Truckers face many challenges on the road, but rarely is something as unpredictable and difficult as driving during the winter.  


When dealing with intense weather conditions, icy roads, reduced visibility, or other hazards, driving a truck requires a specific set of skills and precautions, as well as the right equipment and supplies. 


Keep reading to learn winter driving tips and tricks for CDL drivers, and some of the essential gear that you should always have in your truck during the cold months. Whether you are a seasoned professional or a new driver, these tips are sure to keep you safe and comfortable on the road this winter.  


Be Prepared for Anything  

Safety should be every driver’s priority year round, but winter driving calls for another level of caution and preparation. Road conditions in the winter can be unpredictable and fast changing, which means you should be prepared for the worst every time you hit the road.  


To better prepare yourself for any situation, double check that you have the following items each time you depart: 

  • Always keep at least a half full tank of gas. Sudden weather changes could mean taking longer, alternative routes or stopping on the side of the road until it’s clear. This also helps keep fuel from freezing.  
  • Windshield scraper. This might seem obvious, but it’s important to double check. Always keep your windshield clear of snow or ice.  
  • Jumper cables. You don’t want to be stuck with a dead battery when it’s freezing out.  
  • A bag of salt, sand, or kitty litter. Any of these would be useful to spread on the ground and create friction if your truck gets stuck in snow or ice.  
  • Heavy duty winter clothes and blankets. You never know what could happen, and you don’t want to be underdressed or under prepared in case of an emergency. Remember jackets, gloves, a hat, socks, and waterproof boots.  
  • Flashlight and Flares. You’ll want a sturdy flashlight that can stand cold weather in case you get stranded and need to signal. Flares are also helpful to alert others to yield.  
  • Extra food and water. If you find yourself waiting out a storm, or waiting for roadside assistance, you won’t want to be without either of these essentials.  


Check Conditions and Forecasts Frequently 

Although even the weatherman gets it wrong sometimes, it’s important to stay up-to-date on potential weather changes and road conditions. Keep an eye on the forecast and closed routes by radio, GPS systems, your phone, or by calling into dispatch.  


Thorough Inspections 

Pre-trip vehicle inspections should look a little different during winter months. Each time before hitting the road, be sure to check these features: 

  • Fluid levels and fuel. This will keep them from potentially freezing or running low.  
  • Tires. Check for pressure, wear, and balance. Install winter tires or carry snow chains if you even have a chance of encountering wintery conditions.  
  • Brakes. They are extremely important when potentially facing icy or slick roads.  
  • Lights. Visibility is reduced for many reasons throughout the winter, which means you need to keep an eye on all lights, including brake lights and turn signals.  
  • Wiper blades. If you have any doubts, it’s better to replace them.  
  • Exhaust pipe. Always be sure nothing is blocking it, such as snow.  


Slow and Steady Wins the Race 

The best advice for winter driving is to always drive slower, smoother, and steadier than you think is necessary. Rushing to get a job done or to get back home quicker is never worth the risk of collisions, jackknifes, or rollovers.  

  1. Reduce your speed when conditions are hazardous. Allow for extra stopping time, and maintain a safe following distance. Poor road conditions can require up to 10 times the normal stopping distance.  
  2. Avoid sudden movements. Sharp turns or hard braking can lead to loss of control or skidding.  
  3. Don’t use the Jake Brake if the road is icy.  The compression release engine brake, also known as the Jake Brake, releases compressed air in the cylinders and will halt the wheels entirely, which could cause skidding. Instead, put the truck into a lower gear and use regular friction brakes to maximize safety. 
  4. Know when to stop. If conditions worsen to the point where it’s unsafe to continue, find a safe place to pull over and wait for conditions to improve. In general, winter driving can be physically and mentally demanding. You should take regular breaks to stay alert and well-rested.  


Don’t slip! 

Finally, remember that your vehicle’s steps might be more slick than you expect. Be careful when entering and exiting your tractor during winter. It might help to wear boots that have a good grip, and be sure to take your time.  



Driving in the winter can be dangerous, but it doesn’t have to be. With over 17% of all vehicle crashes occurring in winter weather conditions, it’s essential to drive slowly and defensively, remain alert, and prepare your truck for every situation.  


Here at Drive My Way, we take driver safety seriously. For more information safety tips and tricks, be sure to connect with us on social media and stay up-to-date on our Truck Driver Blog 

delivery man holding package

The chances are, if you’ve been in the transportation industry for a while, you’ve heard the phrase “last mile delivery, also referred to as final mile delivery.”  


In recent years, with the rise of e-commerce and a consumer-driven industry, last mile delivery has become a major differentiating factor among competitor, and a job opportunity for independent contractors looking to have a regular route, close to home.  


With today’s consumers expecting fast and reliable delivery every time they make an online purchase, retailers and last mile delivery companies have had to work hard to offer multiple options for fast and affordable shipping and delivery rates. This has also opened up availability for 1099 independent contractors and owner operators who have the equipment necessary to respond to the rising consumer demand.  


Read on to find out what last mile delivery really is, the biggest challenges facing delivery drivers today, and how this could be the right job for you.  


What is Last Mile Delivery? 

The supply chain process can be divided into three main stages:  


The First Mile is the creation and distribution of a product from the original manufacturer.  


The Middle Mile is the long distance transportation of a product from the manufacturer to its final transportation hub.  


The Last Mile, also called Final Mile is the transportation of a product from a hub such as a local warehouse or fulfillment center to its final destination at either a retailer or customer’s home.  


Every step of the supply chain process is important, but the last mile has the most impact on the customer’s experience, and their likelihood of ordering from a company again. Therefore, businesses must ensure the most quick and efficient last mile delivery as possible if they want to stay ahead of competition.  


What’s the “Last Mile Problem?” 

The “last mile problem” is another phrase you might have heard thrown around. This simply refers to the common factors that cause issues, delays, and additional expenses during the last mile delivery. This stage of the supply chain process might be the most critical to the consumer experience, but it’s also the most expensive and time-consuming for the business, often accounting for 53% of overall delivery costs.  


Many factors play a role in this notoriously difficult and expensive phase of the delivery process that affect both drivers and businesses. For drivers, last mile delivery can be difficult due to a short delivery time frame, dense urban areas that lead to more stops and last minute route changes, rising fuel prices, and failed deliveries.  


Businesses must also account for other factors such as the added pressure of customer expectation for rapid delivery and real-time tracking, the shortage of qualified drivers, and the costs of vehicle maintenance.  


Although these common inefficiencies aren’t going away any time soon, neither is the importance of quick and efficient last mile delivery. This is where the opportunity for independent contractors comes in.  


Opportunities for Independent Contractors 

1099 independent contractor drivers and owner-operators from across the nation have found success in recent years filling the gaps left by the “last mile problem.” As the demand for fast and reliable shipping and delivery has continued to increase, drivers with the right equipment are increasingly able to find flexible, locally based, and well-paying delivery jobs.  


Last mile delivery appeals to many owner-operators who appreciate the flexibility and autonomy that comes with this kind of job. Delivery drivers are able to choose their routes, allowing for more control of their schedule on a day-to-day basis.  


For drivers looking to reduce long-haul travel and find consistent work within a particular region, last mile delivery is ideal because of its inherently local nature. Local drivers are also better suited for making deliveries in urban areas and other locations where having a prior knowledge of the roads and shortcuts could save time and money during delivery.  


Drivers also benefit from understanding consumer expectations. One of the most requested and expected features of last mile delivery is real-time tracking, with one study finding that 93% of customers expect to be able to track their order. By integrating technology such as fleet management software or telematics systems, owner-operators can streamline their operations and provide better service.  


Some drivers also choose to partner with delivery platforms or gig economy services that connect them to businesses and individuals in need of last mile delivery. These partnerships offer independent contractors opportunities to leverage their vehicles and expertise in efficient and timely deliveries while providing them with consistent freight.  


It’s important for independent contract drivers and owner-operators to research and evaluate potential partners based on their specific needs, preferences, and the types of deliveries they are interested in handling. Building relationships with a mix of local businesses and larger platforms can provide a diversified and steady stream of last mile delivery opportunities. Additionally, staying informed about industry trends and changes can help owner-operators identify new partnership possibilities. 



If you’re looking for an in-demand job that will continue to grow while remaining locally-based, last mile delivery might be the solution for you. Although facing a number of difficulties and considerations as it expands, last mile delivery is sure to be a key part of the future of the trucking industry.  


To stay up-to-date on trends and news on the trucking industry, be sure to follow us on social media or read more of our Driver Blog 


Every New Year, people around the world set resolutions, reflect on the last 12 months, and decide what they want to change this time around. Was your 2023 different than you expected? Have you already made goals for 2024?  


When it comes to setting resolutions for your career, everyone’s goals are different. In an industry like trucking, each driver’s priorities and experiences affect what they’re hoping to accomplish. Still, there are many ways to set yourself up for success in the new year, whether you’re looking to improve your job applications, find exciting driver events, or stay on top of new industry trends.  


Keep reading to find out Drive My Way’s 2024 checklist for CDL drivers to save time and stress by getting ahead this New Year.  


Insurance Renewal and Keeping Information Up To Date 

Commercial truck insurance isn’t the most exciting thing to think about at the start of a new year, but it’s important to not get behind and cause yourself more stress later on. Most insurance coverage lasts for a year, with your actual renewal date based on the date you first got your policy.  


Be sure to contact your agent or carrier ahead of time, sometimes even up to two months before your renewal date, to assure your coverage doesn’t lapse. You should also keep in mind that rates can change, often increasing due to various factors, such as driving history, industry claims, or overall insurance rates.  


If your carrier provides a flexible spending account plan, it’s also important to be sure to submit all the required information to receive your reimbursements for the past year. You just need to submit a claim to the FSA administrator, which is done through your employer, with proof of the medical expenses and a statement that they haven’t been covered by your plan. After this, you’ll be able to be reimbursed for your costs.  


It’s also a good idea to use the new year as a time to make sure all your general information is up to date in your employer’s records. Be mindful of updating dependent and emergency contact information if there have been any changes. You never know when this could be necessary, and you don’t want your carrier to have out of date information if something serious happens.  


If your mailing address has changed, it’s also important to update your employer with the correct information to ensure that you receive your W2 or 1099 forms to complete your 2023 taxes. You’ll save time and hassle by having this information up to date before the start of tax season.  


Review Application Materials 

Whether or not you plan on applying for a new job in 2024, it’s beneficial to have all your application materials up to date and ready to go. Start by reviewing your resumé and add any updates or skills gained that may have taken place over the year.  


Nowadays, most hiring is digital. That makes LinkedIn an important platform to utilize and keep up to date. Make sure that your employment and driving history is correct and updated, and add any relevant information that could help your profile stand out to employers.  


You can also order ahead certain documents that will make the hiring process more streamlined, such as your PSP report.  


Health & Wellness Goals 

Many New Year’s resolutions often focus on health and wellbeing. This makes sense, as it’s a good time to assess how you feel and what changes you could implement into your routine to make yourself healthier and happier. For truck drivers, who often face health problems due to the sedentary nature of the career,  it can be a great idea to tie a New Year’s resolution into your daily routine as a driver.  


This year, it might help to set goals surrounding when and where you eat, and how active you are on a daily basis. It could save you time and money to start packing your own meals, or find affordable, energy-sustaining food at truck stops across the country. There are also many short workouts you can do from anywhere that will keep you moving and feeling better while you’re on the road for long stretches of time.  



Make 2024 your best year yet by getting ahead of the curve and preparing for the things you know you’ll have to do this year. It’s sure to be a busy year for the trucking industry, so you might even want to look at this year’s upcoming conferences and events and start planning.  


Stay up to date on driver advice, events, and opportunities this year by following our social media or reading other posts on our Driver Blog 



All year long, CDL drivers make difficult sacrifices as they work long hours, often far from home, to maintain a critical part of our nation’s infrastructure. For many drivers, these sacrifices are especially felt during the December holiday season.  


Not only does the increased demand of goods and services during the holiday season create a greater workload for many drivers, but being far from your loved ones can be much more difficult when you feel like you’re missing out on important events.  


This holiday season, you should remind yourself you aren’t alone. There are many ways to remain connected to your loved ones, even from hundreds of miles apart. Many drivers also find creative ways to make their trucks feel like home, while creating a community with fellow truck drivers.  


Will you be on the road this holiday season? Keep reading to find out the best ways to make the most of your time and bring the holiday spirit along for the ride.  


Celebrating While Miles Apart 

Modern technology has made it easier than ever to feel connected to your loved ones even when you’re far from home. Leverage technology such as FaceTime, Duo, Skype, and Zoom to give your family the gift of seeing you on Christmas morning! 


There are also apps such as Rave or Teleparty that allow you to stream the same movie or TV show across different devices no matter where you are, a perfect way to make sure you still get to watch your family’s favorite holiday movie.  


All of these platforms require cellular data or connection to wireless internet. Luckily, all of the major truck stop chains, many state welcoming centers, and other establishments such as McDonalds, provide Wi-Fi that is free and accessible to truckers.  


A True Trucker’s Holiday  

There are many CDL drivers who have spent every holiday season on the road and have become pros at celebrating no matter how far they are from home. Truckers across the country find ways to eat a holiday meal, decorate their truck, or celebrate with fellow drivers to make sure they never miss out on the holiday cheer. 


Photo by Ken White on Facebook

If your favorite part of the holiday season is the food, you’re in luck. There are many ways to make sure you don’t miss out on a home-cooked meal this December.  


Most major truck stop restaurant chains offer a holiday meal each year. Keep an eye out for advertisements which usually begin in November, and you’ll be able to find somewhere along your route to stop and celebrate with fellow drivers. However, some restaurants serve these meals on an RSVP basis, so double check when you’re planning where to stop.  


Another option, if you’re looking to save money and embrace the tradition of a home-cooked meal, is to make a holiday feast from the comfort of your own cab. Cooking from your truck is easier than it may seem, and there are countless recipes available online if you have a slow cooker, crock pot, or portable stove. Just make sure your truck has the power capabilities necessary for the job. An inverter and an auxiliary power unit (APU) work together so you can easily operate all these appliances, even when your truck is off.   


Many drivers also embrace a unique holiday tradition: decorating their truck. Drivers nationwide have found creative ways to make their truck feel more like home by decorating with lights, bows, and ornaments.  


Winter Safety  

Driving during the holiday season can be difficult for other reasons, too. This time of year can bring some pretty rough weather conditions, coupled with increased holiday traffic, making it extra important to be vigilant and careful while out on the road.  


Rushing to get a job done or to get back home is never worth the risk of collisions, jackknifes, or rollovers. If there are severe weather conditions that could impact visibility or overall safety, the best decision is always to wait it out on the side of the road. Maintain space from the vehicles around you, in case you have to make an emergency stop.  


Safety is important year round, but there are a couple of essential tips to keep in mind all winter long.  


  1. Don’t exceed driver hours of service.  In most cases this is a maximum of 11 hours on the road, including a 30 minute break every 8 hours. While you might be tempted to shorten the break or drive a little longer, these laws exist for a reason.  
  2. Maintain headlights. With lower visibility during the winter, shorter hours of daylight, and an increase of deer on the road, headlights will help you avoid dangerous situations at any time of the day.  
  3. Slow down when driving over bridges. Most drivers know that bridges freeze faster than roads, but it’s easy to forget when you’ve been driving all day. Bring yourself to a lower speed before crossing a bridge, avoiding slamming the brakes in case of black ice.  
  4. Don’t use the Jake Brake if the road is icy.  The compression release engine brake, also known as the Jake Brake, releases compressed air in the cylinders and will halt the wheels entirely. Your rig will skid across the ice if the conditions are slippery enough. Instead, put the truck into a lower gear and use regular friction brakes to maximize safety. 



Driving during the holiday season is hard, but it doesn’t have to feel impossible. Create new holiday traditions by remaining connected to your loved ones while celebrating on the road and staying safe all winter long.  


What are your OTR holiday traditions? Can you think of any advice that we left out? Be sure to reach out to us on social media about your experience driving during the holidays.  

Are you happy at your job? What could make you happier?

These were some of the questions answered by over 500 truck drivers nationwide as part of Drive My Way’s 2023 Driver Happiness Survey. The results of this survey were recently released in a report now available to be downloaded as a PDF from this page.  


If you’re unhappy in your current position, you aren’t alone. The survey responses highlighted the issues facing today’s truck drivers, and the factors that could increase driver satisfaction rates across the nation.  


In 2023, only 51% of surveyed drivers said they were happy at their job. Younger and newer drivers especially expressed less satisfaction than older, more experienced drivers, with only 44% of drivers with 1-2 years of experience saying they were happy in their current position.  


These surprising results revealed that driver happiness nationwide has decreased since Drive My Way’s last happiness report in 2019, when 54% of drivers said they were happy in their positions. Today’s drivers are also now nearly twice as likely to look for a new job than those surveyed in 2019.  


When asked what employers could do better to increase satisfaction rates, many drivers agreed on two things: compensation and communication. Communication is seen as especially important by female drivers and new employees, with twice as many women as men reporting that communication was the one thing employers could improve.  


To download Drive My Way’s Driver Happiness Report on the state of satisfaction among professional truck drivers in 2023, just click to this link and enter your information. 


Drive My Way is a truck driver recruiting platform completely focused on drivers and their needs. We match company drivers and owner operators with CDL jobs based on more than 20 personal lifestyle preferences. If you believe we could help you reach your career goals, or you’re interested in being a part of our next Driver Happiness Survey, be sure to visit our driver platform here and sign up for our email alerts.  

Did you know that, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, one out of every four veterans are truck drivers? Or that 10 percent of all truck drivers are veterans?  If you have served our country and are looking to transition into a career in the truck driving industry, or if you are already a veteran of both fields, there are many programs and opportunities available to assist you along the way.  


Each November, Veteran’s Day reminds us of the great dedication, commitment, and sacrifices made by the men and women who have served our country. Their bravery is why countless carriers, support groups, and government organizations work year round to provide resources for veterans entering the truck driving industry and support to those already hard at work. Keep reading to find out how these helpful resources could assist you and your loved ones. 


Looking to Enter the Truck Driving Industry?  

One of the most difficult parts about leaving a career in the military can be the transition into civilian life. Finding the right job that fits your qualifications, interests, and needs can feel impossible. Many veterans choose a career in the truck driving industry because of the job availability, flexible hours, and financial stability.  


For veterans looking to enter into a career in transportation, there are many resources and organizations that can help you waive fees, exempt you from certain requirements, and provide resources for networking and finding the perfect job.  


The Trucking Action Plan to Strengthen America’s Workforce was launched in 2021 by President Biden with the goal of making it easier for veterans to enter and adjust to the trucking industry. This program offers a wealth of opportunities in addition to the benefits already offered by the longstanding GI Bill.  


If you’re looking for educational instruction or to connect with employers and field experts, the Department of Labor’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP) is a great place to start. TAP provides education on workplace fundamentals, as well as other benefits for veterans such as: mentorships, job fairs, resume help, internships, and more! 


Qualifying veterans who have experience operating large military vehicles are also able to waive the commercial driver’s license skills test. The FMCSA offers a waiver that allows veterans to forgo driving tests, as long as they are currently licensed to operate military motor vehicles and have done so in the last 12 months. Currently, this waiver is available in all states.  


If this doesn’t apply to you, the  Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Operator Training Grant can also be used to pay for a trucking education program. This grant applies to all US Armed Forces members and their spouses. 


Already a Truck Driver? 

If you’re one of the thousands of veterans across the country who are already working hard in the truck driving industry, there are still many resources and organizations available to offer round the clock support.  


Veterans In Trucking is a company that makes its mission to connect veterans with resources, career opportunities, and industry connections. It assists carriers in creating veteran-readiness programs and offers a platform to apply for job postings for carriers that value and support veteran drivers.  


The company also provides support to veterans through life changing experiences, such as their current Mission Veteran Expedition to Vietnam, giving veterans of the Vietnam War a chance to return to the country and see it in a new light.  


For those looking to honor fellow or fallen veterans, organizations such as Wreaths Across America offer chances to show your support. Wreaths Across America recognizes and honors fallen soldiers and veterans by placing wreaths on gravestones across the country every holiday season.  

On Saturday, December 16, 2023, more than 2 million volunteers and supporters will honor fallen veterans at national cemeteries and more than 4,000 locations nationwide. If you’d like to participate, it’s not too late. There are a number of ways you can be a part of this mission: 


  1. Truckers can volunteer to haul loads – just scroll down the page and click “Volunteer for Trucking” to fill out the form. 
  2. Volunteer to place wreaths – just click on the “Volunteer” button to find a participating cemetary near you and fill out the form. 
  3. Sponsor a wreath – just click on the “Sponsor Wreaths” button and make your selection. You can also sponsor a specific cemetary or local sponsorship group. 
  4. Donate to the cause – donate monetarily towards the transportation fund. This fund helps provide fuel assistance to make sure all the wreaths get to the final resting place of our heros. 


You should never feel alone as a veteran in the truck driving industry. Many carriers offer support that can make a difference in the lives of you and your loved ones. Organizations and companies across the country also make it their mission to offer resources and opportunities that are always available.  


If you’ve worked with a great organization for veteran truck drivers or have any stories to share, please reach out to us on our social media!   


Truck driving is a career path that demands strength, resilience, and commitment to seeing a job through. A good driver can take pride in the work of a job well done, even during the long, quiet miles of the open road. The same skills are required of the courageous men and women who serve our country. However, for veterans who choose to become drivers, the transition from the armed forces to trucking can be a challenging one, especially when it comes to mental health. We spoke with David Pike, Director of Recruiting for NFI, who shared his story of life as a military veteran and ways he’s found support with the trucking industry.  


A Comrade in Arms 

David Pike’s professional journey began in the Marine Corps, where he worked until 1994. After working in an ammunition and explosives MOS for six years, Sergeant Pike was returning from the Western Pacific deployment when he learned there were opportunities to be assigned to recruiting duty stateside and in the local community. He took the opportunity and quickly fell in love with the rewarding feeling of how recruiting can change someone’s life. 


“Initially, in military recruiting, you’re selling the glory, honor, and reputation of the Marine Corps. That changed shortly after a young Marine I had recruited, returned home from boot camp and said, “Thank You”. Not sure at the time why gratitude was extended, “It later hit me that I had changed that Marine’s life and gave him an opportunity and hope for a better future.” Pike said. Later, Pike shared, “Changing someone’s life is powerful and should be taken with the highest level of responsibility in any profession, especially transportation,” and this is why he loves so much of what we do in recruiting. He later noted, “We truly and genuinely affect people’s lives.” 


In 1993, upon leaving the Marine Corps after almost 10 years, Sergeant Pike transitioned his recruiting skills into the transportation industry. That transition was not without hurdles, but his story is a testament to resilience and dedication. He stated that in the 30 years since joining the transportation world, he and his team fully embrace the concept of changing lives and not “filling seats.” Pike shared with us a few of his most passionate items relating to his profession; and being a veteran himself, it is obvious that is one area that he is championing within NFI. Veterans all too often need advocacy when coming to a new industry. Veterans speak the same language and understand each other’s stories, challenges, and armored front better than most. 


Mental Health: Unseen Battles 

Stress is a real issue in the transportation industry. Professional drivers may be comfortable dealing with the challenges of the road, but veterans have other battles and challenges they may be dealing with that are unique. “Mental health battles are often left unseen and not addressed,” Pike states. He highlighted the unspoken realities of veterans transitioning from military to civilian life. He pointed out that, 


“As veterans, we are expected to blend seamlessly back into civilian life despite having put up a shield for years even while carrying emotional burdens, memories, and experiences that most people will never understand. In the service, especially if you have any position of leadership, you are taught to NEVER show weakness, show confidence to your troops.” 


The experiences and emotional burdens of a life of military service left their mark on Pike’s relationships after he spent years trying to “just man up.” He found himself losing friends, trying to deal with an ending marriage, and nearly losing contact with his daughter. Fortunately, prioritizing mental health turned things around. 


The Power of Understanding 

Truck drivers may not always talk about mental health, but it’s a subject that affects us all. Pike was very open with us about his mental health struggles and ongoing resolution. His journey serves as a reminder that we’re not alone in this. In his role as Director of Recruiting with NFI, Pike knows that veterans often emerge from service with emotional armor, and the industry has a role to play in helping them transition to civilian life successfully. He advocates for support that comes from trucking companies and from fellow drivers, especially those who are brothers in arms. 


“It’s a call to action, not just for recruiters but for all of us. As drivers, we have a unique perspective and a shared experience. Let’s create a culture where we can talk about our experiences and support one another when needed.” 


David Pike’s story is a testament to the power of understanding, support, and community. He’s been through the challenges and triumphs of working in trucking, and he knows the unique struggles veterans face when transitioning into civilian life.  


Drivers aren’t just colleagues; it’s a family on the road. Pike hopes that all members of this industry learn from one another, support one another, and ensure that our community remains strong and resilient.  


Thoughts for the Road 

When we asked Pike if he had any advice for transitioning to life as a civilian, he left us with a few final thoughts.  


  1. “You are all amazing soldiers, sailors, etc., but all those geeks in high school will be your bosses now. You come out thinking you’re a big star in the military, but you end up working for the nerds in high school.
  2. The first book he recommends on the journey to better mental health: The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz  
  3. “We’ve got to own that sometimes we are broken, sometimes we need help. We’ve got to let our friends know. How do you learn to be the friend to ask, ‘Are you ok?’” 


Pike’s road, like that of many veterans transitioning to civilian life, has not been smooth. But after prioritizing his own mental health, he happily shared that his personal relationships have never been better. And his last thought for the road? “If you want any advice, go live. Go make memories and spend time together. You do that, and life is going to be good.” 

When you are looking for trucking careers, there are a lot of factors to take into consideration, especially if you are a student driver looking for your first job, or you are looking to move into a new specialty within the industry.  

During the job search and hiring process though, drivers often make some key mistakes which can reduce their overall job satisfaction and can lead to job turnover within the first year.  

Some of the most common mistakes we see drivers make while looking for trucking careers and during the hiring process include things like: 

Not Identifying Your Goals/Needs: There are many trucking companies out there and they all have unique benefits to working for them. Ultimately, as you begin looking for a career you need to identify your goals and needs so that you can make the best choice as to where you agree to work. If you do not take this step first, you may wind up in the middle of hiring and realize the company does not offer the type of health insurance benefits you require, or the schedule does not align with your family’s needs.  

Setting Unrealistic Expectations: This mistake is especially true for student/novice drivers. No one’s first job is ever perfect, and you can’t expect your first trucking job to be either. As you gain experience, you may be able to expect more from a position you interview for, but it is important to realize that every company is going to be unique, and you will never get absolutely every demand you have on your list.  

Failing to Follow Up: From the moment you submit an application through the hiring process, it is vital to follow up with your recruiter and any other individuals you meet during the interview process. Even if this job does not pan out as your next career, making those contacts could serve you well somewhere down the road. It can also be the difference between showing your true interest in the position and just being another candidate.  

Forgetting to Ask Questions/Negotiate: Interviewing with a company is just as much an opportunity for you to ask questions, as it is for the recruiter. To create a career path with a given company, you must have a complete understanding of what the job will entail and where the company is headed.  

The Harvard Business Review has compiled an extensive list of questions that should be asked during any job interview including:  

  • What’s the performance review process like here? How often would I be formally reviewed? 
  • What are the current goals that the company is focused on, and how does this team work to support hitting those goals? 
  • How has the company changed over the last few years? 
  • How would you describe the company’s values? 
  • What do new employees typically find surprising after they start? 

Forgoing Research: Before applying for trucking careers with any company, you should plan to do some research on the company itself. Aside from just the benefits they offer, you should know some of the company’s history, what services they offer, some of the clients they serve, and find current client/employees testimonials. The more information you have going into the interview and hiring process, the more likely you are to stand out from other candidates and be able to make the best choice for your career.  

Drive My Way’s founder, president, and CEO, Beth Potratz says, “When considering a job search, it’s important for drivers to create a plan, be willing to invest their time, and make it a priority. To avoid some common mistakes, drivers should provide their availability to recruiters to avoid back and forth unsuccessful attempts to connect, carefully review their application for errors or omissions, research the organization they are interviewing with to find out how other drivers like working there, and ask questions during the interview with the recruiter and the hiring manager. Drivers must take the time to clearly define what is most important to them in a job in order to be successful in their job search.” 

Finding the right trucking job doesn’t have to be complicated. To work with a team who is dedicated to helping you find, apply for, and get hired at a carrier that matches your needs, reach out to us at Drive My Way to learn more. Be sure to follow our blog as well, for tips on how to be successful in the trucking industry and finding trucking careers that align with your long-term goals.  

The decision to become a truck driver is not as easy as applying to any posting and starting at a random carrier.  


Every truck driver knows they must work hard to receive their CDL before they have to decide what sector of the industry they’d like to enter. Some jobs, like boom truck operating, require an additional certification or training. Some trucking jobs will take you across the country, while others stay local.  


If you’re looking for a truck driving job that has higher than average earning potential, ample job opportunities nationwide, and less downtime between jobs, then reefer, or refrigerated, driving might be the position for you. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know if you’re considering becoming a truck driver hauling temperature-controlled freight. 


What are the Benefits of Delivering Refrigerated Freight? 

Because it is a speciality skill to monitor the temperature and functions of a refrigerated trailer, reefer drivers often receive higher pay per mile on average than other sectors of the trucking industry. This is also due to the growing demand for frozen or climate-controlled items, which means there will be no shortage of job postings across the country.  


Being a reefer driver also means having quicker pickup and delivery times, since both are time sensitive. You’ll be making fewer stops at each facility on your route, and reefer drivers usually have less downtime between jobs because as soon as your refrigerated trailer has been emptied, you’ll need to refill it with more freight and continue on. 


“At my old driving job, I had a lot more to do,” says Jerry O’Brien, a driver at Piazza Produce Inc. “Now, I just drop the product, get it signed or checked in, and leave. I’ve also been able to get to know more about all types of food.”  


There are also diverse job opportunities available to skilled reefer drivers. You could deliver to grocery stores, or you might deliver produce to gourmet restaurants. Some reefer drivers deliver scientific equipment that need to be maintained at very specific temperatures, while others carry freight that are stored in unique places like the climate-controlled caves under Springfield, MO. 


What Are the Cons? 

Every job has its downsides, and they are just as important to consider as the benefits when pursuing a career. For a specialized position like delivering refrigerated freight, there are a few considerations to think about before applying to your first position.  


Reefer driving can be more stressful than other trucking sectors because of the added responsibility of monitoring and maintaining the refrigerated trailer temperature. Safeguarding perishable goods is an essential part of this kind of driving, which means ensuring that the temperature constantly remains within a specified range.  


Although reefer trucks are often the newest and most advanced in a fleet, the risk of mechanical error can be greater, and a greater cause for stress because of the financial loss if the freight isn’t kept at the specified temperature. To avoid refrigerated unit problems, which could affect the entire load, drivers must be observant, adaptable, and always remain one step ahead in the case of emergencies.  


“Weather conditions can be harsh at times for this kind of trucking, but I love it,” said Dalyn Small, a driver for Piazza Produce Inc. “Now when I go to the grocery store, I can tell the difference between parsley and cilantro!” 



If you’re thinking of entering the trucking industry, or are a veteran driver looking to make a switch between sectors, reefer driving might be the right choice for you. With potential pay benefits, a fast moving schedule, and resumé-building specialized skills, delivering refrigerated freight offers many drivers exactly what they’ve been looking for.  


Here at Drive My Way, we are proud to highlight all sectors of the trucking industry. Be sure to keep up with us on social media, or tune into our weekly Truck Driver Blog posts, to find out everything you need to know about the trucking industry in today’s world.  

The truck driving industry offers a variety of opportunities to drivers, from working at large companies to becoming an owner operator. Truck owner operators enjoy the increased flexibility of being their own boss, but being an owner operator also comes with increased responsibility and financial considerations.  

While being an owner operator may seem like a good fit, it is generally not the best choice for new drivers and even experienced drivers should consider the regulations and costs that will go into operating your own truck/business.  

If becoming an owner operator is the path you have chosen, then it is important to manage costs to ensure you make the most money possible on every job you take.  

How Can Truck Owner Operators Manage Costs?  

  1. Fuel: Arguably one of the biggest costs an owner operator will have to manage, fuel prices are in constant flux, and it is important to have a system in place to save as much money on fuel as possible. On average, an owner operator could spend as much as $70K per year on fuel which is why it is important to save money on fuel by joining fuel reward programs and implementing some of these driving practices to reduce your fuel costs: 
  • Braking responsibly 
  • Lowering speed 
  • Staying in higher gears 
  • Minimizing idling 
  • Reducing RPMs   
  1. Truck Maintenance: When you are the owner operator, your truck is now solely your responsibility From the truck payment to the ongoing maintenance, you must now take care of everything to ensure not only your safety, but your ability to move freight. Next to fuel, maintenance is the biggest expense truck owner operators will face, especially regularly replacing tires. Owner operators should conduct thorough pre and post inspections on every trip to ensure no maintenance issues get overlooked. 
  2. Insurance: For company drivers, insurance is covered by their employer for the truck and most also offer health insurance. As an owner operator, you are responsible for the insurance on your truck and also your own health insurance. Insurance premiums can vary wildly depending on the type and coverage level you choose, so it is important to compare rates and select the policies that are right for your budget. Remember having a lower premium also means you will have a higher deductible, which isn’t always lucrative should you get into an accident.
  3. Taxes: Tax regulations are different for owner operators because unlike a company driver, truck owner operators are considered independent contractors and self-employed. This means in addition to state and federal income tax, you will also be accountable for paying self-employment tax. As you set aside tax from your income, it is vital to make sure you are setting aside enough money to cover all your tax obligations.
  4. Food/Drinks: As with any trip on the road, one of the biggest expenses is food and drink. Truck owner operators can easily save money by buying groceries and preparing their own meals on the road versus eating out at restaurants or rest stops for every meal. This small adjustment can save thousands of dollars each year and give you the opportunity to get creative with your cooking while on the road.

We also had the chance to speak with an owner/operator, Andy Robinson, who gave us some of his best tips for managing costs:

“Driving 68 mph instead of 70 mph will save you a little over one gallon of fuel per mile…and it only costs you around 25 minutes longer in drive time on a 600-mile trip! The average week is around 3,000 miles with ~50 weeks driving a year – money saved is money earned! 

If the O/O pays their own fuel, use the Mad Flap App. It saves around 40-50 cents per gallon.

NEVER miss your PM service when it’s that time! Your truck is your money maker!” 

He then concluded by saying, “Wheels aren’t turning, moneys not churning!” 


Are you interested in learning more about being an owner operator? Be sure to check out our driver blog for tips for truck owner operators, company drivers, and more. You can also connect with us on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with all of our updates here at Drive My Way.