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Questions to Ask Trucking Companies During the Recruitment Process

Ask the driver recruiter about when applying for work at a new company

When applying for a trucking job, the recruitment process involves several steps to identify, assess, and hire qualified individuals. Recruiters review applications to ensure candidates meet basic requirements, such as having a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL), a clean driving record, and meeting any specific experience criteria set by the company.

Qualified candidates may undergo a phone interview with a recruiter. During the interview, the recruiter will assess their communication skills, verify the information they provided in the application, and discuss their interest in the position.

Successful candidates from the phone interview stage may be invited for an in-person interview. This interview allows the recruiter to evaluate the candidate’s suitability for the job, discuss the company’s expectations, and answer any questions the candidate may have.

Candidates who pass the interview stages may be required to take a road test, which typically involves driving a commercial vehicle under the supervision of a company representative to assess driving skills, knowledge of safety regulations, and adherence to company policies.

However, it’s important to note that the recruitment process varies depending on the specific company, and some may include additional steps or assessments based on their requirements. The overall goal is to identify a qualified company driver.

Understanding Company Pay and Compensation for the Average Driver


Commercial truckers are typically paid through various pay structures, reflecting the unique demands and nature of the trucking industry. Truck brokers negotiate rates and contractual terms with both shippers and carriers. They work to secure competitive rates for shippers while ensuring carriers are compensated fairly for their services. Individuals or companies must obtain a truck broker license from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

The primary methods of payment for the average driver include:

Drivers should ask questions about career growth opportunities during the recruitment process.

There isn’t a single “max rate” for commercial truckers in the United States. Rates are influenced by various factors and can vary widely based on the company’s size, how many drivers they have, the region of the country, and the specific compensation structure offered by the employer. Drivers are also compensated based on their experience and the type of driving (long-haul, regional, local) they do.

Most trucking companies also provide additional perks and benefits to incentivize drivers. For example, tucking companies may offer paid time off, including vacation time and home time policy, to give drivers opportunities for rest and spend time with family members.


The Most Important Questions Truck Drivers Should Be Asking


Before accepting a company offer, here are some questions to ask a recruiter:

Some questions to ask trucking companies revolve around terminals, equipment, and the company's culture.

What type of equipment does the company operate?

Trucking companies may have a mix of these equipment types in their fleets to accommodate diverse customer needs. The choice of equipment can impact the types of freight a company can haul and the routes it can take. Equipment is highly relevant to commercial truck drivers as it directly impacts their ability to perform their jobs efficiently, safely, and in compliance with regulations.

Are drivers required to load or unload freight?

Trucking companies may have policies in place regarding their drivers’ involvement in loading and unloading activities, and these policies may vary. Some companies may prefer that their drivers focus solely on driving and not engage in physical labor associated with loading and unloading, while others may expect drivers to assist in certain situations.

Whether a truck driver has to physically unload freight in commercial trucking is of significant importance due to various reasons, including safety, efficiency, regulatory compliance, and the overall success of the transportation operation.

Truck drivers must be aware of the specific terms of their shipments and the expectations set by the shipper and receiver. The details of loading and unloading responsibilities are typically outlined in the bill of lading, which is a legal document that details the terms of the freight shipment.

What benefits does the company offer?

Understanding the full spectrum of benefits allows drivers to assess the total compensation offered by a trucking company. Compensation goes beyond just the base salary or pay per mile and includes benefits that contribute to the overall value of the employment package.

Does the company have a slip-seat policy?

Slip seating is common in situations where the truck operates continuously, 24 hours a day, allowing for more efficient use of the vehicle and maximizing uptime. Drivers operating on a slip-seat schedule may have the opportunity to drive trucks that are already in motion, reducing the time spent waiting for a new shift to start. Depending on the slip-seat policy, drivers may have the opportunity for more predictable home time if the truck is shared among multiple drivers, allowing for a smoother rotation of shifts.

Does the company offer tuition reimbursement?

Tuition reimbursement is a valuable benefit that supports the educational and professional growth of truck drivers. It enables truck drivers to pursue further education and training, which can lead to career advancement opportunities. This can include obtaining advanced certifications, endorsements, or even pursuing a degree in a relevant field.

Does the company have driver bonus opportunities?

Bonus opportunities provide financial incentives, recognition, and motivation. Well-designed bonus programs contribute to a positive work environment, foster loyalty, and encourage drivers to continually improve their performance, benefiting both the drivers and the trucking companies.

How many terminals does the company have?

The company’s terminal network influences various aspects of a driver’s job, work environment, and overall experience. The location and distribution of terminals impact how frequently drivers can access home time. Companies with terminals in strategic locations may provide drivers with more opportunities for regular and predictable home time.

What is the company's turnover rate?

A trucking company’s turnover rate can provide insights into the company’s overall health, work environment, and the experiences of drivers. The turnover rate and the average length of time a truck driver stays with a company are interconnected metrics that provide insights into the other drivers’ job satisfaction and the overall stability and satisfaction of the workforce.

Do you have a dedicated driver manager?

Dedicated driver managers play a crucial role in overseeing the schedules, assignments, and concerns of truck drivers, ensuring effective communication and coordination within the company. Larger companies with extensive fleets and a more complex logistics network are more likely to have dedicated personnel for driver management.

In some smaller or owner-operated trucking businesses, the owner may directly handle the managerial responsibilities without a designated driver manager. In such cases, the owner may personally communicate with drivers, manage schedules, handle customer relationships, and address any issues that arise.

How would you describe the company's culture?

The company’s culture is crucial to a new driver for several reasons, as it can significantly impact their overall job satisfaction, well-being, and success in the commercial trucking industry. A safety-oriented culture is crucial in the trucking industry. Companies that prioritize safety through training programs, equipment maintenance, and a commitment to compliance create an environment that encourages responsible and safe driving practices.

Experience Career Growth in Commercial Trucking

Working with an insured trucking company is essential for mitigating risks, ensuring regulatory compliance, and providing financial protection for all parties involved in the transportation of goods. CTI specializes in comprehensive policies for commercial truckers. Get a truck insurance quote when you contact our TRS-certified experts today.