It’s common for truck drivers to change trucking companies. Reasons for running miles for a new employer are usually personal. Many truckers switch carriers searching for more money, more home time, better driver treatment, updated equipment, or a change in freight. The question is, “When you are thinking about making a carrier change, what should you know about a new company before you make the jump?” Here are the top 8 things every truck driver should know when changing trucking companies.
Every trucking company has an industry reputation for discovery. Internet reviews for any carrier can easily be Googled. Yet, what upset or disgruntled (primarily former) employees write on Yelp, Reddit, or a trucking site typically doesn’t tell the whole story. The only authentic way to get the take on what it’s like to drive for a trucking company is to talk to a trusted source. If you ask around, you’re sure to find someone who knows someone who can give you an honest assessment of what it’s like to be behind the wheel. It’s one of the most important things you can do when changing trucking companies.
- What’s it like to drive for [trucking company]?
- How does/did [trucking company] treat you?
- Did [trucking company] follow through on what the recruiter told you?
- Tell me about driver benefits.
- What is the ratio of driver managers to truck drivers?
- What is the company culture?
Yearly Earnings and Bonuses
Unless you won the lottery and are willing to drive for free, any trucker gig is about the money. Carriers with a solid industry reputation will be open, honest, and accurate about what you’re likely to earn in your first year. Beware of any recruiters who sound like they are overpromising with statements leading you to believe you can make 50% more than you are now if you drive for their company.
Any reputable trucking company will have specific and detailed bonus opportunities. Incentive programs can include safe driving, productivity, fuel economy, length of employment, hitting milestones, driver referral, sign-on, profit sharing, or project-based.
- Do you offer a pay program that is not by the mile? Barr-Nunn Transporation Shift Load Pay
- What is the pay per mile?
- What are the average monthly miles for this position?
- What do current drivers make in this position annually?
- Can you describe the driver incentive programs?
- How much does a driver with my experience typically make in bonuses each year?
Pay Raise Schedule
The ability to increase your pay rate and earnings overall is a critical component of any truck driving job. Hard work, dependable work, safe driving, and loyalty should be rewarded. It’s important to find out the pay raise schedule so you are not in a position of only increasing your pay when the company feels like doing so. Trustworthy carriers will have a well-defined pay raise schedule process or system. You’ll want to know this information before changing trucking companies.
- Is there a schedule for pay raises?
- What are the criteria to earn a pay raise?
- What is the average amount of a pay raise? Barr-Nunn Transportation Pay Raise Schedule
Earned Home Time Schedule
Second only to pay, home time is the critical factor to a happy truck driver. Being there for recitals, birthdays, graduations, weddings, and other significant life events is paramount to truckers keeping a home-life work-life balance. Many trucking companies now offer Earned Home Time based on miles, time out, employment history, and other factors.
- How much home time do you get for x days out at [trucking company]?
- How is earned home time calculated?
Paid Time Off (PTO)
For an experienced truck driver, changing carriers usually means losing Paid Time Off (PTO). So, if you’re going to make a trucking company change, it is essential to know how long it takes to get back to where you left off. If it takes you three years to be back to your current time off, you might reconsider making a move.
- What’s the PTO (vacation) plan?
- How fast do I start earning PTO (vacation) with [trucking company]?
- Does the amount of PTO (vacation) increase with years of employment?
- What is the most PTO (vacation) I can earn at [trucking company]?
Since you spend significant time behind the wheel, knowing what type of equipment you’ll use can make the difference in how well you enjoy the new driver position. Reliable, well-equipped, and late model equipment can make life on the road safer and more comfortable.
- What types of trucks do [trucking company] use?
- What is the average age of the equipment?
- How often is equipment replaced or upgraded?
- Are trucks equipped with E-logs?
- Do trucks have dash cams or other cameras?
- What amenities do trucks come with?
Office and Maintenance Support 24/7
A large part of a trucking company’s culture comes from non-drivers like office and maintenance support. How corporate, terminal, and other support staff interact and treat drivers many times can determine how long drivers stay. Trying to iron out benefits with Human Resources or Diesel Techs at the shop can be stressful on the road.
- When are office staff available?
- When is maintenance support available?
- How many Diesel Techs are at the terminal locations?
- Will I have a dedicated dispatcher?
Rider Program Availability
Let’s face it, being on the road by yourself is very therapeutic. And every once and a while, it’s nice to have a companion. More and more trucking companies are offering a rider program. If you have a regular rider on your route, you should find out if you can still have them with the new carrier.
- Does [trucking company] have a rider program?
- How does the rider program work?
- What are the limitations of the rider program?
- What is the process of getting a rider approved?
- What is the cost of the rider program at [trucking company]?
Barr-Nunn Transportation Rider Program
Starting day one, solo drivers may have one rider at a time, age ten and up, and there is no cost.
Final Thoughts on Truck Drivers Changing Trucking Companies
When changing trucking companies, it’s essential to know everything you can about the new destination. Many times, truckers regret making a change – just to make a change. The road isn’t always greener on the other side of the median.
Barr-Nunn Transportation is a Certified Top Pay Carrier for 17 Years offering:
- Matching 401(k)
- Top-notch Medical and Dental Benefits
- Practical Miles
- Assured Pay
- $700-$1,025 CSA Safety Bonus Opportunity Every 90 Days
- $450 On-Road Safety Bonus Opportunity Every 90 Days
- Company-paid Life Insurance
- Late-model Freightliner Cascadia, Kenworth T680, and International ProStar tractors
- CSA Safety Bonus amounts (qualified drivers eligible every 90 days) Driver Referral Program
- Seasoned 24/7 dispatch staff
- 100% No Touch Freight – Mostly Drop & Hook