Back to Trucking FAQ
Truck driving can be a lucrative and enjoyable career. There are many truck driving jobs out there, and it can be difficult to determine which job will be the best and most profitable for you. When searching for a driving job, there are a few important points to consider that will help you make the best choice.
Pay and Benefits
One of the first things people look at when searching for truck driving jobs is the pay. Different trucking companies pay differently: some pay by the hour, others by the load, and some pay per mile. As a new OTR driver, you will most likely be paid per mile. Make sure you understand the amount per mile as well as the average number of mile you can expect to see. Companies should be able to give you an estimate that will allow you to predict your income. If you make 10% more per mile, but gives you 30% less miles you will make less overall in your take home pay.
If the trucking company you are considering working for offers a sign-on bonus, be sure to find out all of the details first. You don't want to get stuck repaying that sign-on bonus back if the job doesn't work out. Other pay-related details to consider are how often you will get paid and how this payment will be received. Many companies mail paychecks, but if you are a long-distance driver who is always on the road, a company who pays you via direct deposit could be a much more convenient option.
Of course, your weekly paycheck is important, but it is also important to take other things, such as benefits packages, into consideration. Paid vacation and sick days, health and dental insurance and retirement plans and other benefits can be very beneficial. If a trucking company offers an excellent benefits package, that company could be a better choice than another company that pays slightly more but offers no benefits.
Convenience and Dispatch
It is important to search for a company with a local terminal. Since you will often have to go to the terminal to pick up equipment, attend meetings and fill out paperwork, you will want to work with a company that has a terminal near you. This saves valuable time and money because it cuts down on unnecessary traveling and traveling-related expenses. Most national trucking companies will have a local terminal.
When searching for truck driving jobs, you should also consider the company's dispatch. You want to find a company with a large freight backlog. This ensures that you will be able to constantly dispatch to receive another load. Particularly for those who get paid per mile, the faster you are able to get another load, the more money you can make.
Above all else, the safety of yourself and others on the road is important. Always look for a trucking company that has well-maintained and safe equipment to ensure everyone's safety.
When speaking with a prospective employer, make sure to understand all of this information up front before you agree to come on board.