Choosing the Right Carrier is a Personal Choice

For some drivers choosing a carrier to work with is a light decision. They may live close or know someone at the company, happy with the pay and they go there. For other drivers the decision on where to go is much more in depth to the point they may even be paralyzed about it. They have done so much homework that they can’t make a decision and they freeze. Both camps are correct, you need to do your homework on your potential employer, but the decision you make out of the gate won’t make that much of a difference.

The reason drivers get paralyzed as to where to go is because often they are evaluating the wrong criteria. They look at pay by the company, trucks that will be driven, and how long they will be gone from home. These are all important criteria for someone with experience. For a new person almost none of that matters, other than the length of time away from home. The money and the trucks don’t mean anything. A new person should be focused on things like Finishing Programs, safety, and training.

This came from a conversation the other day online where a driver was trying to choose between two different carriers. He had taken his list down to two well respected carriers and wasn’t sure where to apply. He was a new driver and both have great training and safety programs. I told him, “Just pick one!” For what a new driver needs both carriers would be a good fit, so now the criteria changes in order to make a decision. I know both of these carriers and the decision over one or the other will come from the future work and some personal choices.

As a new driver the only decision to choose one of these carriers is to apply to the one that he lives closest to so he gets good home time. The real difference in the two carriers is one hauls van freight only and the other carrier has various divisions allowing a person in the future to grow and do different types of work. If your ambition is to haul oversize equipment then the second carrier is for you. Those options won’t happen until after your two year mark anyway so it really isn’t a decision for now.


Your job search criteria continues to change in your career based on your experience and work preferences. A driver with ten years of experience looking for a job will be looking for different things in a carrier than a new person in the industry. Do your homework on a company before applying. Make sure they have a good safety program and maintenance program. If you have personal items like home time to consider make sure they get addressed properly. If not your career can end before it starts. I suggest starting with the TTSAO Carrier Group as many of those carriers work with new people. Good Luck.

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 or his radio station Lead Pedal Radio at

Disclaimer: This article is written and based on the opinion of the author and is for general information only


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