Chances are you are interested in landing your ideal trucking job, so you have reached this post. However, before becoming a truck driver, do your homework and learn about the field. Otherwise, you'll waste time and lose money on a job or career path that dissatisfies you.
So, before even considering landing your ideal trucking job, make yourself a perfect candidate. Know your duties and responsibilities, prepare yourself for your career, and possess the right mindset. In today's article, "3 Steps to Landing Your Ideal Trucking Job,” we'll discuss these things.
What do truck drivers do?
If you're looking for a truck driver hiring near Texas, know that the average base salary for truck drivers in the state is $68,994. According to Indeed, it's $69,114 per year for the nationwide average. Truck drivers also enjoy expected benefits, such as 401(k), employee stock purchase plan, fuel card, discount, etc.
You’ll be involved in transport logistics, and your primary duty includes transporting goods, supplies, and items from point A to point B. You'll also have to ensure that the truck (and you) are safe and arrive on time at the target destination.
However, anticipate that you’ll be on the road and working long hours driving, delivering goods and items, carrying massive hauls, and transporting goods either in the state or out of the state and sometimes across the country.
In some cases, truck drivers may also make international deliveries between the US and Canada, depending on their employer and license. Here are the steps to land your ideal trucking job near you.
Truck Driver Recruiting: How to Land Your Ideal Trucking Job
STEP 1: APPLY TO AS MANY CARRIERS AS POSSIBLE
You've just obtained your CDL, and now you're looking to start driving. Hold your engine, as you first need to land your ideal trucking job.
While it may seem daunting, finding a truck driving job should be easy. For one, there is a truck driver shortage, which alone makes you in demand.
According to the BLS, states with the most job openings include California, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Check out available and open local truck driving jobs for various short-haul and long-haul truck driving job openings.
But if you have zero experience, remember that fleet owners and trucking companies won’t just hire CDL drivers right away. So that's not a problem.
You can also use Rig on Wheels recruitment services to land your ideal trucking job. Just fill up this application form and submit it. Then, we'll connect you with the best companies hiring CDL drivers.
Nevertheless, the first step is to apply. Perhaps you've applied to a carrier that caught your interest, but then you were turned down. Don't despair because you can find another carrier that might be interested in you.
To land your first and ideal trucking job, it's a given that you'll need to apply to a lot of carriers. That's OK, provided you have the patience and motivation to land your first trucking job. After that, you'll find an employer that will accept and welcome you into their fleet.
“But I have no experience.”
Yes, it might be a significant obstacle, but keep that motivation (and faith in yourself). You can find companies hiring CDL drivers, including driving for straight trucks, dump trucks, service trucks, or lumber yards with delivery trucks.
Experience driving a dump truck, delivery truck, or tractor-trailer shouldn't be your primary concern because most employers are interested instead of knowing your driving record and driving experience.
You might also be able to find trucking companies offering apprenticeship programs, that FASTPORT Executive Director Dave Harrison speaks on often. The programs can be invaluable in upping your skills and receiving a paycheck.and the support needed to begin your rewarding truck driving career.
Your pay as a recent CDL graduate usually is modest. But stick with it; the apprenticeship program can improve your driving skills and add to your experience. Both are useful down the road as you apply and maybe look for better opportunities as you explore this path.
The moral of the story: Be flexible to land your first trucking job and keep your options open. The start is just a stepping stone. Remember working in the trucking industry can make you an in-demand part of the workforce. Keep Your CDL Clean
Recruitment Agency for Truck Drivers - Pro Tips
Gain experience and seat time. Be diligent in finding carriers, not tractor-trailer carriers. They're continuously looking for new drivers, including straight trucks and dump trucks. There are also railroad companies with service trucks and county highway departments with gravel and plow trucks.
Your license makes you flexible to drive any of these trucks, which can help bolster your resume.
Trucking companies require some experience in any of these trucks. One of the best ways to gain experience is landing an over-the-road truck driving job as soon as you graduate from CDL school. OTR trucking companies are hunting for experienced and inexperienced commercial truck drivers, so gaining experience is significant.
You might also like: Male Truck Drivers Want to Keep Women Safe on the Road.
STEP 2: Ask Your Recruiter/Potential Employer A LOT of Questions
Consider certain factors before working with a carrier. After all, this has to do with job satisfaction. You won't want to end up in a job you don't enjoy, would you?
Whether you’ve chosen to work with a Truck Driver Recruiting Agency like Rig On Wheels Broker & Recruitment Services that will connect you to a trucking employer or have directly applied to the company, here are important questions.
The runs to make, the freight to haul, and so on are some of the driver’s concerns. Things like: the number of miles you're expected to drive or if the carrier is local, regional, or OTR can also be the questions to ask.
Some drivers appreciate constant support, while others don't like forced dispatch. Some truck drivers do not mind unloading, while others want no-touch freight. Truck drivers also want to know the location of the terminals for a clear picture of the company's effectiveness and reach.
Check out this video if you want to know more about unloading dedicated accounts with great pay. Dedicated Dollar Store Accounts
· In which states do you operate?
· What freight is hauled?
· Where are the company terminals?
· Do you operate with forced dispatch?
· How much of the freight is drop and hook? Should drivers unload the freight?
· What runs do you have?
· What are the average load length and miles per tractor-trailer?
· How is driver mile calculated?
Safety on the road is one of the primary concerns of truck drivers since they're driving, maneuvering, and hauling a massive vehicle. So when discussing matters with your truck driver hiring agency, you should ask about equipment.
Newer trucks can be easier to drive and operate. Plus, they're not problematic for maintenance, unlike outdated, old trucks. After all, you might not like it to include maintenance as a part of your duty aside from driving.
The truck you'll be driving will be your second home while with the carrier. Therefore, it will be wise to ask about the truck and its equipment. Check that they're not outdated, as older models tend to fall apart and fail, primarily if improperly maintained. It would help if you also asked about amenities regarding sleeping, for instance.
· What trucks do you use?
· Are the trucks equipped with air-ride suspension?
· Should I be responsible for maintenance aside from driving duties?
· How new or old are the trucks?
· What are the amenities regarding meals and sleeping (bunks, refrigerators?
· During the home time, should I take the equipment home?
Get a sense of what it will be like to work in the company besides knowing the pay, compensation, and equipment. You should be able to ask general questions about the company. Are you looking for an employee-centered and fun company that will see you as an employee and a family member?
Does the company have a culture of caring and appreciation for its people? Do they value employee well-being and satisfaction? Is the company concerned about giving fulfillment and a positive experience to drivers? Ask your recruitment agency for truck drivers these questions.
· How many drivers and employees does the company have?
· What is the driver retention rate of the company?
· What are the driver retention implementation strategies that the company has in place?
· How many idle or empty trucks does the company have now?
· What is the pet policy?
· What is the passenger policy?
· What’s the ratio of loan planners, drivers, and managers?
· What is the company culture? What do your drivers say about job satisfaction?
Pay and compensation
Issues surrounding benefits, compensation, and pay should be clear from the beginning. This is to avoid false expectations that often lead to job dissatisfaction.
Find out if the company offers a satisfying compensation package, including pay rates, promotion, bonuses, and expected raises.
Remember that no two carriers are alike regarding vacation time, home time, and perks and rewards for their employees. Know and understand all the details before agreeing to work with them.
Before meeting with the recruiter or employer, list your negotiable and non-negotiable items because you're likely to negotiate on pay and compensation.
Prioritize your non-negotiable items to avoid dissatisfaction in the end. It would be better to get the agreed items in writing.
· What is the maximum pay rate for truck drivers?
· What is the company’s home time policy?
· What are the benefits and bonuses you offer?
· How does the fleet/carrier company handle raises? Can I expect a raise? How and when?
· Do you offer new driver sign-on bonuses?
· Do you offer pensions to drivers?
· Do you offer full health insurance benefits?
· Do you provide healthcare coverage for the driver's family?
· Will the cost of living in my area affect how much pay I will receive?
· What raises may I receive over time?
· Is there a bonus limit to receive and earn annually?
STEP 3: DEVELOP PHYSICAL AND MENTAL RESILIENCE
Let's admit it. Truck driving is a challenging and demanding job, both mentally and physically. This is not a job for the faint-hearted.
You need inner strength or resilience to become an effective and happy truck driver!
Resilient people maintain a positive life outlook and can handle stress well. They know how to deal with difficult situations and work under pressure. And during difficult times, they don't easily give up and do not exhibit many negative emotions.
Resilience as a truck driver will help you recover from all the challenging experiences you'll meet while on the road – loneliness, stress, and boredom. You might also have constant anxiety about being away from home for long hours or even days or weeks.
Pay close attention to your health
Physically healthy people are 3.5 times more likely to be resilient and can quickly recover from physical stressors. So pay attention to your wellbeing and focus on eating healthily, exercising regularly, and staying hydrated.
It would help if you also built the habit of practicing relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing. This will train your mind to stay calm and relaxed during stressful situations, like heavy traffic or long drives.
Make it a habit to practice relaxing whenever you can. Incorporate activities like doing activities you enjoy and spending time with your loved ones.
Learn how to reframe any threat as a challenge. What does the situation mean, and what do you need to overcome it? Know that a challenge is an opportunity to grow – improving your driving skills, managing stress better, and developing a positive mental outlook – all are important to becoming an effective driver.
Develop a strong mindset
Your attitudes, beliefs, and mindset influence your mental resilience. To land your ideal trucking job, develop an ideal mindset that fits the trucking industry – some people call strong mindset grit, and others call it perseverance.
A strong mindset isn’t just your ability to keep going. Your true mental strength is a product of resiliency, focus, and AWARENESS (Mind your mindset!).
Possessing a strong mindset as a truck driver will take you miles and miles of job satisfaction down the road.
You should learn to focus on what you can control, not what you can’t, say traffic. It will help you understand that the challenge is temporary and that you’ll overcome it. It will prevent you from making harsh and irrational decisions on the road.
Set clear and realistic goals. If truck driving is your passion (you obtained a CDL license, trained, and gained experience…) and your goal is to make it a career, then define your goals and write them down on paper – to make your intentions clear and defined.
This will help you set expectations for the job and know what's awaiting you.
When your mind is strong, you can handle the ups and downs you'll meet along the way and won't easily give up on the slightest issues.
You need to develop a strong mind to become an ideal truck driver for your perfect truck driving job.
Set your goals and expectations from the beginning and develop a resilient, mentally strong mindset so that you can focus on the JOB and everything that comes with it – GOOD AND BAD.
Applying for and working in a truck driving job requires more than just acquiring a CDL license and training. It would help if you had the right attitude to land your ideal trucking job near you, whether for a small carrier, a mega fleet, or a dump truck company.
You also need to apply to A LOT of carriers and ask A LOT of questions from your driver recruitment agency. Finally, and most importantly, possess the right mindset regardless if you're still in the application stage or already on the road with your truck.
You'll encounter many challenges - homesickness, boredom, and loneliness, not to mention stress and anxiety. You might also have to skip meals or sleep inadequately in certain situations.
Thus, you don’t only need to be physically strong but also mentally resilient to handle stress well, know how to laugh, and keep perspective even in the most challenging situations.
Are you looking for your next ideal truck? Call Rig on Wheels for local, regional, dedicated, or OTR CDL Class A truck driving jobs at 281-968-3100 today!
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