We see it time and time again, students asking who should I go drive for once I pass my license test? Many instructors could rattle off names of trucking companies and what they do and just give it to them to choose from. Instructors are smarter than that however and know that choosing a company to work for is more about the person applying than choosing a company from a list.
I recently attended a seminar on recruiting and retention and one of the issues Recruiters talk about is that applicants don’t do their homework when looking into the type of carrier they are applying too or don’t read ads well enough to answer questions ahead of time. The second issues they say many applicants don’t do well is follow through on what they said they are going to do. Let’s tackle the first one, what I call doing the homework.
In today’s recruiting climate you could pin the names of carriers to a wall and throw a dart at them with your eyes closed and get hired by whichever one you hit without too much trouble. It’s that easy to get a job in trucking today. That may get you a job but it may not be a job that you enjoy as trucking has many variables within it and where you are in your career plays a big part into the type of work that you are eligible to apply for in this industry. If this is true how do you get started in your job search?
Your three most important criteria for your job search are as follows:
- Are you a new driver or do you have more than two years of experience?
- Do you know what type of work you would like to do; highway driving, local work, van, flatbed, or tanker?
- Do you want to work for a large or small carrier?
Now you may have more criteria on your list if you have really sat down and thought about where you wanted to work, but most people don’t. The more you know the type of work you want to do the more successful you will be on your job search. Once you have the information above you need to find those carriers to add to your list. You can choose them by size, locations, freight type, or other criteria that may be on your list. You can search for those carriers one by one on the internet, attend a job fair or trucking event, or ask a colleague, but it is important you know what you are looking for as your decision is based on your own needs and not the requirements of the person next to you.
Depending on what is happening in your area at the time you are reading this here is how I would start my search:
- Find a list of carriers online
- Attend a job fair or trucking event
- Look for carriers at social events or ask a friend.
A list of the best fleets to drive for just came out, that would be a great place to start your search. Here is a link to the list but you may have to have experience to work for these companies. https://truckright.com/en/resources/blog/12-news/247-the-truckload-carriers-association-and-carriersedge-announce-the-2022-best-fleets-to-drive-for
If you are a new driver then I would start with a list of companies that are with TTSAO (Truck Training School Association of Ontario) that you know work with new drivers. You can find that list here.
Once you have reviewed them online then either attending an event where they are such as a truck show or job fair would be best. If not available then book a meeting directly with the carrier to talk about the opportunities.
Finally follow through with the carrier to ensure you are meeting their requirements and moving along in the process. Note that Recruiters do talk to each other so if you don’t follow through in what you say you will do then others will know. Be reliable up front and you will have a good name in the long run.
About the Author
Bruce Outridge is a veteran in the transportation industry with over 40 years in the industry in a variety of roles from driver to fleet supervisor and more. Today he is a media specialist in the industry producing a number of programs for the trucking industry such as his trucking podcast The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers at www.theleadpedalpodcast.com or his radio station Lead Pedal Radio at www.leadpedalradio.com
Disclaimer: This article is written and based on the opinion of the author and is for general information only