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Is The Grass Greener?

From:  "Driver's ABC's - Surviving the First Year".


Take me to: Questions To Ask


The link above will take you to a page that lists questions to ask a potential employer. Under the questions are explanations as to what is typically standard for the industry, what you might anticipate or why that issue might be important to you. It doesn't make sense to ask a question if the significance of the answer isn't clear!


Do your homework well!  Turnover in this industry is very high - due to many things. Recruiters sometimes say what they think you want to hear. Even good recruiters think things happen a certain way at their company but the dispatch department shows otherwise. Drivers can easily become restless with a company - bored even - and fall for another company's new, shiny trucks without finding out about the critical things, like home time, pay, etc. Next thing they know, they're unhappy there, too. It's a revolving door. You will build credibility by staying with a carrier a respectable amount of time. This is especially critical when first entering the industry. If you become a job jumper within the first year, already having changed jobs once or twice, future employers will probably think twice. Doing good research before changing jobs will better ensure a good match with a new company. Ask drivers of a company you're considering. Ask as many as you can - they'll give you a great deal of information. You can do a lot of research on a company through the Internet as well.


Most important, be careful about allowing your expectations to get too high! There is no such thing as the perfect job! Not in any industry! Put some thought towards what is important to you… what your priorities are. Some things that you'd "like to have" will have to go by the wayside.


The "Priorities" most drivers concentrate on:

*Pay               *Home Time               *Benefits                 *Equipment


A great deal depends on how hard you are to satisfy but it's reasonable to say that you can usually some 2 of the above priorities pretty well and the other two may "suffer". For instance, if high pay and good home time are the things that matter most, you probably won't drive as fancy of a truck and the benefits may be decent but not outstanding. If you want to drive a very fancy truck and get good home time, you will probably have to sacrifice in the area of pay and benefits. The point being - the perfect job - where all of the above are completely to your satisfaction is just not out there. Again, it all depends on how high you set your standards. Satisfy what matters most to you and be ready to "give" a bit in other places. This is NOT to say that you should take a second rate position! Just Do Your Homework!


It is not advised that you ask a recruiter every single question on the list. Identify your priorities and find the questions that address them. Your priorities today will probably change later but at this point in time, do the best you can to decide what they are.


Sooner or later, no matter who you work for, you are bound to become angry and/or frustrated. This is especially true if it is your first truck driving job and you have nothing to compare it to. Since you know you’ll most likely feel this way at some time, when it does happen, don’t make a rash decision about changing companies!



This article is an excerpt from "Driver's ABC's, Surviving the First Year," modified for the Web. 

This article may appear in more detail or in a different format in the book version. 

Copyright 2000-2007, Creative Curriculum FTTI, All Rights Reserved, no reprint without permission.



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