Back to Trucking FAQ
There can be a number of things to consider when looking for the best trucking companies to work for. Given that there are an estimated 15.5 million trucks operating throughout the United States, it is clear there are many jobs out there to be had. This makes it possible for the truck driver to consider what he or she wants out of a trucking job. Is it more time at home? Is it an issue of wanting more money in the pocket or perhaps it is the need for more miles on the road?
Types of Truck Driver Employment
Owner-operators who own their own rig may have regular routes delivering to a single consignee or may transport goods that originate from various shippers that end up going to various consignees. As self-employed independent contractors, there are options on either leasing the truck from the freight company or making payments on the truck to buy it within a few years.
Company drivers employed by trucking companies are able to operate trucks provided by the company. Independent Owner-Operators haul goods under their own authority driving their own truck or their own fleet of trucks.
Job Classifications Require Unique Handling Qualities
The knowledge and skills tests required to obtain a Commercial Drivers License cover the various handling qualities of driving heavily loaded, large commercial vehicles. It is also required that a driver be capable of managing the mechanical systems that operate these vehicles, such as cargo securement, air brakes, suspensions, and the like.
There are also separate letter endorsements a license can contain that correspond to employment requirements as they designate certain trailers or certain cargo that may be hauled. While it may be desirable to look for job classifications that may appear more promising, it is important to note them as follows:
T for double or triple trailers
P for passenger transport
N for a tank vehicle
H for hazardous materials in particular, this one now requires fingerprint and background checks after the 9/11 attacks
X for the combined tank vehicle and hazardous materials
When these designations appear in an employment advertisement, it simply means the driver must be able to comply with the requirements they represent.
Another area that may require expanded knowledge covers the different job categories as they have specific skill requirements.
Auto and boat haulers use trailers that have been specially built to haul their respective cargo. Auto haulers, such as A-AAA Auto Transport LLC, specialize in hauling their automobiles across the nation. A local alternative means approaching local dealerships to get information about their transports and whether or not they are recruiting.
Local drivers are those who would do short hauls working within the nearby limits. These jobs may appeal to those who like to be home every night. UPS is one company that might be worth pursuing as it is one with a great reputation. With options for permanent positions or seasonal work, UPS also offers an excellent benefits package. This would certainly be a great starting point for a truck driving career.
Regional drivers cover several states that are close to home, which means drivers can be away from home for short periods.
Vocational driving might offer some of the best trucking companies to work for as they include local city and state trucks used for garbage or as dump trucks. There is a wide ranging demand for vocational drivers. However, the best jobs are likely to be those that are as city and state workers.
Interstate drivers are known as long-haul drivers, also known as over the road trucking and can cover thousands of miles in distances driven. This job category very often involves team driving so that one driver can sleep while the other drives in order to make the best time for the distances covered.
Dry Van drivers are those hauling the majority of goods in large trailers, typically hauling non-perishables.
Flat Bed drivers are those who haul the over-sized, bulky items such as lumber and steel pipes. This type of driving does require the ability to balance loads.
LTL drivers are commonly seen delivering their less than truck load freight around town and to businesses and restaurants usually pulling double and triple trailer combinations. This is another job choice that could lead to being home every night, depending on the destinations.
Tanker drivers haul a variety of liquids from fuel, such as gasoline and oil, to milk and even dry bulk loads. They are also the driver who operate the tankers that carry wet cement. These loads have specific qualification requirements.
These are just some of the examples of what to be looking or aiming for when it comes to trying to find the best trucking companies to work for. If the current company is not providing the benefits that make other carriers more desirable, it just may be time to look for another job. Good drivers are sought after, with recruiters looking to place them in good positions to benefit both the company and the driver.