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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

10 Ways to Find a Career (and not a job) Driving
Re-Published for the Tim Ridley Show, and thanks to 
Link to their site follows below:

Company Drivers. Are you happy with the company you are driving for? How and why did you pick the one you're at? Was it an ad? A reference? Did you just need the job and go with the first place you could find?
Here at the 18 Wheels of Justice office, we hear a lot of complaints about lack of pay in the OTR trucking industry. Why do trucking companies spend so much on advertising and recruiting? It seems to me that if they spent more money paying drivers, instead of advertising, they would have all the drivers they needed. Not neccessarily true...
Think back through your driving career. Where were you employed at the longest? Do you tend to work for a company for less than a year and leave for something that seems better? Pays better? Were you promised something that never happened? This happens way too often.
The recruiter promises you the world on a silver platter. You can't wait to get started and then guess what? The first week on the job you realize that this was a big mistake. So, you contact the recruiter to ask, "why am I sitting so much? Why can't dispatch seem to get me home?" He says he will look into and address with dispatch, but nothing changes. You stay a month, maybe three, hoping it will work out, and it never does...
Are all recruiter's dishonest? Of course not! Are all trucking companies dishonest? No! There is often a disconnect between recruiters and operations. Read on and I will show you how to find out before you start...
We are here to help.  "18 Wheels of Justice Top Ten Driver Checklist". This list will cover how to negotiate the best pay, find the best company and what to look for in a company. I will keep it simple and to the point.
Print, email or just find a pen and notepad and keep this list, so you will have it with you. Forward to your wife or significant other, so they can help you. This is a major life decision, it is important to get a second opinion. You will be thanking me a year from now, when you are no longer chasing rainbows and will have found a happy home and a serious career. If you're not serious about your career and making money, and most importantly, being happy where you work, stop reading here. This article is not meant for you. You spend the majority of your adult life working, why not enjoy it? Here's the top 10:

10. Make a list of no more than 5 potential Trucking companies you want to work for. Big, Small it doesn't matter, there are many different benefits with both. This seems like a lot of work? Yes it is, but do once every 10 years, instead of once every 3-6 months and enjoy your success. Approach driving like a career, and you will find your way.
9. Ask them for a random list of Ten drivers phone numbers, that currently work there. This is your first step, do not skip this one. The Drivers who work there and like it, are more than happy to tell you about the company. Driver's who work there and don't like it, are even happier to talk to you about the company. If the recruiter tell you he/she doesn't have a random list, but a list they give out to new drivers, that's fine, they are honest. Ask him for five from that list and ask him if he can pull up five more at random. Take an hour, call all ten, if you only reach 5 right away, that's fine, leave a voicemail, the others will call you back before you make your decision. Keep track of who you have talked to. If the recruiter balks or refuses to give you a list of ten drivers, while you are on the phone with him/her the first time(this is important), run, don't walk, but run away from this company. If they can't produce on the spot, don't work there, you will regret it later.

8. Pay! - Don't ask, Don't ask, Don't ask. Should I say it again? Don't ask yet! This is for later in this new realtionship, Ladies and Gentlemen. If they mention pay, don't acknowledge it, just mention you are on "the market" and are looking for a home.
7. Talk to your prospective dispatcher before you fill out an application! This is a very important step! This will be your entire means of communication with the company. This is the person you will be dealing with for a long time and when you have a suggestion or a problem. Not getting miles? Not getting revenue? Not getting home? Do you want to have to go there, have a meeting with the operations manager, recruter etc. when these things aren't happening? I wouldn't. I would want to talk to my dispatcher and address all your concerns with him. See if they has any authority or control over you earning or not earning a living! Make sure the company let's you speak with your prospective dispatcher first! If they say they don't assign a dispatcher until you start, politely tell them, this is a requirement of yours. If they refuse or don't guarantee who your dispatcher will be, thank them for their time and move on to the next company. This will build a personal relationship with your dispatcher, they will have more respect for you and will remember your conversation. Trust me, you will be on the top of their list to make sure these things happen.
6. Talk to the Operations Manager or Your Dispatchers Supervisor. Even more important. Make sure you do this, and that this person is readily available. If you don't hear back from him/her for a few days, then expect that to be an acceptable standard for this particular trucking company. This is not an acceptable standard for you, however, and move down the list. What happens if your pay is not correct and it's a Friday afternoon, you have bills to pay? Who can you talk to and get a response? It is important to be able to have someone else within the company that you can address your concerns with.
5. Equipment - Take your time and look around the Terminal. What does the equipment look like? Are trailers well maintained & washed? Tractors - late model or well maintained? Owner Operator's trucks. Are they newer/older in good shape? Make sure you see and inspect the actual truck you are going in.
4. Spend time at the potential employers office in or near operations department and get a feel. Is it organized? Is it chaos? Take a few hours and listen to what is going on, meet some of the drivers, are most of them happy? Is operations begging them to stay? Apologizing for lack of miles?
3. Your work history - your resume, your references, it tells your story. Have one! This is very important, there are many easy templates on word,etc to type out a simple resume. It should have work history, years experience and references. Awards you have received, community involvement. It is your story, things you are proud of and show you to be a good citizen. It may sound unnecessary, but, again, it tells your story. References don't have to be prior employers, but people who will vouch for your character, etc. If your not good at that type of thing, ask your wife or a family member to prepare it for you.
2. Is more money per mile worth it? Changing a job for another $.05, even $.10 a mile is not always worth it. What kind of miles will you get? Will you be home when you need to be? Most importantly, will you like the company?
1. Cost of quitting and finding another Job. Assuming the next driving job you get will produce roughly the same amount of miles, you will lose two to three weeks of pay, between:
-finding a job
-actually starting your new job
-waiting for your first paycheck(sometimes two weeks)
-trying to get paid from your last company, and all the deductions they will take out(they always do)

If you find a job paying you an extra $.05 per mile, it will take you 6 months to make up for what you lost just switching companies, again assuming(big assumtion) your getting the same miles.

Take your time!  It is a major life decision, your happiness, your families happiness and future depends on making the right choice.

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