Truck Driver Hiring Events: What to Know

Over the past several years, more and more trucking companies have executed truck driver hiring events nationwide. These are great opportunities for drivers to learn about open positions, interview on the spot, meet the company, and ask questions. If you haven’t attended a truck driver hiring event in the past, here is information about what to bring for the day and what to expect during the event.

What to Bring

truck driver resumeUpdated Resume

It’s important to have an updated copy of your resume that includes your relevant work history, contact information, licenses, skills, and achievements. There will likely be several other drivers there applying for the same position, so make sure your resume stands out!

Questions

Do you have questions about the position, requirements, or company? Is there something on the job description that is confusing? Write these questions down and bring them with you to receive answers on the spot.

What to Expect

Appointments and Walk-Ins Welcome

Although many hiring events encourage prior registration, most also welcome drivers who walk in to the event that day. You are also typically not required to stay for the entire event and can leave after you finish talking with the recruiter.

Truck Driver Hiring Events: What to KnowInterview and Meet the Recruiter

Typically when a company hosts a hiring event, you can expect to interview on the spot. This is not only an opportunity for you to meet the recruiter, but also a chance to share more about your background and career goals.

Recruiters will ask you questions about your previous work experience, why you want to work for the company, and what makes you a good candidate for the position. Be prepared to answer their questions! In addition, many hiring events do not require specific attire to attend. However, dressing professionally for an interview won’t hurt your chances of landing the job.

Position Details

Recruiters typically share details about the position including compensation, home time, equipment, benefits, qualifications, and more. This is a good opportunity for you to learn more details about the position instead of simply reading a job description. If the event is held on the company premise, recruiters might give a facility tour as well! This helps paint a day-in-the-life picture for you.

Application Assistance

If time allows, many virtual hiring events offer assistance for completing an application that day. This is a nice option if you have questions about the application or would like to further explain something on a resume. If this is not an option, the company might provide you with detailed information of how to apply after leaving the event.

Truck Driver Hiring Events: What to Bring and ExpectVirtual Options

Some companies also offer virtual hiring events for drivers in addition to in-person events. These virtual events are often held on Zoom or another video platform to allow for attendees to virtually meet the recruiter, ask questions, and discuss the open position. If you can’t attend a hiring event in person, check with the company to find out if there are other options available.

How to Find a Hiring Event

Trucking companies offering upcoming hiring events usually either advertise the event separately or mention the event in the job description. If there is a company you want to work for in the future, feel free to reach out to inquire about upcoming hiring events. That’s a great way to show initiative to the hiring managers!

Bonus: Two of Drive My Way’s customers have upcoming hiring events! Chat with us here to find out the details for the Republic Services hiring event and the NFI hiring event.

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Does Your Truck Driver Resume Stand Out?

Will your truck driver resume land you with your dream company? Does your resume stand out to hiring managers? Whether you have extensive driving experience or are brand new to the industry, having an updated resume will help you control your career. We put together a sample resume and tips below to help you get started.

John Smith

Experienced CDL A Driver with over 16 years of experience and Hazmat and Tanker endorsements. Excellent driving record, time management, and customer service skills. Seeking a local position with a growing company.

Work Experience

Trucking Company

CDL A Local Fuel Truck Driver  |  July 2015-Present

Cleveland, OH

  • Duties completed
  • Achievements

Trucking Company

CDL A Regional Fuel Truck Driver  |  July 2010-June 2015

Akron, OH

  • Duties completed
  • Achievements

Trucking Company

CDL A OTR Dry Van Truck Driver  |  May 2005-June 2010

Erie, PA

  • Duties completed
  • Achievements

Contact

  • 333-444-5566
  • driver@trucking.com
  • Cleveland, OH

Licenses

Class A CDL License

HAZMAT Endorsement

Tanker Endorsement

Education

High School or University

Erie, PA |  2001-2005

Skills

  • Safety
  • Problem Solving
  • Time Management
  • Accountability
  • Integrity

Awards

2019: Driver of the Year

2017: 1,000,000 Safe Miles

Following the truck driver resume format above keeps you organized, helps you highlight the right information, and makes sure you stand out. Let’s talk through each of the sections.

Summary

This section is important. Write a brief summary about what makes you unique and why you’re looking for a new opportunity. Do you have extensive experience or endorsements? Or do you have customer service skills from a past position or an excellent driving record? Including these in your summary section will catch a hiring manager’s eyes.

Work Experience

Include your current and past roles that are relevant to the position you’re applying for. Remember, it’s important to not only share your duties and responsibilities in your role, but also your key achievements while in the position.

Duties and Responsibilities

Example bullets describing your duties and responsibilities include:

  • Ensured on-time deliveries from terminal to customers nationwide
  • Maintained log of deliveries, billing statements,
  • Use equipment to lift heavy cargo for transport and delivery
  • Followed DOT and Trucking Company safety and driving protocols

Pro Tip: Include specific duties and responsibilities that are also expected of you in the role you’re applying for.

Key Achievements

In addition, example bullets describing your key achievements include:

  • Worked with manager to develop more efficient delivery routes, saving Trucking Company over $10,000 annually and over 3,000 hours on the road
  • Earned over 200 positive customer scores from developing excellent relationships with customers
  • Worked with safety manager to create a pre and post-trip inspection checklist, implemented across entire fleet of 300 drivers
  • Delivered 1,000 loads annually ahead of the schedule provided

Pro Tip: Include metrics in this section to quantify your achievements.

However, if you are a new truck driver and don’t have much relevant work experience yet, that’s okay. Make sure you highlight past positions that showcase your skills applicable to the driving job you’re applying for. Remember, landing your first trucking job isn’t impossible with a good resume.

Contact Information

Make sure the phone number and email address in this section are your primary ways of communication. You wouldn’t want to miss a call or email about a job opportunity! Another tip is to make sure the email address provided is professional. For example, using an email like Bigsexytrucker@gmail.com might not create the best first impression with the hiring manager.

Licenses & Education

Include your licenses, endorsements, and education in this section. If your endorsements have an expiration, including the valid-through dates is helpful for the hiring manager.

delivery driver

Skills

Feature your relevant skills in this section to help you land your next job. Have you developed good time management, problem solving, or teamwork skills throughout your career? Does the job you’re applying for require specific skills such as technology or customer service? Customize this section to make sure you’re including the skills the hiring manager is seeking.

Awards

If you earned awards throughout your career, showcase them in this section! Were you nominated by your boss or peers as “Truck Driver of the Month/Quarter/Year”? Have you driven 1,000,000 safe miles? Or have you been selected as a driver lead or trainer? Showcase these achievements in this section to stand out amongst other applicants.

Finally, after you create your resume and are ready to submit it, be sure to review it first. Sharing the document with a trusted friend or peer to have a second set of eyes review it is always helpful. Make sure any misspellings or typos are cleaned up before you submit it to open positions. Overall, applying the tips above will help you take your truck driver resume to the next level. Also, be sure to always keep your resume updated so you can quickly apply to any new opportunities!

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3 Things Truck Drivers Should Know for Secured Loads

One of the most important things a truck driver is responsible for is securing loads. This not only ensures the safety of the driver and the cargo, but also makes sure other cars on the road are safe too. In fact, according to Simmons Fletcher, P.C., Injury & Accident Lawyers, shifting loads are cited as a contributing factor in almost 1/3 of all commercial motor vehicle accidents. Here are three things truck drivers should know for secured loads.

1. The Dangers of Improperly Secured Loads

A secured load is when cargo cannot shift or fall. This includes preventing cargo movement in any direction and protecting against weather that can cause cargo to become airborne.

Improper load securement creates risk for both the truck driver and other cars on the road. When a load is insecure, it may result in objects from the cargo flying off and hitting the truck driver’s windshield or other cars. In addition, these objects then become hazards on the road for other vehicles. Depending on the debris, the driver may not have ample time to react, causing the driver to swerve or damage the vehicle.

oversized loadIn addition, when items on a load are secured but extend past the vehicle itself, this also causes a risk to other drivers. In this case, a driver can mark their truck as an oversized load, alerting other drivers of the size and shape of the cargo. When a truck driver does not mark the load as oversized, it doesn’t give other drivers the proper visibility and potentially creates risk of a collision.

2. Who is Responsible for Secured Loads

The responsibility for securing a load properly lies with both the truck driver and the trucking company. Trucking companies often train their drivers to be familiar with rules regarding securing loads. The type of truck used to transport the cargo should be determined by legal limits on weights and sizes, and in most situations, a combination of blocks, chains, and tie-downs should be used to secure the cargo.

However, even with proper training and preparation, sometimes a load can still become insure on the road. This is then the driver’s responsibility to pull over and take the proper steps to secure the load. We spoke with Rachel, a flatbed and lowbed driver from Northern California, and she shared her experience with this.

“I was hauling a D11 blade in my lowbed, and one of my blocks came loose when I had about 500 miles to go. I had to secure it because it was on my passenger side. I can’t see it as I’m going down the road, and I didn’t want to be worried about it. I created a specific knot and used a bungee to attach the knot to my chain to make sure it wasn’t going anywhere,” shared Rachel.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation (FMCSR), a driver is not required to personally load, block, brace, and tie down the cargo. However, the driver is required to be familiar with the methods for securing the cargo. They are required to inspect the load and make adjustments during transit.

3. FMCSA Rules & Regulations for Secured Loads

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published securement rules based on the North American Cargo Securement Standard Model Regulations. The rules reflect the results of a research program that evaluate U.S. and Canadian cargo securement regulations.

Minimum Number of Tiedowns

According to the FMCSA, the number of tiedowns needed depends on the length and weight of the articles on the truck.

The FMCSA states, “There must be 1 tiedown for articles 5 feet or less in length and 1,100 pounds or less in weight. There must be 2 tiedowns for articles 5 feet or less in length and more than 1,100 pounds in weight. There must be 2 tiedowns for articles greater than 5 feet but less than 10 feet, regardless of weight.”

The intent of these rules is to reduce the number of accidents caused by cargo shifting.

Commodity-Specific Securement Requirements

autohaulerIn addition, the FMCSA created requirements for the securement of the following commodities:

  • Logs and dressed lumber
  • Metal coils, paper rolls, and concrete pipes
  • Intermodal containers
  • Automobiles, light trucks, vans, and flattened or crushed vehicles
  • Heavy vehicles, equipment, and machinery
  • Roll-on/roll-off containers
  • Large boulders

The FMCSA outlines specific instructions for securement for each commodity.

Overall, understanding the rules of secured loads not only helps truck drivers be more prepared, but also protects those around them.

truck driver at loading dock

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best trucker gps
While almost everyone has a cell phone these days, it may not be the most helpful tool if you’re a driver who often spends hours (or days) on the road. Using a GPS designed specifically for truck drivers will act as a partner on the road, by helping you navigate through difficult roads or unfamiliar state routes. Below are a few tips to guide you in choosing the best trucker GPS to fit your needs.

Consider What Best Fits You

Finding the right GPS model for you might be easier than you think. Before making your purchase there are a few items worth taking into consideration. The first thing to consider is screen size. Purchasing a GPS with a screen that’s too small can place extra strain on your eyes, making it harder to keep your eyes on the road. On the flip side, if you go with a model that’s too big, you risk blocking your vision.

In your trucker GPS, look for a good screen size as well as Bluetooth and hands-free navigation capabilities.

You should also think about whether or not the GPS comes with built-in Bluetooth capabilities and hands-free voice navigation. Certain models also have the ability to guide you through even the most remote country roads where WI-FI can be nonexistent, which is something that your cell phone won’t be able to do. Using a unit with a voice navigation function will not only make things easier for you but can also cut down potential distractions, allowing you to stay focused on the road ahead.

Remember: It’s All About the Features

semi truck dashboardTrucker GPS systems also come loaded with special features that you won’t find on your standard smartphone. Whether you’re looking to track your fuel usage, the number of miles you’ve driven, your tire mileage, or just curious about the nearest fuel stop, your GPS can provide you with all of that information. A good system will also alert you to changes in routine traffic patterns, hazardous conditions, weight restrictions, low overpasses, and more – all in real-time.

All of the features mentioned above will help keep you on the most efficient routes possible. And, most importantly, your GPS can help make sure you stay within HOS Compliance at all times, making the roads a safer place for everyone involved. This will allow you to deliver your loads on time, help ensure that you get the pay you deserve, and that you make it home on time.

Enjoy the Benefit of Automatic Updates

Additionally, many of the newer GPS models provide users with the benefits of automatic updates. This will help ensure that you have the most up-to-date software at your fingertips every time you get behind the wheel without the need for complicated instructions or flipping through manuals. Your system will always be up-to-date without you having to buy new equipment or software every single time.

Do Your Homework!

Happy trucker driverIt’s important to do your research before deciding on the best trucker GPS system that’s right for you and your life on the road. A simple internet search can lead you to a number of products on the market, as well as their reviews – many of which have been written by actual drivers. Use their feedback to walk you through the good, the bad, and the in-between before making your final purchase.

Remember that choosing the best GPS is all about finding the right option that fits your needs. Make sure that it comes with all of the features and functions that will help improve your driving experience. This will allow you to get a better feel for the product and everything it offers before making your selection.

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non-cdl driver job
Do you need a commercial driver’s license to be a professional truck driver? Not necessarily. There are quite a few ways to get a non-CDL driver job. As delivery services become increasingly popular, driving jobs are in high demand, and a CDL isn’t always required. A non-CDL driving job is a great way to see if professional driving is for you. It’s also typically very quick to start, so if you want to jump right into driving, a non-CDL driver job could be the perfect fit. 

What Jobs Don’t Require a CDL?

Many professional trucking jobs require a CDL, but not all of them. Many delivery jobs with companies like Amazon, UPS, and FedEx do not require a CDL. Similarly, some box truck, reefer, and hotshot jobs do not require a commercial driver’s license.

Each company has different qualifications, so read the job description carefully for each non-CDL driver job.

If you’re new to trucking, you might be wondering whether you should get a CDL or apply for non-CDL jobs. Ultimately, that depends on what you want out of a trucking career. If you want to see the country and anticipate spending many years in the industry, a CDL will allow you to get a wider variety of jobs. On the other hand, if you want to jump in quickly and prefer to stay closer to home, a CDL may not be necessary. Non-CDL jobs are in demand and often keep you in a smaller range. Here are the pros and cons to consider before you take a non-CDL driver job.

1. The Pros

Fed Ex VanA non-CDL driver job can be a great choice because they are much faster and cheaper to start than earning a CDL license. For many delivery, box truck, and hotshot jobs, you will be able to start very quickly. If a CDL is not required, the only training you will need is typically provided with your new position. Similarly, there’s no large upfront cost for CDL training, so non-CDL jobs are a good choice if you want to get to a paycheck as quickly as possible. This also makes non-CDL driver jobs a particularly good fit for people between jobs. You can start right away with very little initial cost. 

Another huge perk of non-CDL driving jobs is that they are often local work. Many positions keep drivers in a relatively close geographic area. This means that drivers get to go home daily, which can be particularly good for drivers who want to spend more time with their families. Not all non-CDL driving jobs are local, so make sure to read the fine print before you take the job so you know exactly what to expect.

2. The Cons

There’s a lot to love about the “quick to start and quick to earn” nature of non-CDL driver jobs. That said, they are not for everyone. There are a few drawbacks that are worth considering before you jump right in.

DHL Van

First, some non-CDL driver jobs are contract work. When that’s the case, the pay may be lower, hours and workload may be inconsistent, and employees are often guaranteed fewer company protections. For people who live for the hustle, contract work can be a great way to earn extra cash. It’s not for everyone though. In addition, not all non-CDL driver jobs have a clear path for professional development. In other words, some of these jobs are great if you need a short-term job for a little while, but growth opportunities may be limited. 

The final factor to consider when looking at trucking jobs is vehicle use. Non-CDL drivers who use their personal vehicles for work should factor that into the total cost of the job. There will be some natural wear and tear on your vehicle because of the added use.  Typically the driver is responsible for any gas and maintenance costs, even when the cost is a result of increased work use.

3. How to Start

If you are ready to get started in trucking with a non-CDL driver job, the first thing to do is get a sense of jobs in your area. Based on the jobs you see, decide if there is a specific job or company that interests you. Then, read the job descriptions closely and clarify whether there is any additional training required. Look for jobs that are a good fit for your skills and lifestyle preferences, and you are ready to get started!

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cdl driving test
Passing the CDL Driving test is one of the first steps to success in a trucking career. If you’ve recently passed the test, you know the relief, pride, and satisfaction that comes with getting that license. Truck driving can be a great career, and if you’re thinking about becoming a driver, the CDL driving test is one of your next steps. Here’s what you need to know to pass the test with flying colors. 

Study Up!

The CDL test is a little different based on what state you are in. Make sure you get a copy of the study guide from the state where you’ll be taking the licensing test. Set a study schedule for yourself. Choose a target date to take the test and then spend a little time studying every day. Be realistic in the date you choose. You’ll want to be fresh for the test and stay motivated, so choose something relatively close. That said, make sure you give yourself enough time to properly study. It only adds time if you have to take the test twice.  

Once you get to know the material, start taking practice tests. Many states offer free practice tests on their website. There are also third-party sites like Trucker Country that allow practice tests. Drivers can take a generalized test for a CDL license or practice tests that are for a specific endorsement. These practice tests are a great way to test your knowledge and find any areas that need more studying. 

Make an effort to practice the driving portion of the test as well. If you are training through a CDL school, ask plenty of questions and put your learning into practice whenever possible.

New CDL Driver, Brittany

New CDL Driver, Brittany

We spoke with new CDL driver Brittany, and she shared this advice: 

“If they’re going to school, be out there every day doing Pre-trip and maneuvers and stay focused. Ask all the questions because that’s what instructors are for. No question is a dumb question and don’t be nervous on test day. All the practices will flow long as they’ve put in the work before test day.”

Passing a CDL test isn’t easy, but if you put in the work, you’ll be on your way to a trucking job in no time.

Demonstrate Technical Expertise

When you are ready to take the practical element CDL driving test, it’s time to show off your skills. First and foremost, make sure you know the truck. The last thing you want is to make a simple air vent adjustment and be fumbling with the buttons. With the evaluator watching, even routine adjustments can feel like they have a lot of pressure. Know the inside of the cab like the back of your hand. 

There are a few skills on the driving test that you have to get right in order to pass. Train yourself early to pay attention to these details!

Like knowing the inside of your cab, there are a few skills that you absolutely have to get right to pass the CDL driving test. Some of them are obvious — don’t stall and no shifting at intersections. Others are skills that you may need to be more conscious about. For example, it’s very important to use proper exit and entry techniques when you are getting in and out of the truck. Similarly, train yourself to notice weight limit signs as you’re driving. An examiner may ask you about a posted weight limit sign shortly after you’ve passed it. You need to know what it said. Any time you are driving, even in a personal vehicle, try to notice details on the road like weight limit signs. 

Make the Basics Obvious

cdl truckWhen you take the CDL driving test, it’s easy to focus on the things that will be challenging, but don’t forget the basics. These are the things that are probably almost second nature to you, and you do them any time you drive. Keep two hands on the wheel. Check your mirrors and scan regularly. Signal all lane changes. Keep an eye out for speed limit signs and make sure you’re driving a few miles per hour under the speed limit. All of these are common sense basics, but make a point to make these obvious when you take your licensing test. 

Beyond Driving Skills

yellow semi truckThe CDL driving test is a big step toward a driving career. It’s common to be nervous before the test. That’s why you practice beforehand — so that the information and skills are second nature when you take the test. Make sure you know the automatic failure points so you can avoid them, but set your sights higher. Don’t focus on just barely passing. When you are in the cab with the evaluator, remember to stick to your purpose. You’re not in the cab to make friends, so don’t get too chatty. Some evaluators may consider this distracted driving. 

Above all, stay calm even if you make mistakes. You will likely encounter at least one small unexpected surprise while doing the CDL driving test. Take in the new information and keep moving forward. If you made a mistake, fix it for the next time. A calm personality and the ability to respond well to unexpected changes are key for drivers. Demonstrating that skill in a road test will impress your evaluator and give them confidence in your ability to be on the road professionally

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DAC Report
When you have an accident or fail an inspection, all drivers know that there are consequences. What you may not realize is that those records can follow you for years after an incident occurs! Future employers 2 years down the road can (and almost certainly will) be looking at your PSP and DAC records. As a driver, your record reflects your professional skills. Make sure you know exactly what is on the record. If you see a PSP or DAC report error, take steps to correct it as soon as possible.

Why dispute a PSP or DAC Error?

PSP reports and DAC errors might sound like unnecessary jargon and an entire alphabet soup of regulations, but don’t lose track of them. These two little acronyms play a big role when it comes time to find your next job. The Pre-employment Screening Program (PSP) report includes your crash and inspection history. On the other hand, the DAC report is basically a credit report for truckers

Many employers will look at both of these reports before hiring a new driver, so you want to make sure that you have a good record. If you think there has been a mistake on your CSA or DAC report, take time to set the record straight. It could be the difference between getting your next job or not. 

How to Dispute a PSP Error

CDL truckDrivers can dispute PSP errors electronically. The PSP records are federal and the FMCSA manages the database. The record includes every driver’s 3 year crash history and 5 year inspection history. The website to check your record or file a dispute is called the DataQ program, but it manages PSP records. Drivers can visit the website and create a profile or login if you already have one.

Once you create the profile, it’s easy to submit a complaint through the same website. You can also view your existing record for $10. Ultimately, it’s a driver’s responsibility to ensure that the PSP record is accurate and free of errors, so make sure you know exactly what carriers will see. $10 is a small price to pay for peace of mind going into a job interview!

How to Dispute a DAC Error

Like the PSP reports, DAC records can be requested electronically. However, unlike PSP reports, DAC records are not managed by a federal organization. A private, third party company called HireRight manages DAC records. While it’s not mandatory, the vast majority of large carriers use HireRight as part of their verification process for new hires. 

As a driver, you have the right to know exactly what’s on the DAC report. HireRight offers drivers one free report for themselves. You can request a copy on their website. Their website also allows drivers to electronically dispute a claim if they believe there was a mistake. If you want to reach out by phone, you can find complete contact information for HireRight in this article from CDLLife.

Correcting a PSP or DAC error can make a big difference in hiring conversations. If you get a copy of your records and notice that something is wrong, correct it as quickly as possible. Fortunately, with PSP and DAC records now being stored online, a quick internet message will get you back on track. Disputing errors that are then cleared gives you a better chance of being hired and makes sure there are no surprises when you go into an interview. 

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On the road safety isn’t just about driving practices. Maintenance of your semi truck tires boosts fuel economy and can improve the tires’ lifespans. Keeping your semi truck tires in good shape doesn’t have to take a lot of time. A little bit of regular maintenance goes a long way and can save you from long hours waiting and a headache on the side of the road!

Understanding Your Tires

The first step to proper tire care is to understand your sidewall. Did you know that everything you need to know about loading capacity and speed ratings is printed on the tire? Here’s a quick guide to your sidewall.

Most of the information on your sidewall won’t affect your day to day work. However, when the time comes to replace a tire, or you’re deciding whether a load might exceed your truck’s capacity, these little markings have everything you need!

Tire Regulations

To maintain safety on the road and stay within code for your semi truck tires, there are several numbers to know. The first is for tread depth. The FMCSA and CVSA have different tread requirements, and drivers must stay within the limits of both. For the FMCSA, the minimum tread depth for a steer tire is 4/32 of an inch on every major tread groove. Drive and trailer tires must have at least 2/32 of an inch tread depth in every major groove. The CVSA measures differently. For the CVSA, no two adjacent tread grooves on a steer tire can have a depth of less than 2/32 of an inch. For all other tires, the tread depth must be at least 1/32 of an inch when measured in adjacent grooves. Trucks that fail CVSA minimums will be placed out of service while FMCSA violations may result in citations.

In addition to FMCSA and CVSA regulations, the CSA issues tire scores. These scores are part of “Vehicle Maintenance” on the BASICs assessment. The data on these scorecards comes from roadside inspections, and tire violations can carry a lot of weight. According to Tire Review, 8 point violations include:

  • “Flat tire or exposed fabric
  • Ply or belt material exposed
  • Tread or sidewall separation
  • Tread depth
  • Audible air leak
  • Cut exposing ply or belt material”

Also, several of the 3 point violations include:

  • “Using regrooved tires (on front of truck/truck-tractor)
  • Underinflated tires
  • Tire load weight rating”

Tire violations can really add up on your CSA. Keep close track of your CSA and MVR score and be prepared to answer questions any time you change jobs. It’s important to remember that failing an inspection and being put “out of service” are not the same thing. A tire can fail the FMCSA standards while still meeting the CVSA requirements. In that case, you will likely get a violation on your record, but the vehicle won’t be put out of service. 

Best Practices

The best way to avoid tire violations is through regular inspections and maintenance. Measure tread depth to make sure it meets FMCSA and CVSA regulations. Also, look closely for early signs of tire wear. Cracks, bulges, foreign objects (like rocks or glass shards) are warning signs to watch for according to USDOT’s Tire Safety Tips. If you notice any of these problems, let your mechanic know as soon as possible. 

We spoke with owner operator Trucker Marq who shared this tip on the importance of tire maintenance:

As you inspect your tires, take a moment to gauge the inflation pressure. Make sure to do this before you drive while the wheels are cold. Overinflated tires will wear excessively on the center tire treads. An underinflated tire will wear on the outside tire treads and can lead to internal structural damage.

Finally, we recommend regular check-ups with a technician for your tires. As a driver, you can identify any obvious external signs of damage. A technician will inspect not just your tires, but also everything connected to them. A well-maintained rig will help make sure your semi truck tires are up to the job every time.

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Moffett forklift on truck
If you’ve ever had to load or unload heavy construction materials at your CDL job, you know it’s not a light load. That’s where a Moffett forklift comes in. They’re easier to maneuver than a crane and can get in smaller spaces. These powerful little lifts are also compact. Moffett forklifts attach to the back of your truck so you can easily take them between job sites. These machines aren’t very big, but they pack a lot of power!

What is a Mounted Moffett Forklift?

Drivers use mounted Moffett forklifts to unload construction and other heavy materials. Many CDL drivers won’t use Moffett forklifts at all. However, for some drivers, they’re an everyday machine. Mounted Moffett Forklifts fit on the back of trucks for travelusually flatbed or straight trucks. The forklift detaches from the truck for easy loading and unloading. Drivers haul heavy materials to their worksite and then use the forklifts to unload from the bed of the truck. You might also hear these forklifts called “piggyback forklifts” because they piggyback on the end of trucks when moving between sites. 

Austin, CDL Driver With Moffett Forklift Experience

If you’re new to operating a Moffett Forklift, truck driver Austin offers this advice:

“The first and foremost, seatbelt, and when you are on it take your time and go slow and always keep your head on a swivel looking around you to make sure you are not going to hit something or someone.”

Moffett Forklifts have several advantages for drivers who work with heavy materials. They are smaller and more nimble than cranes, so maneuverability in small spaces is better. Moffett Forklifts also frequently have 90-degree tire rotation. That allows drivers to pull right up to the side of their truck, lift materials off, and move the load with much less awkward maneuvering. For drivers working with heavy construction materials, Moffett Forklifts are a big advantage.

About the Job

If you’re thinking about taking a Moffett Forklift job, here are the basics to keep in mind.

CDL License

If you don’t already have one, you’ll need a Commercial Driving License (CDL) to operate a truck with a Moffett Forklift. Whether you need a CDL A or CDL B may depend on the type of truck you’re driving. The best way to decide what license type you need is to look for jobs in your area and see what they’re asking for. Some companies also require additional certifications to drive a Moffett Forklift. Depending on your state and company, you might need a forklift, hoisting, or hydraulics certification. 

Route & Pay

Moffett Forklift drivers often operate flatbed or straight trucks on local routes. As a result, many drivers are home every night. Some positions are also off evenings and weekends, but that depends a lot on your specific job.

Moffett Forklift jobs are often paid hourly. If you work more than 40 hours per week, that usually means you’ll earn overtime.

Like many local jobs, Moffett Forklift jobs are often paid hourly or weekly. The good news is, there’s usually overtime after 40 hours. So, if you do end up pulling long hours, you’ll be well compensated for your time. 

Personality Fit

A good trucking job isn’t just about having the skills to get the job done. There’s also a level of personality fit with the job and with the company. Moffett Forklift jobs often have some customer interaction. When drivers deliver to a job site, you might be working directly with customers. If you like to be a jack of all trades, these could be great jobs for you. Moffett forklift drivers may be asked to do related tasks that go beyond strictly operating the truck of the forklift.

This is a good job for drivers who like working with people and are happy to have a little variety in their day.

If you’re thinking about taking a job that uses a Moffett Forklift, that’s a great choice! Depending on the job, you may need to look into extra licensing, but being able to operate a forklift is a great skill to have. Moffett Forklifts make heavy lifting a breeze, and they don’t take too long to learn how to operate. If you’re still undecided, check out Moffett Forklift jobs in your area and see if they’re a good fit for you!

truck driver at loading dock

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buying a semi truck
Buying a semi truck is a big decision. What exactly are the most important criteria? Should you buy new or used? How can you know if it’s really a reliable vehicle? If you’re thinking about taking the leap to become an owner operator or you’re expanding your fleet, read this list before you buy your next truck.

1. Know Your Specifications and Preferences

The first step for serious semi truck buyers is to know your specifications. Consider what types of loads you want to haul, and find out exactly what your minimum specifications are. Then, don’t even look at trucks that don’t meet those specifications. If you’re not confident in the specifications you will need in your rig, find other drivers in similar roles. Ask them what has worked for them. Verify that the specifications that you’ve seen online are really enough to get the job done. 

Once you’ve met your minimum specifications for your haul type, it’s time to be realistic for yourself. Do you have any strong tractor preferences on vehicle type or features? While there may be some features you will ultimately sacrifice for cost, it’s important to know your personal “need-to-haves.” You’re going to spend a lot of time in this truck, so don’t waste your money on something you don’t love!

2. Decide New vs. Used

There are pros and cons to both new and used trucks. The choice between the two depends a lot on your needs and preferences as a driver

We spoke with Alessandra Szul, President of Flatbush Freight Express about buying new vs. used trucks, and she shared that their decision is based heavily on whether they are financing the truck.

“If we aren’t, we typically buy used trucks that have less than 300,000 miles on them (nothing older than 2016) and a flawless maintenance record. It allows us to scale more, hire more drivers, and still have very reliable units that we can easily own outright. If we were financing, we’d go with a new truck.”

Her bottom line? “We tend to find that in the tier of trucks we purchase, we have the same level of repairs and maintenance, new or used.” Ultimately, there are pros and cons to both paths. It’s important to choose the option that allows you to stay financially stable in the short and long term while meeting your goals.

New Trucks

A new truck is arguably a more reliable initial investment. Since you are the first owner, you know the vehicle’s history. The seller will give you detailed information on the vehicle before you decide whether to buy the truck. Also, new trucks won’t require significant replacement parts or maintenance for a while. They may also come with a factory warranty to see you through the first little while of truck ownership. If there is a factory warranty, make sure to read the fine print closely to know exactly what is and is not covered. The biggest downside of a new truck (and it’s no small thing) is cost. New trucks are considerably more expensive than used trucks. For some drivers, the peace of mind may be worth it, but many drivers look for a reliable used truck to reduce the cost. 

Used Trucks

new or used semi truck

The alternative to a new truck is a used truck. Used trucks are less expensive and can be a great option, but pay close attention to details when buying a semi truck. First and foremost, buy from a reputable source. Reputable dealerships should be able to show complete records for the dealer. Individual owner operators looking to sell a truck can also work well, but we recommend only buying from a trusted driver who you know well. In either case, it’s a good idea to talk to the truck’s previous drivers if possible. They know the truck better than anyone else.

When we asked Alessandra about her criteria for buying used trucks, she shared this advice:

If you’re going used, MAKE SURE you’re buying an extended warranty that INCLUDES critical components coverage. READ the warranties, so you’ll never have any surprises! Also, we recommend going with a certified pre-owned that used to be part of a huge corporate fleet. They usually take care of their vehicles really well and have great records. Ask what hasn’t been replaced, what has been replaced…”

She went on to say that, “The biggest tip, is to spend the extra money to get a 3rd party to do an independent inspection and ask for a copy of it. Don’t just take the dealer’s word for it, no matter how “big” of a dealer they are.” Spending a little extra for the peace of mind of a fair and honest inspection is well worth the cost. If you’re able to get a full vehicle history and the inspection comes back clean, you probably have a great rig on your hands at a fraction of the “new” price.

Test the Truck

Before you walk off the lot with a new semi truck, make sure you test the truck. You know what a good truck sounds like. Start the engine and do a thorough inspection as you look and listen for anything that seems out of order. Take the truck out for a test drive. Does it handle smoothly? Is there anything in the movement of the cab that could be a sign of trouble below?

Trucker Style Shawn

Trucker Style Shawn

We spoke with Trucker Style Shawn, a truck driver and now fleet owner, and he shared his advice for what to look at before buying a semi truck:

“Get an oil sample so you know you are getting a healthy motor. Look at the wiring…And last the little things like brakes, valves and ware items all add up, so take that into consideration before buying.”

Just as important as truck performance is comfort. Spend some time in the cab. Is it a good fit for you? Is it comfortable enough to spend thousands of hours in? Be honest with yourself about comfort. You might be able to compromise on some features if everything else looks good, but a truck that is not comfortable is not a good investment.

4. Know When to Walk Away, and Know When to Run

If you’re buying a semi truck, you might not buy the first (or even the 10th!) truck that you look at. Be patient. An investment this big is worth taking your time on. Do your research ahead of time, and create a list of your most important features, specifications, and your price range before you visit a vehicle. This list will keep your priorities front and center – an important thing when you’re tempted by a nice-looking vehicle that doesn’t meet your criteria. 

Trucker Style Shawn left us with this great advice:

“Make sure the truck is ready and able to be driven on the road without worries of failing a dot inspection. Remember your livelihood is dictated by the truck, if it isn’t healthy your pockets won’t be.”

At the end of the day, you have to choose the truck that’s right for you. Walk away from anything that doesn’t meet your needs. On the other hand, when you find a reliable rig that meets your needs and has a great history, you’re ready to buy! That’s a great truck.

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