American Trucking Associations reports that over 7 million people are employed throughout the trucking industry, including owner operators and drivers that work for transportation companies. In 2019, they found that 11.84 billion tons of freight (primary shipments only) were transported by trucks, representing 72.5% of total domestic tonnage shipped. International trucking represents billions in surface trade to Mexico and Canada. It goes without saying, the trucking industry provides needed infrastructure and keeps the United States moving economically.
Experienced CDL Drivers are in High Demand
Trucking has the potential to be a lucrative career and with a great number of truckers moving towards retirement, a new generation of truckers are obtaining their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) or gaining experience on the road. Opportunity calls to those eager to go the extra mile. What should truckers look for in their next career move?
Top 5 things to consider when drivers want to make a positive shift in their career
#1 Equipment/Type of Truck
In the transportation world, not all trucks are created equal. Each truck has its own purpose and freight shipment that it is equipped to transport. Some loads and equipment require specialized training. When a driver has a heavy haul, it’s important they are confident in the truck they are transporting.
If the trucker is an owner/operator, they likely are trained very well on the truck they own. Perhaps they own a dry van trailer but have never transported anything in a reefer trailer before. Refrigerated reefer trailers require more fuel to keep cool and are more expensive to maintain.
Examples of other types of heavy haul trucks used for transport are:
Flatbed Trailer: Versatile in the trucking industry because they can load freights on their tip, sides, and rear
Conestoga Trailer: By using a tarp to protect the load, it can be easily rolled back for side loading or unloading
Step Deck Trailer: When the load is restricted by heigh, a step deck trailer can be a great solution – for extra-long loads use an extendable step deck
Lowboy Trailer: An unpowered trailer usually used to carry or transport haul tall and heavy freight
Specialized Trailer: Made for substances or raw materials (freight commodity)
Other trailer types include removable gooseneck (RGN) trailers and extendable RGNs.
Depending on who a driver works for, there are 3 main ways to receive compensation in trucking:
- Pay by the load
- Pay by the hour
- Pay by the mile
Other factors to consider include bonuses and any incentives the company offers new hires or employees based on performance. Every trucking company is looking for experienced and reliable CDL drivers. Owner operators must cut a large percentage of their profits to simply maintain their truck. If a contract driver wanted to sell their truck and sign on with a company, now is a great time to do it due to the current truck driver shortage.
One of the best aspects about heavy haul trucking is career-minded drivers come out on top. If a trucker puts in the effort and take advantage of the shortage of drivers, they can and will succeed. Whether they are getting paid by the load, hour, or mile – the truck transportation industry can be a lucrative way to earn a living.
#3 Flexibility and Home Time
The ability to control a trucking schedule is a freedom that all drivers want. Flexibility in hours/drive time and how much time they can be home with family can be dependent on a driver’s choice of company to work for. Missing the first tee ball game, family vacation, dance recital, or wedding anniversary are moments in life a trucker will never get back.
The words “no forced dispatch” is a dream come true for most truckers. No one likes to be forced to do anything, and trucking is no exception. If a driver doesn’t want to take a load from point A to point B, they don’t have to. Forced dispatch means the driver can’t reject the load. Owner operators don’t work under this structure because they work for themselves, but what about drivers that work for transportation companies or freight brokerage firms?
Some companies offer home time and no forced dispatch, and some companies don’t. It’s very important for a driver to read over the application, talk to the recruiter, and ask questions before signing on with any company.
As a 1099 employee, owner operators are unfortunately exempt from any benefits. However, if a driver works for a large enough company, they may be able to provide benefits such as medical, dental, retirement, even paid holidays and vacation! This is a perk that a lot of companies don’t offer their drivers so it’s important to seriously consider the ones that do.
If the driver is in doubt about what kind of benefits the company offers, they should call the company or talk to the recruiter to find out more information. Benefits ultimately show that the company values their employees and their families.
#5 Company Reputation
Truckers have plenty of options when it comes to companies to work for due to the driver shortage. Some companies are hiring independent contractors for driveaway jobs, and other companies provide everything a driver needs (truck, training, equipment) to get the job done. To make an informed decision, it’s crucial the trucking professional investigates the following information:
- Company website – what the company says about themselves
- Company reviews (Google, Facebook, etc.) – what their clients say about the company
- Company social media – what the company brand is about
Other information to explore is how long the company has been in business and what kind of reputation they have among the trucking community.
Score the Trucking Gig Every Driver Wants: Rowe Transfer!
Rowe Transfer has been in the game for over 130 years providing clients across the world with expert rigging solutions, custom crates, warehouse space, and transportation services. We’re hiring experienced CDL truck drivers for OTR opportunities! Do you have what it takes to go the extra mile?
Can you picture yourself driving a 2021 Peterbilt 579? Let’s make it happen!
Here’s all the details:
- Drivers will be through Knoxville on most weekends
- Benefits include medical, dental, vision insurance
- Paid vacation + 9 paid holidays
- Home time is up to you! No set in or out scheduling
- Drivers can expect 2,500+ miles per week
- Dry Van drivers make .50 per mile with weekly pay
- Flatbed/Conestoga drivers make .55 per mile with weekly pay
Please call Vicki at 865-384-3585 to learn more or download your application here.
Let’s talk about ‘The Extra Mile’ since you’re considering joining our ranks!
Rowe Transfer goes the extra mile with every single project from beginning to end. Rigging, crating, transportation, and warehousing, all under one roof. Complete solutions to a project well done, time and time again. We provide one point of contact, one estimate, and one company for every customer we serve.
We hope you love going the extra mile as much as we do!