Newbies - Becoming A Driver
Looking for Employment
What you are looking for in a company may be different from another driver. A person with a family will need consistent home time while a single driver may be willing to stay out for weeks at a time on long hauls. One individual may be comfortable with a large carrier that has terminals nationwide, while another prefers a smaller company with a more personalized touch.
What are your needs? Make a list of your priorities. Use that list to compare the information you've learned about different companies. Which one best meets your needs?
Talking With Recruiters
While talking with recruiters, keep in mind that their job is to fill the trucks. Get past the hype and be persistent about getting your questions answered specifically. However, always be courteous. Once you sign on with a company, it is in your best interest to stay at least six months to one year before changing employers.
Questions to ask a recruiter:
- What is the base pay? Does it increase over time?
- How many miles per week can I expect to average? What is a high week? What is a low week?
- What are the running lanes?
- How often can I expect to get home? What is the process for getting home time?
- What are the benefits and when do they become effective? Costs?
- What type of truck will I get?
- How long is orientation and how long will I ride with a trainer? Pay?
- What freight do you haul?
- Who are the primary customers?
- What is your turnover rate? Why?
Though many interviews will happen over the phone, you will eventually meet a recruiter face-to-face. This could be in his office or at the company's truck show booth. You are not expected to wear a suit and tie, but you are expected to look decent and have good hygiene. Take a shower, wear clothes that don't look like they've been balled up in a laundry bag (even if it's a pair of jeans and a pullover shirt), clean up your boots and brush your teeth. When you arrive, it might be a nice idea to put a breath mint in your mouth.
Give the recruiter a solid handshake. Be sure to have all the information with you that will be needed during the interview. Always be courteous and professional in your demeanor as the interview progresses. At the end, thank him for his time. If possible, and you're not in dire need for immediate employment, do not sign any agreement right then but give yourself a day or two to think it over.
Applying for a Job
Have all the information you need on hand. Do not hold back any information. Through your background check and past driving record, the company will find out any driving violations or criminal convictions you've had. Hiding something will only arouse suspicion.
The more thorough you can be, the quicker the application process will be. When completing an online application be sure to fill in all required fields.
What you will need:
- Employment history for the past 10 years (no gaps)
- Social Security Card
- CDL license
- DOT physical card (the carrier may send you to their own physician)
Also be sure to visit our JobNet Area to review featured companies, and fill out and submit applications online.