this page at average pay by company to work for, may help with making your mind up.

Art M.'s Comment
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I'd strongly recommend to look into Walmart, as they have top pay, wide parking areas and accessible docks to back in at DCs and stores, and the main plus, there is no need for the big fridge, as at every store delivery there is always an option to go in and buy fresh food.

Davy A.'s Comment
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I havent looked for another company besides the one Im at, but the reasons I went with them were Home time, they offered regional at 6 out/ 2 In. or 8/2. And are very accommodating when and where I ask for time off. Pay seemed to be pretty much where everyone elses was, So I wasnt so concerned about that. (I figured it was very much like piecework, the more I hustle, the more I make.) Although come to find out they hand out bonuses a lot more than I was expecting. Ive had 2 that I didnt even know I was getting.

My considerations for the truck was a smooth ride (at least smoother than the freight shaker which should have come with a complimentary kidney belt), a fridge, and hood mirrors, as well as one of the cabinets on the inside not being full height so I can use it as a table. (they gave me everything I wanted, paid me to go down and get it and for hotel and layover pay while it was getting serviced and ready.)

I had no experience coming in so I had no basis on types of loads and freight other than what I have read on here. I didnt want to do refer because Im horrible at waking up early and it sounded like a lot of waiting and maybe being out for too long. Other than that, I have a curious fascination with flat bedding, and we do have a flat bed division, so that may be something I try in the future. (I dont feel I have enough experience and skills yet for it).

Probably one of the biggest though was how the office got along with the drivers and the general attitude towards them. I frequently see my DM and go in and talk with him, I call him regularly as well as he does me, very open door policy and each terminal is kind of its own business in a sense, but I can walk into any terminal and get help from anyone there. I also see my terminal manager regularly and can bring any thing to her. If my DM cant help me, the other DM's can and will as well, all very chill and easy to get along with. I feel like I would be hard put to find that at another company, but then again, I have nothing to compare it too as this is my first company Ive worked with in the industry.

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.

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.
PackRat's Comment
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I'd strongly recommend to look into Walmart, as they have top pay, wide parking areas and accessible docks to back in at DCs and stores, and the main plus, there is no need for the big fridge, as at every store delivery there is always an option to go in and buy fresh food.

Really? You should see "all the room" I get to work with at a number of the stores, neighborhood markets, and even the super centers driving this dedicated WM account out of Cheyenne. We get our share of hair raising scenarios.

Pacific Pearl's Comment
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... may help with making your mind up.

No. There are a number of problems with that site. I looked up the supposed average pay of the company I work at now. My pay is 50% higher than what they claim and I'm not even the top earner at my DC! Several other drivers make $20-30k more than I do. I care about what I will make, averaging that number in with what a driver for a paper mill in rural Alabama makes doesn't give an accurate picture. Just for kicks I looked at some numbers for other companies I know something about because I have driven for them or where I know drivers at. All of the LTL companies were LOW. They didn't break the numbers down by linehaul vs P&D or bid run vs. extra board, just one number for every type of driver. I don't know any linehaul drivers who aren't making at least $15k more than the numbers shown and that includes new hires. They don't disclose their methodology for how they arrived at their numbers or when their data was collected so it's impossible to know why their numbers are so far off.

Walmart isn't for everyone. While they have their good points, you left out a few details. They have driver-facing cameras. They're also big on rules. You're allowed up to 6 10-minute phone calls per day. Go over 10, even while you're parked at a DC waiting for a trailer and that's a write up. Divorce laws vary by state. Telling your wife she's used up her minutes for the day and hanging up on her, especially if she's already not happy will get you a crash course on your state's divorce laws real quick. They also have a no texting while driving policy. To make sure you're complying with their phone rules they randomly go through your phone records. Not after an incident or accident - randomly. I NEVER use a phone while driving, but having an employer go through my phone records and know who I'm talking with, even when I'm not working, isn't something I'm o.k. with. I will NEVER drive for Walmart.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

P&D:

Pickup & Delivery

Local drivers that stay around their area, usually within 100 mile radius of a terminal, picking up and delivering loads.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers for instance will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.
Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

You can look at this page at average pay by company to work for, may help with making your mind up.

I agree with Pearl, the numbers for LTL companies are extremely low. I wouldn't trust this list personally.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier
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