How to Find the Best Flatbed Trucking Company to Work for

flatbed semi truckOne of the worst things about working for someone else is finding out that the company is not that great to work for and you find this out after you’ve gone through all of the required training and have made a significant time investment with the company.

You have a choice to put up with the issues, which could be as minor as being an annoyance or which could be as dangerous as losing your life because the company does not abide by safety regulations.

Finding the Best Flatbed Trucking Company to Work For

When you look for a job, take the time to research the company and learn about its record. Check into the company’s safety record, how long they retain employees, why employees leave, if possible, whether the company takes care of its trucks and more.

These are questions that you can ask the potential employer during your interview. Hopefully, the employer will answer those questions truthfully. Though the employer cannot divulge specific reasons attached to specific people as to why they left the company, the employer can tell you that a person left because of personal reasons, because someone found a better-paying job or because a driver left because that person didn’t think the trucks were well-maintained.

If you get a response like that, simply have the employer explain to you the maintenance schedule. You might also ask more questions about truck maintenance, for example, how often trucks are thoroughly audited by the company and what the procedure is when the truck breaks down on the road.

You may also want to check into how often the company upgrades its equipment and how many technicians the company uses to maintain its fleet of trucks.

Additional questions should include pay, whether hourly or per mile; health and dental benefits; the type of health care available; retirement-matching; vacation and sick days; and other administrative questions.

How Employers Can Cut Turnover and Make the Company Better

If your company does not offer a minimum of some reasonable number of sick days and vacation, you might not be the best company to work for. If you have low rates for your drivers or pay your technicians a low wage, you could be asking for high turnover. One of the things you can do to make your company attractive to drivers and technicians is to pay your employees a wage that is in line with other trucking companies that are the same size as you.

Bonuses and extras such as holiday parties, an acknowledgment of an employee’s birthday, retirement matching all say that you care about your employees and helps keep moral up. And, it also helps keep turnover low.

You don’t have to get crazy with the extras: Employees will appreciate any acknowledgment of their good work, even just a word of praise that is heartfelt.

The other way to cut employee turnover and to make potential employees want to work at your company is to tell the truth about the job opening. You need to explain about working conditions – good and bad, break times and hours the person is expected to work. Don’t tell someone they’ll get 40 hours and then cut the hours because a relative will come in and work for free. Likewise, don’t tell a potential employee that he or she might get overtime “once in a while,” and then expect them to work overtime every day. If the job requires overtime, be sure that is what the employee wants.

Create an Awards System

Creating an awards system to reward employees also goes a long way to being the best flatbed trucking company or other trucking company to work for. You might acknowledge an employee for having the best driving record that month. You might recognize a technician for completing all work on time and keeping the trucks safe and on the road. Rewards can be something as simple as writing that employee’s name on a notice board, giving out a plaque, or if money permits, giving that employee a gift.

Remember…

An employee doesn’t like having to switch truck driving jobs. That means learning new routes, waiting at least two weeks for the next paycheck, getting used to a new boss, making friends with new co-workers and more. For some people, this is nothing, yet others prefer to stay in one place.

Employees should not be unrealistic in their expectations for a job or career. As long as employers are within reason with pay and benefits, adhere to safety regulations and ensure that the trucks are kept in good shape, you’ve got a great employer to work for.

The best thing you can do in the interview – for both parties – is to outline your expectations so that you know that you, as an employer, are getting a great employee; and you, as an employee, know that you just chose the best trucking or flatbed company to work for.

 

Numbers Don’t Lie: How Many Truckers Are There in the US?

Trucker with semi truckYou hear all the time that there aren’t enough truck drivers to handle all the hauls in the US. We need to hire more truck drivers and find ways to keep them behind the wheel. But what does that mean?

Are we short on truckers or simply looking to create more truck driving positions due to increased demand for deliveries? Check out the real stats to get a grasp on the truth behind the driver shortage.

Truck Drivers By the Count

OK let’s start with how many truck drivers there are and then move onto the number of truck driving jobs and trucks on the roads in the US today:

  • Approximately 3.5 million Americans are professional truck drivers; in comparison, Canada has 250,000 truck drivers
  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there are 1.8 million trucking jobs for heavy and tractor trailer truck drivers as of 2014
  • There are 1.3 million regional truck driving jobs as of 2014
  • Overall, 8.9 million people work in the trucking industry including those who aren’t behind the wheel of a truck, i.e. dispatchers, customer service reps and trucking company owners
  • There are an estimated 15.5 million trucks rolling across American highways including 2 million big rigs hauling OTR truck loads
  • The US is home to approximately 1.2 million trucking companies
  • Ninety-seven (97) percent of all American trucking companies have fewer than 20 trucks in their fleets

So what does all of this mean?

Breaking Down the Trucking Stats

The most notable figure is that of how many trucking companies are small time. If you are working for a trucking company that has less than 20 tractor trailers, this equates to hiring 20 truck drivers. This means the majority of trucking companies are managed as small businesses, which come with their own risks. A small business trucking company owner has to navigate the constantly fluctuating market. This requires balancing fuel costs, equipment maintenance, and shipper exceptions for pricing—all of which is variable against the US and global economy. Trying to keep afloat is a difficult process, yet clearly small business owners make up the majority in the trucking industry.

What about the big guys like Swift Transportation or Werner Enterprises? These companies clearly have a stronghold in the trucking industry. Truck drivers looking for the best paying trucking jobs with benefits along with steady routes and truck driver training will almost always have to go with a national trucking company. Speaking of truckers searching for trucking jobs, let’s look at how many truckers we have compared to the number of tractor trailers.

The American workforce consists of 3.5 million commercial truck drivers. Compare that number to the percentage of licensed registered nurses in the US, which is 3.1 million. Truck drivers are a strong portion of the nation’s workforce, yet there appears to be a disconnect when it comes to the number of jobs available to drivers.

If there are only 1.8 million trucking jobs for OTR truck drivers, along with 1.3 million regional trucker jobs, this accounts for 3.1 million total trucking jobs. Of course there are bound to be smaller categories of trucking jobs that aren’t included in these figures. However, a quick glance will tell you that there is an equal number of truck drivers compared to trucking jobs in the US. So what’s the deal, why are we being told that there is a huge demand for truck drivers?

Understanding the Future of Trucking

The reality is that right now we are holding steady with a balance of drivers to trucks. However, due to the number of truck drivers with one hand on their retirement slip, there’s the very real fear that the trucking industry will bottom out in the near future. There is a 4 percent job growth outlook along with 48,100 new trucking jobs set forth through 2024. We have to be able to place truck drivers in the seats of these jobs in order to keep the industry moving. Unfortunately the younger generation, dare we say the millennials, aren’t too keen to slide into the driver’s seat of a big rig. Too many regulations, too low of pay at most trucking jobs, and a lack of desire to handle the rigors of trucking are pushing these younger drivers away.

In order to keep the delicate balance of drivers to trucks the trucking industry has to continue to make strides in growth and progress. We are seeing this with the evolution of technology, i.e. self driving trucks, autonomous tractors and electronic logging devices. The hope is that as trucking advances a new demographic of truck drivers will come out on the other side. Otherwise we are looking at a drastic drop in the number of truckers to tractors, which would be devastating to the US and global economies.

What are the Best Flatbed Trucking Companies to Work for?

TMC Transportation truckFinding the best paying flatbed trucking companies to work for sounds like a mammoth task. After all, how are you going to know, truly, if a trucking company is worth its salt unless you actually drive for them?

Rather than job hopping from one flatbed trucking job after another choose a trucking company that is well-vetted in the industry.

What to Look for in a Flatbed Trucking Company

The most important aspect to start with is the location of the trucking company. You might want to drive for Anderson Trucking Service, the top ranked flatbed trucking company for 2015. However, if you aren’t in Minnesota you’ll be awfully far away from headquarters.

Next up you should check out the annual revenue of the company. If the trucking company has dived from one year to the next, then it could be a bad sign. The company would be less likely to afford to hire truck drivers at a decent pay rate. Also, the company might not have enough trucking jobs to go around once you do get hired. A trucking company that is losing money will need to cut corners on costs, and you can bet trucker benefits will be one of the trimmed areas of expense.

Find out how many company drivers and owner operator drivers are working for the company. This will help you narrow down those companies that don’t offer the type of trucking jobs you are looking for. For example, Lone Star Transportation with Texas trucking jobs has 2,075 company drivers and 691 owner operator drivers. On the other hand, Mercer Transportation Co. has zero company drivers and 2,385 owner operators.

The Top 10 Flatbed Trucking Companies

Thankfully you don’t have to go to every trucking company’s website to find out if they offer trucking jobs for flatbed trailers. The Commercial Carrier Journal regularly releases the CCJ Top 250. This is a super extensive report of trucking data throughout the US. While the list includes all haul types including general freight, household goods and motor vehicles, it can be filtered to focus on single haul types. According to the Commercial Carrier Journal the top 25 flatbed trucking companies for 2015 include the following:

  1. Anderson Trucking Service, Inc.
  2. Daseke
  3. Acme Truck Line, Inc.
  4. Lone Star Transportation, LLC
  5. Mercer Transportation Co., Inc.
  6. TMC Transportation / Annett Holdings, Inc.
  7. Bennett International Group
  8. United Vision Logistics Holding Corp.
  9. Maverick USA, Inc.
  10. Melton Truck Lines, Inc.
  11. P&S Transportation, Inc.
  12. PGT Trucking, Inc.
  13. American Eagle Logistics LLC
  14. Gypsum Express, Ltd.
  15. Transport Investments, Inc.
  16. Tennessee Steel Haulers, Inc.
  17. Admiral Merchants Motor Freight, Inc.
  18. Williams Brothers Trucking, Inc.
  19. Combined Transport, Inc.
  20. PI&I Motor Express, Inc.
  21. McElroy Truck Lines, Inc.
  22. Cypress Truck Lines, Inc.
  23. Fraley & Shilling, Inc.
  24. C.T.I., Inc.
  25. Miller Truck Lines, Inc.

Now let’s take a look at the geographical location, revenue and truck driver types hired by these companies.

The Best Flatbed Trucking Companies in the South

Among these 25 trucking companies the majority are located in the South:

  • Daseke, P&S Transportation, and McElroy Truck Lines are all offering Alabama trucking jobs
  • Maverick USA offers Arkansas trucking jobs
  • Cypress Truck Lines reaches the farthest south with flatbed trucking jobs in Florida
  • Bennet International Group and Williams Brothers Trucking provides Georgia flatbed trucking jobs
  • Acme Truck Line, United Vision Logistics Holding Corp., and American Eagle Logistics are all based in Louisiana
  • Tennessee Steel Haulers are, you guessed it, in Tennessee
  • Lone Star Transportation fittingly offers Texas trucking jobs for flatbed truckers
  • Mercer Transportation is in Kentucky

The Best Flatbed Trucking Companies in the North

Now let’s travel north of the Mason-Dixon line:

  • PI&I Motor Express, PGT Trucking and Transport Investments are in Pennsylvania
  • Combined Trucking provides flatbed trucking jobs in Oregon
  • Melton Truck Lines and Miller Truck Lines come out of Oklahoma
  • Gypsum Express is located in New York
  • Anderson Trucking Service and Admiral Merchants Motor Freight have Minnesota trucking jobs for flatbed drivers
  • TMC Transportation is based in Iowa
  • CTI Inc. is located in Illinois
  • Fraley and Shilling offer trucking jobs in Indiana

Trucking Companies for Company Drivers

If you want to be hired as a company driver for a flatbed trucking company, these are the dozen to look at:

  • Lone Star Transportation 2,075 company drivers
  • Maverick USA 1,344
  • Melton Truck Lines 1,130
  • Gypsum Express 650
  • William Brothers Trucking 595
  • Anderson Trucking Service 581
  • Combined Transport 421
  • Cypress Truck Lines 405
  • PI&I Motor Express 385
  • Fraley & Shilling 366
  • Bennett International Group 57
  • CTI Inc. 25

Trucking Companies Hiring Owner Operator Drivers

In terms of getting hired as an owner operator for the best flatbed trucking companies, here are the figures of how many OOs were employed in 2015:

  • Lone Star Transportation 691 OO drivers
  • Maverick USA 95
  • Melton Truck Lines 2
  • Gypsum Express 0
  • William Brothers Trucking 0
  • Anderson Trucking Service 1938
  • Combined Transport 52
  • Cypress Truck Lines 0
  • PI&I Motor Express 205
  • Fraley & Shilling 72
  • Bennett International Group 2,666
  • CTI Inc. 400

Finding the best flatbed trucking companies to work for is much simpler when you have the data in front of you. Do you have any suggestions for the best trucking companies for flatbed haulers?

Pay Scale for Dry Van Truckers in the US

Dry van CTI truckFinding dry van truck driving jobs in the US is a breeze, as this is one of the most common haul types. A dry van load doesn’t require you to tarp or strap your load. You might even get away with a hook and drop load, which means you won’t even have to get out of your cab to load it. Dry van trucking loads are one of the easiest haul types. But what do these pay? Check out the latest news on the average pay scale for dry van truckers in the US.

National Van Rates for OTR Truck Drivers

Over at DAT Solutions you can pull up the latest rates for trucking jobs. As of the week of July 17 to 23 these are the rates:

  • Truck driving jobs in Atlanta, Georgia for dry van trucks pay $1.89 per mile
  • Dallas, Texas dry van loads pay $1.58 a mile
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania dry van loads pay $1.58 per mile
  • Truck driving jobs in Chicago, Illinois for dry vans pay $1.88 per mile
  • Los Angeles, California trucking jobs for dry vans pay an average of $2.11 per mile

According to these figures the pay scale for dry van loads ranges from $1.58 to $2.11 a mile. The rate for dry van loads has decreased for this period by a single cent with the national average at $1.65 per mile. Two weeks ago you could earn an average of $1.70 per mile.

If you are a company driver then you don’t have much of a say at all about how much you are going to earn for dry van trucking jobs. However, that doesn’t mean you should avoid understanding how the market looks. By noting what the national averages are for dry van loads you are a step ahead in the industry. You will be prepared for upcoming rate declines due to the decrease in the pay scale. It’s all about the market, which is something you have zero control over. Neither does your trucking employer, so it is best that you understand the average national van rates yourself.

Using the Pay Scale for Finding Trucking Jobs

On the other end of the trucking spectrum are owner operator drivers and independent truck drivers who are searching for the best dry van rates. When you are looking for trucking jobs with dry van trailers you have to consider the pay per mile in your region. For example, if you are hauling out of California then you can expect to earn more than most any state in the nation. Texas and Pennsylvania have the lowest paying dry van rates. Meanwhile the busiest hubs of Atlanta and Chicago are paying middle of the road rates. Where you are based out of will affect your dry van rates, as you are lead by the local economy. Also, if you are back hauling from California you can expect to earn a lot more money.

Keep in mind if you are hauling dry van loads out of California you must be top notch when it comes to emissions standards and equipment. Inspectors in California are fierce, some of the strictest in the US. That’s part of the reason why California trucking jobs pay so well for dry van truckers. Most truck drivers, particularly those who are OO or independent, are unable to afford the latest gear and emissions control technology that is mandated by CA truck drivers.

The Overall Trucking Economy

Looking at the current pay scale for dry van truckers in the US is one thing. But you also have to look at the average fuel costs during that same period. For July 17 to 23, 2016 the national average fuel price declined by 2 cents to $2.38 per gallon. Holding somewhat steady this is a benefit to trucking fleets. As long as the fuel costs do not spike the pay scale for dry van loads will be satisfactory. However, when we see fuel expenses go haywire this greatly affects the amount a driver can earn per mile. This is why truck drivers and company owners alike get all excited when the fuel prices dip and climb.

If you are searching for dry van trucking jobs in the US that pay the best, start by understanding the market. Once you know what the regional market is paying per mile you will know if upcoming trucking loads are priced effectively. This is key to owner operators. In order to increase your profitability for your trucking business you need to understand the market. Choose to take fewer dry van loads when the market for these is sour, sticking to other haul types, such as reefer trucking jobs or tanker loads. Go with the market and you’ll be able to be smarter about choosing trucking types depending on the current state of the economy.

The Best Company Sponsored Truck Driving Schools

students at trucking schoolEverybody wants to be the best, know the best, and have the best. Same goes for truck drivers searching for trucking schools. They want to go to the best company sponsored truck driving schools. The thing is, whenever a person asks a trucking company driver about the best company, everyone says someone different. Every truck driver has an opinion about this topic. So what’s the answer, which truck driving schools truly are the best?

Swift Transportation

It’s not a surprise seeing Swift Transportation on this list. Swift is consistently at the top of the best trucking companies’ lists including #5 of the Top 50 trucking companies in 2016 according to the Journal of Commerce. If you are trying to get into truck driving school affiliated with the same company, start your search with Swift.

You will begin by attending a 23-day comprehensive commercial driving course at the Swift Driving Academy. Tuition for this truck driving school costs $3,900. You have to pay for the training up front. After you graduate from truck driving school and get your CDL you will start working with Swift immediately. Then if you work for Swift Transportation for the next 26 consecutive months you’ll be reimbursed for the entire cost of the tuition.

An issue of going to trucking school and then driving for Swift is that you will start out with lower paying trucking jobs. You have to work your way up by gaining experience and taking different haul types. Trucking school gives you the tools to be a trucker, but it will take behind the wheel experience before you can earn the big money as a truck driver. This is the case with any trucking company. Why should a rookie driver come in with zero years of experience and take all of the highest paying trucking loads?

Fair is fair, but some rookie drivers get up in arms about this thinking that they should start out making more. Another perk of Swift drivers is that they can quickly climb up the pay ladder by taking more and more trucking jobs. Since Swift is such a large national carrier the company is consistently busy. The more loads you can haul, the more money you can make, so this is a win-win.

Roehl Transport

Unlike Swift, Roehl Transport does not make you pay for truck driver school tuition up front. It is free as long as you work for Roehl Transport for at least a year after you get your CDL. Another difference is that Roehl will train truckers while they work. This means you get paid, $500 a week, while you are training to be a truck driver. The training course offered at Roehl Transport is for four weeks. As soon as you finish training and get your CDL, you are placed with a driver coach. This training period, which is typical of most trucking companies, lasts for up to 3 weeks.

While you are in driver training at Roehl Transport you make $90 a day. Once you are trained and ready to roll, you’ll start driving a big rig and taking OTR trucking jobs. The more types of hauls you take, the more experience you will gain behind the wheel. This is where your real schooling begins. Best of all, Roehl is one of the better paying trucking companies. Truck drivers at Roehl earn approximately $50,000 before their first year of driving a Roehl rig.

Prime Transportation

Like Swift Transport, Prime Inc. is one of the most successful trucking companies in the US. Prime is #14 out of the Top 50 trucking companies according to the JOC. The main reason for Prime’s growth, with a 3 percent revenue increase from 2014 to 2015, is through diversity. Truck drivers for Prime haul everything from reefer loads to flatbed trailers and tanker trucking jobs.

In order to train truck drivers to handle this variety of trucking loads, Prime takes a different approach than the competition. When you go to truck driving school at Prime you are paired with a CDL instructor. Compared to most trucking schools where you are in a classroom setting, Prime’s training is far more intimate. This is great as it allows you to receive one-on-one attention during real-world training scenarios. That’s right, when you train through Prime you are sent on actual trucking jobs to train on the go. You are trained on trucking jobs.

Best of all, Prime trucking school is free pending a contract. Your contracted length that you have to stay with Prime after graduating trucking school will vary. Prime trucking jobs have a reputation for being some of the better paying trucking jobs in the US. Gaining that one-on-one training is the real value you gain from training with Prime.

Mack Creates Electric Garbage Truck with Help of Tesla Co-Founder

Mack Trucks wrightspeed lr modelMack is a name synonymous with trucking. Tesla is a name synonymous with electric cars. Together these two vehicle powerhouses are coming together to create an electric garbage truck. Learn more about this latest collaboration between Mack Trucks and Tesla Motors. Then ask yourself if this type of power-train tech can be applicable to Class 8 trucks that OTR truckers drive?

Evolution of Garbage Trucks

Workers who haul garbage are just as important as over the road truckers. Truck drivers bring the goods to the people, and garbage truck drivers take it all away. We don’t often see the connection between these two professions, nor do we see a connection between garbage trucks and 18-wheeler Macks. However, both types of drivers are looking at a future of automation and electrical operations. For garbage truck drivers this is where Tesla meets Mack. Bill Van Amburg is the senior vice president of Calstart, a nonprofit organization that offers eco-friendly consultation to the trucking industry.

At the present time Calstart is focusing on fixing problems with garbage trucks. The two main issues involve an extensive maintenance schedule and horrible fuel economy. Garbage trucks are constantly starting and stopping, loading and unloading, and moving in all weather conditions. As you can imagine the wear and tear on a garbage truck is intense. A typical garbage truck will have to get routine maintenance three times a year according to Van Amburg. Tack on those maintenance costs with repairs to the braking system, and you have a lot of expense for a single garbage truck.

In order to get garbage trucks running more efficiently, and ecologically sound, Calstart is collaborating with Mack Trucks to make an electric garbage truck. So where does Tesla Motors fit into this picture? Ian Wright, Tesla’s co-founder and vehicle development vice president, has started up a company called Wrightspeed, Inc. Wright’s company designed a powertrain for the electric garbage truck that will replace the traditional diesel engine and transmission drive. The Wrightspeed powertrain is built to use far less fuel, while cutting emissions down. According to Mack Trucks with Wright’s technology garbage trucks can haul up to 66,000 pounds along steep slopes of 40 percent. This is ideal for garbage trucks.

Electric Trucking in the Future

Calstart has an interest in the trucking industry at large. Rather than sticking with electric garbage trucks, Calstart is trying to turn the entire trucking industry green. If going green aka becoming more environmentally friendly sounds a little out there, think of it like this. If a truck uses less fuel, which is eco-friendly, then they are also spending less money at the pump. The same truck will also cost less to operate and maintain over the long run.

The question any trucker should have should be whether or not this electric tech will take over tractor trailers. While the current stipulations for hauling are limited, we can expect to see improvements in the future. The reality is that the trucking industry is on a speedy search to find a more economical way to operate commercial trucks. Trucking companies and owner operators alike are interested in getting more money out of their mileage. Electric garbage trucks offer a substantial boost to the possibility of electric semi-trucks.

Transforming Tractor-Trailer Trucks

Using electric garbage trucks for local pickup is one thing. Driving a semi 5,000 miles across dozens of states is another. If you are a truck driver the last thing you want is to stop rolling because of an electric issue. While a garbage company has to keep its trucks in running order, they are also more capable of getting trucks off the routes and into shops when need be. The use of electric trucks for hauling garbage is a good start in the direction of trucking industry revolution. However, it will take many miles and more power under the hood before electric engines are useful for over the road trucking companies.

Just as with autonomous and self-driving trucks, there is a lot of static out there about what if’s and what to expect. Until this type of tech becomes road ready and tested for commercial use, truck drivers don’t have to fret about driving electric trucks. Yet this is definitely the direction that truck driving is taking. Electric garbage trucks is a good first step in the right direction.

Having Mack Trucks on the green team working toward more efficient trucking solutions is another key point. If all of the trucking manufacturers would start developing this type of technology, it might become the real deal much sooner. Sure, change is never pleasant; just ask any seasoned trucker how he feels about electric trucks and you’ll find out just how pleasant. Yet without some sort of change the trucking industry is in serious trouble.

6 Things to Know About Your First Trucking Job Interview

Semi truck on the highwayWhen you go on your first trucking interview, you are sure to be racked with nerves and anxiety. Slow down, deep breaths. You will be fine. In order to make the most of your first trucking interview here are a few last minute tips. Take these tips to heart and best of luck on that job interview.

What You Wear Matters

You might think it doesn’t matter what you wear to a trucking interview. After all, truck drivers can wear just about anything they want when on OTR trucking jobs. However, appearance says it all when you are meeting a potential employer for the first time. Like it or not they are judging you based on your appearance. Give them something good to go with and avoid looking like a traditional trucker. If you stand out for a good reason by dressing in your Sunday best you will be more likely to get that trucking job. Looking like a slop that just rolled out of the bed, and who is pretending to go to the gym? Leave the sneakers, gym shorts and muscle shirts at home please.

Hiring Takes Time and Training

OK so your interview is at 3 pm, and you should be hired by 3:30 and ready to take your first truck load by tomorrow. Wrong. While you may be hired one day and working the next at some jobs, this isn’t the case with truck driving jobs. You will be interviewed today, and you may be invited back to fill out paperwork to use for a background check or review of your CSA score. Then, before you are an official paid employee, you are most likely going to have to go through truck driver training with the company, which can take weeks to complete.

Paperwork, Please

On your first interview you are going to need to bring all sorts of paperwork including:

  • Your commercial driver’s license
  • Your DOT medical card
  • Your resume, of which you should bring multiple, clean copies
  • A list of questions that you want to ask the trucking employer

In addition, bring a couple of ink pens and a professional looking binder, such as a leather bound portfolio. Again, your appearance counts, and if you forget documents it makes you look like you are a forgetful truck driver.

Clarity is Key

If you have anything on your driving record or in your background that might affect your ability to do your drive as a trucker, speak up. The last thing a company wants to do is hire you only to discover you can’t drive across the Canadian border because you have two DUIs on your license. Be open and honest with anything that might adversely affect your ability to do your job.

Sure, you might be concerned that they won’t hire you if they know about that reckless driving incident from five years ago. However, if it’s that big of an issue, no trucking company will hire you due to insurance and liability concerns. If you are planning to go into a trucking interview with a false history in your head, don’t.

Drug Screens are Serious Business

When you get your CDL you have to go through a drug screen. But it’s not the only time you will be drug tested. You’ll also have to pass an annual DOT physical exam that includes a drug and alcohol screen. Randomly throughout the year your trucking employer and DOT inspectors may ask you to take another drug test. However, you will almost always have to pass another drug test when you are hired by the company. You won’t be able to get away with anything including a dirty drug screen, so avoid wasting everyone’s time if you are planning on failing it.

General Work History Applies

During the job interview this is your time to reveal any benefits or perks that you bring to the table. Did you spend your summers as a youth working on a hog farm? Have you been involved in forestry positions? Are you a technologically savvy individual? While each of these roles seem to have zero to do with trucking, they all do. Any experience that you have as a worker or student, bring it up during the interview. This can help the trucking employer find a niche trucking position for you.

For example, if you have experience working with hogs, then you might be the best candidate for a cattle hauler job. Working with technology something you are good at? The trucking company might give you extra paid hours for working on their company app for truckers. The trucking industry is in high demand for employees who do more than just drive big rigs. Keep that in mind when you go for you interview and don’t’ short change your experiences.

Peterbilt Model 567 Heritage to Roll Out in September 2016

Peterbilt Model 567 HeritageThe Peterbilt Model 567 has been around for a few years; and this model included a set-forward axle configuration and all-wheel drive. It went into full production in December 2013.

The original truck featured the Paccar MX-13 engine as standard equipment. This engine made up to 500 horsepower and 1,850 pound-feet of torque. The truck was available as a day cab or could be ordered with a 72-inch or 80-inch sleeper.

Fast Forward to 2016

Now, in 2016, Peterbilt came up with the Model 567’s Heritage Edition. This new truck features unique features and classic styling, according to Peterbilt’s general manager, Darrin Siver. The truck was designed to appeal to both owner operators and premium carriers; and helps increase productivity and uptime.

Exterior Features

On the outside of the truck, you’ll find bright grille bars, bumper, mirrors, exhaust stacks and sun visor to give the truck an eye-catching look. The air intake bezel and metal hood latches are chromed. The quarter fender closeout panels, rocker panels, battery boxes, fender braces and brackets and the fuel tanks are polished. In addition to all of this shiny bling, the Peterbilt Model 567 Heritage Edition features special heritage badging. The first production units of the Heritage Edition will be numbered.

Interior Features

Peterbilt 567 Heritage dashboardWhen you open the door to the cab, you’ll find an interior unique to the Heritage Edition, including a platinum-level Heritage Brown interior, wood finish trim, black dash top, premium brown leather seats that feature accent stitching to compliment the design of the cab and door pads that are adorned with brown wood trim. Additionally, the Heritage logo is embroidered in the headrest.

If you order the Heritage 567 with a sleeper, the wood trim accents are also found on storage compartments and sleeper cabinets. The back wall of the sleeper is two-toned and it features the Heritage logo.

Features of the Peterbilt 567

While the Peterbilt 567 went into full production in 2013, it wasn’t until early 2015 when the company added the set forward axle configuration. This feature allows drivers and trucking companies to maximize their payloads to meet bridge law requirements at the state and federal levels.

According to Robert Woodall, the assistant general manager of sales and marketing for Peterbilt, the set forward axle configuration increases productivity, visibility and profitability.

Also in 2015, Peterbilt added all-wheel drive functionality to the Model 567, which allowed easier access to difficult terrain. The truck is better equipped to go off-road, which is a bonus for those who drive the ice roads during the winter or for those who might find themselves on a country road that switches to gravel.

Optional Features

The Model 567 can be ordered with different heavy-duty components so that drivers and carriers can get the truck configured for their needs. This includes the set-back front axle, steer axles with ratings up to 22,000 pounds and angled steering gears that reduce curb-to-curb turning diameter by as much as 9 feet. The reduced tuning diameter makes it much easier for drivers to turn around in tight spots.

Unique Features

Also unique to the Model 567 is a panoramic windshield that features narrower A-pillars so that drivers can see better, a special interior that reduces driver fatigue, a stiffer chassis that is lighter, which allows heavier loads, and an easier-to-read gauge panel. The gauge panel is also configured so that drivers can see the whole panel through the steering wheel.

Additional Upgrades

The Model 567 also saw additional upgrades when it first came out; and these upgrades are still in use in the newer models so that drivers are more efficient. These include updated SmartNav systems, and optional PreSet Plus hub systems and SmartAir anti-idling cooling systems.

Peterbilt 567 Heritage sleeper cabThe 80-inch Sleeper

The larger 80-inch sleeper was new to Peterbilt’s line up and was available for the first time on Model 567. This sleeper included a microwave shelf with a power outlet, oversized cup holders for those super large mugs, a coffee maker cabinet, a full-length sleeper access door, underbunk storage, rollout storage at the floor level and a television package that included power outlets, brackets and a shelf that would hold at television up to 22 inches, along with a DVD player or a video game console.

Buying a New Truck

Whether you are an owner-operator or a carrier looking for new trucks, you’ll find that the Peterbilt Heritage Edition offers comforts for those who drive over the road and those who drive locally and need just the day cab. If nothing else, the Peterbilt 567’s comfortable and fatigue-reducing interior would make the purchase worth it, just for the fatigue-reducing qualities. You’ll also find increased productivity thanks to all of the new technology available in the brand new Model 567 Heritage Edition.

How Much Do Armored Truck Drivers Get Paid?

Brinks armored tuckGetting to haul around millions of dollars and standing as an armed guard over your deliveries, does that sound like the world’s best trucking job to you? If so, consider what it requires to get started in the armored trucking job market. Then take a look at what you can expect to get paid. Weigh those factors before you decide whether or not you will become an armored truck driver.

How to Become an Armored Truck Driver

To get behind the wheel of an armored truck you will need to take a completely different route for becoming a truck driver. You do need to get your CDL, but you will likely only require your Class B since these jobs are typically regional trucking jobs. A Class A CDL is for long haul truck drivers. From there the similarities cease.

First find out if you need to be a certain age to become a licensed armored truck driver in your state. Check with the Department of Motor Vehicles or a technical school offering truck driver training, or go to your state’s website to find out the age limit. In order to haul goods in an armored car, you should not have anything on your record, especially not anything related to money laundering, robbery or theft. Your driving record must also be spotless. You will also have to complete a background check and criminal background review, so get ready to be fingerprinted. Drug testing will be required by most companies who hire armored truck drivers.

Next you need to get your license as a security professional. This involves going to your state’s licensing authority for more information. In all states, you must be 18 to be eligible and have a driver’s license. Certain states will also require you to attend courses on law enforcement topics. Once you have that license, you’ll need to get a firearms permit. You will not have to carry a weapon for all armored trucking jobs, but all companies will require you to be permitted.

Finally you will be able to look for armored truck driving jobs. Keep in mind that once you become an armored truck driver you will most likely have to complete continuing education aka ongoing training in order to keep your armored truck driving licenses.

Types of Armored Trucker Jobs

The most common types of armored trucker job are those for the Brink’s trucks you see in downtowns throughout the US. At Brink’s armored truckers are hired as driver-messengers. This is a type of courier situation that typically involves money for banks or financial institutions. You can also drive a Brink’s truck for mining jobs, retail stores and other businesses with an interest to protect their resources.

In addition to hauling valuable loads, armored truck drivers have to be on their guard during their deliveries. Most drivers even work as team drivers to increase their ability to stay abreast to any danger. Since there’s a much greater likelihood that there will be danger for armored truck deliveries, you have to be up to snuff on the proper protocol for what to do in an emergency and after the incident is over.

Since you are hauling valuables you will almost always be hired for regional trucking jobs as an armored truck driver. Furthermore, unless you have a Class A CDL you won’t be eligible for over the road trucking jobs even if they are for armored services.

What Armored Truck Drivers Make in Salary

Dunbar is another carrier company that hires CDL drivers who serve as guards. If you drive for Dunbar you can get hired with just your CDL, and you will earn $12.50 per hour as of 2016. Remember, this is a regional trucking job so you will be home most every night. If you have your CDL and have successfully completed a lethal weapons training program in your state, you will earn $13.50 an hour.

In terms of what other armored trucking companies are paying their drivers, PayScale reported that drivers earn an average of $12.17 per hour, with the high end of the scale at $17.50, the low end at $10.03. You can earn overtime in this type of work since you are a regional driver paid by the hour. That type of increase can boost your hourly wage to up to $22.75.

The annual salary for an armored truck driver ranges from $21,103 to $40,753. For those starting out in the industry, you can expect to start at the bottom of the salary scale. Over time and with more than 20 years of experience, you’ll be earning more at the top end of the spectrum. You can also increase your earnings by getting the Physical Security Professional (PSP) certification, which shows you have a minimum of 6 years as a licensed security guard and a clean record.

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The Best Trucking Schools in Georgia

students at trucking schoolAs you seek out the best truck driving schools in Georgia you want to make the best choice so you aren’t wasting your time or money. The first thing to consider is what type of program you want to attend. If you want to go to trucking school for a trucking company so you are guaranteed a trucking job when you graduate, that’s one route. Another route is to go to trucking school through college or military programs. You can also find private trucking schools in Georgia that offer a different take on programming. How are you going to pick the best trucking schools in Georgia with so many options? Here are a few top picks.

Expeditionary Combat Support Training and Certification Center

If you are a member of the US Air Force then you can go through truck driver training on base. At the Expeditionary Combat Support Training and Certification Center soon-to-be truck drivers can get the training they need and then some. The school is located on the Dobbins ARB. This training program is certified by the Professional Truck Driver Institute. In fact it is the only PTDI certified program in Georgia. However, the only certified course that the school offers is ECS-TCC Tractor Trailer Training Course (3T). Also you have to be a member of the Air Force military or a wage grade civilian employee.

Daly’s Truck Driving School

For those of you who would prefer to go to truck driving school without being contracted into a long term trucking job, Daly’s Truck Driving School is a solid option. It is located in Atlanta, which places it in a prime location. You have plenty of options for staying locally in a hotel while attending school. The difference with Daly’s is that while the school is not directly affiliated with any single trucking company, the school has connections with dozens of trucking companies including Brown Integrated Logistics, CCC Express, Purdue, Roehl and Rooms to Go. After providing you with a comprehensive truck driver training course, Daly’s Truck Driving School will help you secure a trucking job in Georgia. Daly’s is a 15-day training course.

America’s Driving Force

Another Atlanta based truck driving school, America’s Driving Force is a smaller program than Daly’s. Here you can expect to get more personalized training including more behind the wheel experience. At America’s Driving Force, as with Daly’s, you aren’t going through a trucking school that is directly associated with any one trucking company. At ADF the students are hired by an array of trucking companies including Werner Enterprises, KLM, Star Transportation and TMC.

CR England Truck Driving School

CR England works with the Katlaw Driving School in Austell, Georgia, which is a suburb of Atlanta. Students who want to drive for CR England are sent to Katlaw Driving School as a way to train to become a company driver for CR England. Once you graduate the program, which is a three-week course, you are placed with a trainer to help you hone your skills with particular loads. You are given stipends and your tuition is covered by CR England, which is one reason that many rookies choose to go to trucking schools through trucking companies.

As noted, a popular route for rookie drivers is to go to a truck driving school that is part of a national trucking company. There are a few benefits here, as well as risks. For starters, you aren’t required to pay for tuition when you go to trucking school for a company. Instead of shelling out $6,000 for the program, you have to sign a contract that stipulates you will work for that company for so many months, years, miles, etc. This is in turn for the free truck driver training the company provided to you initially. As for the risk, you could be stuck in a low paying trucking job, getting the worst trucking routes, or forced into trucking jobs that no one else wants.

Going to Trucking School in Georgia

Georgia offers plenty of trucking jobs thanks to the bustling big city of Atlanta, home to one of the world’s busiest airports, which translates to tons, literally, of trucking jobs. Then you have the coastal region of Savannah and Augusta where docks and ports keep trucking companies busier than beavers. In the north you have the Appalachia Mountains, in the south there’s the Okefenokee Swamp, and Florida-Georgia line that stays busy with truckers.

Georgia truck drivers have more than enough to keep them rolling in Georgia. However you also have access to thousands of trucking companies that keep Georgia connected to the rest of the US and the world through regular trucking jobs and deliveries. By getting into the best trucking schools in Georgia you are lining yourself up for a successful trucking career.