The Best Trucking Companies to Work For

Are you looking for a new trucking company to work for? Or simply want to start a new beginning as a truck driver? Either of which, here are some pointers you need to take into consideration.

There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of skepticism when looking for the best trucking companies to work for. It’s where important questions originate, like ‘How are the benefits?’ or ‘Does the company pay well’.

Here’s something you need to understand:

There is no doubt, some companies have attractive benefits and pay grade. What they’re not telling you is that there are hidden requirements unknown to the employee. Stick to reputable companies. Ask your fellow truckers if possible. Who knows, they may have something important to share. Better yet, they may recommend you a good truck company to work for.

Companies with best-paid truck driving jobs

best-trucking-companies-to-work-for

Salaries vary from company to company and from state to state. Taking all their averages as of 2017, you can have an annual salary of $40,000 up to $60,000. With the much big of a difference, it really is the safest bet to do a little research about each of these companies. Of course, the higher the salary, the higher the risk and labor involved.

For beginners, starting your career may be a little more difficult. It’s tough to even for a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) graduate. The best paying trucking companies tend to look for those that are more experienced. We can’t blame them really, especially when cargos you are supposed to deliver or transport are of high value.

There is a slight chance you get to land a trucking job right out of school, however. It happens rarely, but it happens. With a good track record, you may just be the one they’re looking for.

Here are some companies to consider as a new truck driver:

  • US Xpress: A good truck company that will assist you when you are currently taking CDL classes in driving schools.
  • Werner Enterprises: Awarded as one of the top green provider by a well-known food logistics magazine. They are approximately operating on 25,000 trucks throughout Mexico, Canada, and the US.
  • Roehl Transport: One of the most popular trucking companies that focus on developing your skills. They can help you become a seasoned truck driver in no time. They also have won numerous awards for fast and safe delivery.

For experienced drivers, there are numerous companies that offer high salary and good benefits. There are some that are highly regarded with a high rating for employee satisfaction. Companies such as UPS, Crete Carrier, FedEx Ground, Wal-Mart and Acme Truck Line, just to name a few.

List of OTR driving jobs to start with

Figure out the type of (OTR) truck driving jobs you are most comfortable with. With an average of 2000 to 3000 miles coverage per week, you’ll be taking long journeys with just you and your truck. Here are the different job classifications of trucking. These are what companies usually offer. Most are considered CDL jobs, requiring you to get a commercial driver’s license.

  • Dry van drivers

dry-van-drivers

This is generally the type of job beginners usually are given to start with. You will be asked to transport a cargo of dry or non-perishable goods. They are not high paying jobs, but they are the easiest among the list. It’s easy as simply securing your cargo and driving the truck to its destination.

What you should know:

A regional company is mostly the one offering this type of trucking job. They require you to do the loading and unloading of your cargo. There are some occasions where you get to have the option to do it yourself. More pay and a time to get off the driver’s seat and get a good stretching.

  • Refrigerated freight drivers

refrigerated-freight-drivers

Unlike dry van drivers, this type of driving needs a little extra care. The cargos normally have a low or even specific temperatures that you need to keep maintained. The truck usually has a specially designed air conditioner at the front of the freight. This helps lower the temperature of your cargo.

What you should know:

Normally, you’ll be hauling perishable goods and thus needs to be cooled. You will be given a required temperature, and get to set the thermostat. You will then have to regularly check it to make sure the temperature does not go beyond the given temperature. Some of the best freight companies rely on their driver, and thus offering them more pay. It may involve a little extra work, but the extra cash is definitely worth it.

  • Tanker drivers

tanker-drivers

These types of trucking are in high demand due to the risks involved. You’ll be transporting mostly tanks of liquid. You will be required to have more skills and knowledge in driving. Drivers usually are briefed in case of emergency situations. This is because it may involve transporting either hazardous or non-hazardous liquids.

What you should know:

Though it is ranked as one of the most risk-involved trucking job, it can also be non-risky. It really depends on the trucking company. They may only require truckers to transport non-hazardous liquids, significantly decreasing the risks involved.

  • Less-than-truckload drivers

LTL drivers

Also known as LTL, you’ll be required to transport smaller than the average cargo. They may even have to drive only short distances. It does however require you to do multiple stop-overs. A road way transport if you will. Unlike the other trucking jobs on the list, the drivers usually are required to unload their own shipments.

What you should know:

LTL drivers usually are paid well. As always, it will still depend on the difficulty of the operation. Some semi truck companies can go across states, but some will just cover just small regions and stay local. As a new driver, this type of job would be the best choice.

  • Flatbed drivers

flatbed-drivers

These are for experienced drivers willing to work for long haul trucking companies. Due to its flat-bed nature, you’ll be required to check periodically if everything is in place and is secured. They usually haul heavy machineries such as airplanes, scaffolding, and even tanks for the military. They may be one of the highest paid trucking jobs, but they are also the one of the most difficult.

What you should know:

The demands for this job are pretty high. That being said, top-rated trucking companies offer training lessons, while earning money to attract drivers. Job description includes tarping, chaining, and driving with spread axles system. It will require man power and thus, not recommended for women.

  • Specialized drivers

specialized-drivers

Specialized drivers can go from oilfield trucking jobs, hauling grain to heavy equipment haulers. You’ll be required to have passed the company’s training before you can handle one of these.

What you should know:

These types of drivers are paid well, no questions asked. They do however require a lot of experience and training. If you’re inexperienced, it is best to look for the standard truck driving jobs such as Dry Van Drivers.

  • Owner/Operator drivers

owner-operator-driver-jobs

The greatest benefit you can probably acquire from this type of trucking is the freedom, the freedom to do as you please. Just make sure you get the job done, and done right. That is just the icing on the cake mind you. You’ll also be paid more, have control of what loads to accept, the work schedule, and be accompanied by whomever you want.

What you should know:

It takes discipline to be an O/O driver. You have to have the right mindset, the budget, a proper equipment, and of course a plan. It is a business not to be taken lightly. With the lack of responsibility, you may have just spent thousands of dollars and a large amount of time with little to no rewards.

Common bonuses offered by trucking company

With the shortage of truck drivers these past few years, truck driving companies have increased their salaries for up to 13% since 2013. To bring in employee applications, some of the biggest companies are even giving out signing bonuses. These can go from $3,000 buy up to $7,000. Due to lack of truckers, and more shipments queued, other bonuses are also included.

Here are just some of the common benefits and bonuses a big company is likely to offer:

  • Weekly Pay
  • Performance Bonus
  • Sleeper Pay
  • Medical
  • Dental
  • Prescription Medication Coverage
  • Vision
  • Life Insurance
  • Retirement Plans
  • Vacation and Holiday Leaves
  • Job Security.

Other companies offer big bonuses that depend on the factors involved. These include certain loads carried, how fast the shipment was delivered, and the distances that were covered. They can either be additional cash on top of your salary, or even job security.

Make sure you work for a good transportation company that offers these kinds of benefits. Small agencies or companies tend to give only what is required of them by the government, such as life insurance, medical, and retirement plans.

Pay by mile or pay per hour?

Both have their pros and cons. Local transportation companies usually go by the hour, while national trucking companies go by the mile. Depending on how your financial or personal situation is, either of the two can be more beneficial to you.

Pay by mile is recommended for OTR drivers. The average pay per mile is between $0.25 and $.60, which can go from $50,000 to $65,000 annually. Compare it to the median hourly pay for OTR drivers of around $22, the total annual salary can go only from $45,000 to $46,000. That is, of course, considering other factors such as the maximum 70-hour restriction of over eight days work.

Pay by mile also has exclusive benefits offered by the company. These include your sleeper pay, layover pay, and inconvenience pay. These are usually given to the ‘by-the-mile’ drivers and not ‘by-the-hour’ drivers.

Pay per hour is just like a regular job and is a good start for a new driver. You’ll be working by the hour with a guaranteed pay. Health insurance is also easily obtainable. To top it off, you can stay local and always stay close to home. You will be able to spend your after hours with the family. The downside, however, will be having a lesser salary than that of the OTR drivers.

It actually all comes down to one’s preferences and needs. You have the option to pick whichever you think would best fit your situation.

Companies with good training

Some companies that offer good training while on the job are Acme Trucking, Prime Inc, USA Truck, CRST, and Walmart Trucking. Some of these training include getting your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), with the operation of double and triple trailers.

Other training are also offered by some specialized companies. These include your HAZMAT, Air Brakes, Combination Vehicles, and Tanker. It is a requirement as a trucker to have these special training before you can handle such trucks.

Taking on training offered by these companies doesn’t only give you experience and more skills, but also higher salaries. Depending on which company you trained for, requirements can be rough. Some will penalize candidates by either requiring you to pay for the training, or obliging you to add 10,000 miles, or even up to 40,000 miles to your program.

This is considered as the worst penalty for truck drivers, compared to Walmart trucking, one of the best tractor trailer companies with a very low turnover rates. This is due to their top-notch training with a decent and passable penalty. The impressive thing about Walmart trucking is the reason for why employees are leaving. It is not because they are switching companies, but simply retiring from a good long stay within the company.

Once you finished your truck driving training with impressive ratings and have acquired a considerable amount of experience, you will then have better chances of landing a job with the highest paying and biggest companies in the industry. All the good trucking jobs will be at your disposal. Just remember to keep track of the benefits and bonuses.