Truck drivers are in high demand in the current market. If you are a trucker, you have the power to make sure you are really interviewing the recruiter.
Asking these questions will set you up to make the best decision about your next move.
Making sure you ask the right questions before joining a company is critical. It is really important that you understand the values of a company. It is important to have a one on one conversation with a company’s recruiter to fully understand what the company has to offer you.
Just remember, you are the one in high demand. So feel free to ask the recruiter every question that comes to mind.
Here are 10 really important questions you will want to ask a truck recruiter during your interview process.
1. What is your pay rate?
Pay should be illustrated in the company’s advertisement and/or on the website – but it isn’t always. But, even if it is, you should ask specific questions about the pay rate.
Does it include detention time, overtime, per load? Additionally, pay for certain events, like making additional pickups or deliveries or assisting with the loading or unloading of freight at a customer stop, are often a part of the overall pay plan. Asking questions about the entire pay plan, not just the mileage rate, will give you a more complete picture of what your total compensation will be.
Also, a lot of companies are currently offering sign-on bonuses. Ask about this, and if they are offering a sign-on bonus make sure you get every single detail. You should ask over what time period is the sign-on bonus paid out. Also ask what all the requirements are in order to receive that sign-on bonus in full.
2. Do you pay on practical miles or shortest miles?
This is another crucial question involved in your pay rate. The difference in shortest vs. practical can be up to 5% depending on the region and the specific route. The two major software vendors for trucking and shipping companies have a shortest and practical version and you will want to know which version a company uses for driver pay.
3. What is the company’s stance on safety? Being a safe trucking company and driver on the road is an enormous responsibility. You want to work with a company that values the safety of trucks and our roadways. Research how the company is doing. What are the company’s scores in each CSA basic (lower scores are better)? Has the company had any alerts or interventions? In many states, a company with marginal inspection results will be pulled in for inspections more frequently.
4. What’s included in the onboarding (orientation) process?
Making sure that you have a deep understanding of what is expected of you once you get behind the wheel is essential. You want to ask how long the orientation process is. Is it paid? Will you be shading a senior driver?
A company that has a detailed onboarding process is a great sign that the company really cares about their drivers.
5. What is the average age of your trucks?
Newer is better as the trucks will be more reliable, have less driver downtime, and have the latest and greatest driver comfort features. This is a question most people don’t think to ask but again it is a great indicator of how much the company is really investing in its people.
6. Do you have local, regional, or dedicated runs?
Understanding all of the driving opportunities that are available at a carrier will help you make an informed decision. For example will you have a dedicated run for a customer?
These jobs are more desirable to some drivers, performance is often considered in the selection process for these types of jobs. It’s based totally on preference but you want to make sure you clear on all options.
7. Where are the locations of your terminals and what kind of truck driver amenities do they offer?
Trucking terminal locations is an important factor for many drivers.
Does the company have the infrastructure and amenities in the areas I will be running? Are there showers, paperwork scanning kiosks, laundry facilities, fueling capability, and maintenance?
Understanding the quality of a company’s terminals from a driver convenience and amenities perspective is important to research.
8. Would I be able to speak to a current driver?
Talk to a fellow driver and see what they have to say about their current or past employers.
You can also check out what the truck drivers are saying online either on message boards or other social media outlets.
These websites typically have reviews from other truck drivers.
9. What is your customer base and freight quality?
The type of freight that is hauled and the customer will have an impact on the type of work and/or stability that can be offered.
It is important that a trucking company aligns themselves with a customer portfolio that provides freight year round, so that drivers are not sitting without loads during non-peak times of the year.
Unless that is a personal preference, make sure it works for you.
10. How long has the company been in business?
Most likely a company that has been around for a longer time have stood through a positive and negative economic impact.
However, don’t rule out the newer companies. These owners usually have worked for large companies and want to personally impact the lifestyle of a truck in a positive way.
A company’s legacy and brand integrity can say a lot about what a company is all about, so look at their website and social media outlets.