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Old 05-14-2007, 12:11 AM
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Default The Driver and The Employer, Basic Job Hunting Skills

The Industry

A recent thread about how many job applicants are turning up dirty drug tests, and the general lack of restraint is causing our industry to suffer in the public eye and especially with the governing authorities. Some Trucker's see an unlimited supply of jobs, and thus have become unconcerned with their behavior...both on and off the highway. Yes...there is a great demand for Driver's...but it is time to realize the "demand" is for "good driver's." Even if you are a new recruit, your past work history will tell a perspective employer much about you, although a Driver with 2 years experience with a solid resume will be able to pick and choose the best job out there.

Just because jobs are so plentiful, it is no excuse to get sloppy, show no respect, and job hop. Job hopping in itself is a huge mistake, if you care about advancing to a better opportunity, and make Trucking a career for yourself. There are numerous problems and a huge waste of money on both party's involved. We can discuss all the problems as this thread evolves...if need be.
But for now, I want to point out the basics of this relationship between Driver and Employers.

Many employer's are fed up with the limited supply of "good driver's." The larger companies are not in as good a position to turn anyone away...short of the felon's and ones who can not even pass a drug test. But...what they can afford to offer their Driver's reflects this. You have to drive for them for maybe 3 years, before you can begin to make what you'd like, or have the route's you'd like, etc. The large companies have the greatest turn-over. More over, the Driver they hire is likely going to turn in a dirty test, job hop, or perform so poorly, numerous complications can come out of his lack of concern.
The smaller companies are going to be more selective. No.1 reason is...for them, one bad driver can ruin their business. They would rather leave a truck sit, than just put meat in the seat. These companies are your Mom & Pop outfits, and treat their Driver's much like family. They too may start you out at standard pay...but you can advance much faster, if you are able to prove yourself as a good driver. Again, there are many things that evaluate you as a good driver. I won't go into that, now.

Truck Driver

This is not just a job. This is a demanding lifestyle. Many new Driver's are not fully prepared for what this all amounts to. We can describe it to you, but until you begin driving for yourself...only then will you know, if you have what it takes. We can tell you it is not for everyone. But many of you want that big paycheck so bad...that is all you see or care about. If you think for a moment, employer's are not fully aware of this...think again. The new applicant that focuses on how much will he get paid....guarantee's it will be minimal starting pay. You are the most likely candidate to job hop, or constantly complain he is not getting what he was promised.

You are going to need a year of driving, to just adapt to the lifestyle. Also, to develop your driving skills, and work relationship with your dispatcher, and learning how your company does business. None of this comes quickly, and your attitude is being closely watched. are responsible for much of the business success or failure. Tremendous amount of money goes into that rig, freight, and contract with the client....and you are the backbone of it all.

As a career minded driver, you will need to evaluate yourself first.
Do you study about your job to increase your knowledge and understanding? Just getting the license is only a baby step.
Do you enjoy what you are doing. If not...consider what will make you happy, and seek a job in that direction. It's okay...this work is not for everyone. You can not have regrets at least for trying. You owe it to yourself to enjoy your work, as it is a major part of your life.
Don't take this lightly. So many Trucker's that are unhappy, and just want that it in all the worst ways, and I can promise you this...that will one day cause you deep regrets. Think about what I just said....for your sake and ours.

Do you enjoy challenges...or does this only stress you out of control? Can you handle these challenges by yourself?...even taking pride in your ability to do so?
Can you function well with odd sleep hours?
Are you okay with being out for days, even weeks from home?

Do you have the desire and ability to get along with strangers? People skills are hugely important. There are lots of game-players at loading docks for example...who look to wreck your day. I always respond courteous and polite....even when I want to strangle someone. Often times I'll interject my nutty humor...and next thing you know...this character and I are yukking it up together, and I'm being treated like a friend. Don't get me big thing you will find out right away, is Trucker's get lots of disrespect. You need to have a thick skin. Some of the disrespect is from previous Trucker's behavior...and not a result of anything you said or did. I think you will know if and when a line is crossed. Square off if you have to, but in my experience, 90% of it I can defuse or simply ignore. The other will suck to be them! :lol: hehehe

Anyway on that note...have a strong sense of humor.
Do you have any medical limitations, or require certain medicines. Chances are, there is a truck for you, but be honest in what you can and can not, or should not do.

Truck Company

Company size. As mentioned...the smaller company is like a family operation. You will know each other like you comfortable with that? Some people enjoy the close relationship, and easily develop friendships with other co-workers. My Boss and I grew up together and are best friends. We bow hunt Whitetail deer together, and swap lies and laughter all the time. We are all business for business sake, but our work relationship benefits greatly by our friendship. Hell...I would have quit this company maybe a couple times, if it were not for my friendship, and sense of loyalty. It helped pull me through some difficult times, I may otherwise have not fared so well. So, for me...I really enjoy the closer work relationship. As I also said earlier...I believe your advancement can come easier, and quicker, as you are on a more personal level.

Huge Carriers offer anonymity, bountiful resources, benefits, facilities, more job choices, security, and top pay...if you prove to be a "good driver." The relationships may be more distant, but a smart driver will spend effort in developing a net work for himself.
Watch some of these bigger companies some give confusing pay figures, and can promise things only the more experienced driver will recognize as BS. You really have to do your homework with them. Know what they pay for, and what they don't pay for. Know what they pay for deadhead miles. Talk with other company drivers, and see what average miles they get, how long they sit between loads, and how promises are kept. Most big companies are upfront, as it does not benefit them to BS a recruit. But...make certain there is a meeting of the minds. Ask a lot of questions.

Basic Job Hunting Tips

First off, most initial interviews are over the phone after a mailed in, dropped off, or online application.
Be READY for that call. Have your notes ready, but don't be rehearsed...speak naturally, and earnestly.
If it's a bad are angry or upset, or driving, ask nicely to call them back when you have a better time to talk.
DO NOT vent about your current or previous job. KISS...(keep it simple stupid) a brief reason why things didn't work out is enough.

Understand this....the interview is not going to start out by what they can do for you. If it careful my friend.
It should start out by them asking what you are looking for. This employer or recruiter is going to look for a driver who asks good questions and lots of them.
If you start out by what are you going to make....the good recruiter is already sizing you up with a jaundice eye, but will hold off seeing how you play out. You may be a good driver just with poor interview skills. Have a list of what you want and what you need to know. Yes of course your pay is important. I'm just saying, don't focus on that right away. You need to know in detail what your take-home pay will be, as well as home time, benefits, method of payments, etc.

First, show some interest in the Industry, and a little about your knowledge of it. Talk about your experience...and use some stories. 9 times out of 10...that interviewer drove truck for many years too! Above courteous, friendly, and respectful. Don't use any foul language :lol:...hehehe...I know ....that's friggin' tough. hehehe :lol:
Good time if you have a good sense of humor, is use a little when appropriate. This shows your character, and what they can expect from you with clients, and fellow workers. As a Trucker...your phone skills are hugely important.

Again, don't rag about your past employer, or rotten work experiences. None of this will benefit you, and if anything will mark against you. Those are things in the past you should have already dealt with. Show your positive side...but then not be desperate.
Be gainfully employed!!!!!
Your BEST transition, is coming from another employer. You are highly desired, and far more valuable in this regard. TRUST ME on this. If you are unemployed, they know you will accept anything, and do anything.
The best jobs are given to applicants who are currently employed. They will hire them first, and anything that is left, will be passed out from there.

Be honest. Tell exactly what is on your record. Chances are, it is not all that bad as it seems. Know this...they will find out be forthright.
Be smart though. It has been the topic of discussion here before. You do not have to spill your guts. Offer only the information that is asked or required. That is it.
But...with that info, be accurate. Don't waste their time or yours, or worse, be hired and fired for falsifying an application.

Be professional. This is a professional position, and it is up to us to separate ourselves from the seat meat. They will always be around. But we can work above that, and continue to set the right example. Good Luck safe.

I hope others will weigh in.
I just wanted to put my thoughts out there, but this is far from complete.
There is so much to add to this topic, and it does seem to be an ongoing need.
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Old 05-14-2007, 12:15 AM
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Old 05-14-2007, 12:24 AM
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good info! 8)

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Old 05-14-2007, 01:52 AM
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Default Re: The Driver and The Employer, Basic Job Hunting Skills

Good post, man!

I've been doing this crap for 10 years, and I'm still not sure whether I'm really cut out for it, or if I'm just doing it for the money.

I guess some of both, huh?
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Old 05-14-2007, 02:42 AM
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Alright, who are you and what have you done with roadhog ? :lol:

That was a GREAT post. I didn't know you had it in you :wink:
Find something you like to do, be the best at it you can be, the money will come.
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Old 05-14-2007, 02:57 AM
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Default re; trucking

very insightful!!!!!!!!!!!! :wink:

and as the saying goes........."it's much easier to get a job when you have one" 8) ............and if you dont'.............. act like you have one anyway!!!!!..........i'll use the "5"letter word .......RELAX!!! :wink:
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Old 05-14-2007, 03:01 AM
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Exellent post roadhog. You offer some real good advice.
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Old 05-14-2007, 04:11 AM
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I would like to see how some the local recruiters chime in on this! I happen to think that this was very good information!
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Old 05-14-2007, 03:41 PM
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Very instructive, roadhog. 8)

This should be a sticky for the tenderfoots who are interested in trucking.
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Old 05-14-2007, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Jackrabbit379
Very instructive, roadhog. 8)

This should be a sticky for the tenderfoots who are interested in trucking.
10-4 on that.
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