8 Questions to Keep In Mind When Searching for the Perfect Truck Driving Job
Although CDL truck driving jobs are plentiful in the Omaha area right now, searching for the right fit can be challenging. Not all trucking companies are created equal when it comes to pay, flexibility and benefits. But finding the right CDL job that fits your lifestyle can be accomplished if you do your homework.
Here’s a list of questions to ask a trucking company when you are looking for a driving job:
1. What pay can I expect? From our experience, drivers are most interested in knowing our rate-per-mile pay, but rarely do they ask more for more details. What drivers should keep in mind: Just because a company advertises a higher rate-per-mile, doesn’t mean they have the best overall pay package. Sometimes the advertised pay isn’t an average of all drivers’ pay, but instead comes from “best-case-scenario” pay tied to the longest, most grueling routes and/or schedules. Be sure to ask about any additional pay through bonuses the company offers for fuel, safety, referral, performance or longevity. Ask if you will get paid for training. Find out if the company offers optional per diem pay, which can reduce your taxes every year. And ask how the company will handle raises.
2. How often will I be home? Before you interview, decide on what kind of flexibility will work best for you and your family. Some OTR jobs take you away from home for weeks at a time. If that doesn’t work for you, ask the recruiter if your ideal schedule is available. If the answer is “no,” keep looking. There are companies (like Carleton Transport) that offer higher pay, great weekly miles AND make sure you get home every week.
3. What kind of benefits do you offer for me and my family? Look for jobs that at least offer the basics: health, vision and dental. These benefits provide you with peace of mind that you and your loved ones back home are covered while you are on the road. Spend the time to compare the monthly and annual costs of insurance to your current plan(s). Be sure the job is worth the switch. Other great benefits to look for include 401(k) with a match and life insurance coverage. Also check to see if there are waiting periods between your hire date and when your insurance coverage will actually become effective.
4. How large is your company? Do you like working for a large or small company? Large trucking companies sometimes offer more choices of freight and different kinds of jobs that you may be promoted into … while smaller companies will likely get to know you better and may allow more flexibility in your life.
5. When do I get paid? It’s important to know how long you have to wait for your first paycheck and how often you are paid. Also, you’ll want to be sure to do a bit more homework on this question: Ask current company drivers if they are paid accurately and on time every pay day. If there is a discrepancy on your check, how hard is it to get it fixed?
6. What is your vacation policy? What kind of time off do you need? Check to see if the company offers vacation days right away, or if you have to wait until you have worked for a year or more to take time off. If you earn – or accrue – vacation days throughout the year, will the company let you take any of these days ahead of time? Be sure to ask up front about any travel plans you already have scheduled. Don’t assume the company will allow you to take those days, paid or unpaid.
7. Do you have a pet and/or passenger ride-a-long policy? It’s nice to have the option of companionship on the road, and some companies will allow you to take a pet, spouse or other family member along on your trips. Note the details of the company’s policy as some may have requirements regarding age, relation and how long you’ve been driving for them.
8. What is your company’s safety record? You can easily check a company’s safety record through FMCSA (Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration) https://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov. A satisfactory rating is the highest rating. If a company you are considering has either a conditional or unsatisfactory rating, you may want to reconsider. A good safety record tells you that the company cares about its drivers and that safety and training are truly a priority.
With so many CDL driving jobs available today, it’s important to learn the most you can about potential trucking employers and their offerings. Although time-consuming, doing your homework about a future employer will pay off in the long haul.
At Carleton Transport, our goal is to create calm for drivers in the chaos of the trucking industry through flexibilty. If you’re interested in hearing more, call 402-332-0260 to speak with our recruiter. Or, visit our driving jobs page at carletontransport.com/driving-jobs today.