small trucking company

Small trucking company or large carrier? Every driver you ask will have their own opinion on which is better to work for. While there’s no one correct answer, there are pros and cons to each. Here’s what you need to know about small trucking companies vs large carriers, so you can make the best decision for you the next time you’re looking for a job.  

Working for a Small Trucking Company

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What drivers who work for a small trucking company probably like most about it is the fact that it’s, well, small. Drivers working for a small trucking company will often have more of a voice when it comes to operations, policies, and day to day management than they would if they worked for a large mega fleet.  

Another perk about working for a small trucking company is the ability to do some things outside your normal job description of truck driving. While this is understandably not what all drivers are looking for, small trucking companies are a great place to learn new skills that will help you later in your career. 

These skills could be anything from hauling different types of freight to learning the ins and outs of the financial side of the business. If you want to become an owner operator or even own your own fleet one day, this kind of experience is invaluable.    


One of the biggest issues with driving for a smaller trucking company is the heightened chance that the business won’t succeed, and the driver will be left without a job. If the trucking industry goes through a rough time, it’s much easier for a larger carrier to weather that storm than it is for a smaller, mom and pop company. 

Take for example what’s happened during the last few years. During and right after Covid, the number of small trucking companies and owner operators skyrocketed in response to the amount of freight that needed to be moved. 

Times were good for a while, but with diesel rising to never-before-seen prices and supply chain issues still prevalent, these small operations found it hard to survive and many shut their doors. Unfortunately, this left any drivers working for these carriers out in the cold.  

There’s also the chance that while working for a small company, they may begin to rely on you too much. While being part of a small team can be nice, you never want to feel like you’re being forced to take on too much because the boss doesn’t want to hire more drivers to help with the demand. 

Working for a Large Carrier


In general, larger carriers will have more robust healthcare and savings plans than smaller companies. These plans include medical, dental, vision, and most of the time even life insurance. This means that you and your family will be better set up in the case of a health emergency or if some other issue arises. This isn’t to say that all smaller trucking companies won’t offer these benefits, just that on average, the plans won’t be as good

Another benefit of working for a large carrier is their training and advancement programs. Generally, large carriers will have programs that help newer drivers, even those fresh out of CDL training, to get on the road by themselves safely and confidently.  

While this benefit is mostly geared towards new drivers, seasoned truckers should also look for training and advancement opportunities when researching a new company to work for. Some carriers have paid endorsement training, management training programs, and even have courses on how to become a driver liaison.  


Many drivers will cite feeling like “a number instead of a name” while working for a large carrier. This is because at a large carrier, you’re going to be one of a hundred, one of a thousand, or even ten thousand. You could work there for 10 years and still won’t get to know the owner of the company or have any say in the company’s direction. But if you’re just looking to drive and collect a paycheck, then this won’t be that big of a deal for you.  

Larger carriers are also known for having tighter safety regulations and eyes on their drivers. One particularly divisive way they could do this is by using driver-facing cameras inside the cab. While measures like this can lead to safer driving, more experienced drivers may feel like they’re having someone breathing down their neck when it’s not needed.  

It’s important for drivers who are looking for a new job to remember that every carrier is different and won’t always fit into one of these neat buckets just because they’re a small company or a large carrier. It’s important to do your homework while looking for a new job and ask the right questions when you’re speaking with a recruiter or hiring manager to see if you’ve found the right place for you.  

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Wreaths Across America

While we have Veterans Day to honor the living, and Memorial Day to remember the fallen, our service members shouldn’t only be thought about twice a year. They sacrifice their comfort to ensure our freedom every day of the year, including during the holidays.  

That’s why Wreaths Across America was founded. The organization makes it their mission to honor the service members who are across seas and remember those who are no longer with us by laying wreaths at their headstones during the holiday season.  

Here’s what truck drivers should know about the time-honored tradition, including its history, and how they can get involved.  

What is Wreaths Across America?

Wreaths Across America describes their overall mission in three simple words, “Remember, Honor, and Teach.” Remember our fallen U.S Veterans, honor those who have served, and teach your children the value of freedom.”  

Each year, a day in December is set aside as Wreaths Across America day. This day is usually the second- or third-day Saturday of the month. On that day, the organization coordinates wreath-laying ceremonies at thousands of U.S cemeteries across all fifty states, including Arlington National Cemetery. 

What’s the History of Wreaths Across America?

Wreaths Across AmericaIn 1992, after finding his company had a surplus of wreaths after the holiday season, Morrill Worcester, owner of the Worcester Wreath Company made a large donation of 5,000 wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery. Worcester continued making donations like this for the next 15 years, and it eventually caught on to the point that thousands of other people wanted to join in on the good cause.  

In 2007, Worcester officially founded Wreaths Across America, and the organization has been donating thousands of wreaths every year since. 

How can Truck Drivers Get Involved with Wreaths Across America?

  While everybody can get involved with Wreaths Across America by donating a wreath, truck drivers are unique in their ability to help even more. Through their carrier, truck drivers can volunteer as drivers for Wreaths Across America, transporting wreaths to locations where their events are held.  

Drive My Way client, NFI is one of the carriers that has truck drivers who volunteer for Wreaths Across America during the holiday season.  

NFI driver and National Guardsman, Jason is one of these drivers. Here’s what he had to say about his involvement with the organization, 

“I like that NFI really appreciates their drivers, just as much as the National Guard appreciated what I did for them. Like in the military, without your lower enlisted, you don’t have a service. Here at NFI, if you don’t have drivers, you’re not going to have a company.” 

Drivers who are interested in volunteering for Wreaths Across America should reach out to their carrier to see if they’re able to donate their time for the cause.  

And while not all truck drivers may be able to drive for Wreaths Across America, that doesn’t mean they can’t still be involved. Truck drivers can always choose to sponsor one wreath or multiple wreaths.

They can dedicate their wreath to honoring a veteran who’s still with us, in memory of a fallen hero, or choose to not dedicate their wreath, and instead remember all who have served.  

The organization also has an online shop where you can purchase clothes, branded items, and wreaths that you can hang on your own door.  

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This blog is offered by our friends at The National Transportation Institute. NTI compiles, tracks, and analyzes data on hundreds of attributes of driver pay, wages and benefits at thousands of motor carriers per quarter. Learn more about NTI at  

With competition for drivers heated across nearly all industries and the bullwhip effects of the COVID-19-era economy still lingering, the 2020s have been and will continue to be seminal years for truck driver wages. 

Per-mile and hourly base pay has certainly grown, and all factors point to continued momentum for those attributes of a driver’s paycheck. Beyond simply raising pay, however, fleets are also evaluating and implementing structural changes to how — and why — they build their driver compensation plans.  

From more frequent adjustments to base pay to recalibrating bonuses, incentives, and benefits, motor carriers and private fleets are striving to find compensation solutions that work to attract new hires and to retain their existing personnel. 

An analysis of driver wages and benefits data compiled and reported by The National Transportation Institute reveals five important trends evident across segments, region, and fleet type that should be on every fleet and driver’s radar.

1. Rapidly Climbing Driver Pay for New Entrants

trucking carrierNo trend in 2020, 2021, or 2022 has been more pronounced than the rapid pace of wage growth for newer drivers — those with two years of experience or less. By percentage, the growth in mileage and hourly base pay for drivers with just one year of experience is more than double that of the highest-paid drivers with the most experience and tenure.  

For perspective, drivers with just one year of experience in late 2022 are earning more than the highest paid drivers in late 2018.  

Newer drivers expect this type of rapid and frequent wage growth. Fleets must be cognizant of this trend and ensure they offer a pay progression model that meets those expectations. 

2. Incentivizing Safety Over Productivity

This trend is starting to become clearer in NTI data on driver wages and benefits, but increasingly, motor carriers will move toward pay packages that promote safety and move away from pay packages that promote productivity.  

Pay by the load, standalone productivity bonuses, and even the predominant mileage pay model will decline in prevalence and instead be replaced with compensation programs that promote safer operating standards, such as beefier and more frequent safety bonuses, hourly pay, and even salary pay.  

Productivity will become a personnel management issue, rather than inherent to drivers’ paychecks.

3. Smoothing the Bumps with Guaranteed Driver Pay and Transition Pay

ltl truckingA frustration long held by professional drivers is inconsistent and lumpy paychecks week to week — particularly for causes outside of their control, such as detention time, weather delays, traffic congestion, deadhead miles, and other unpaid or unproductive time that chips away at their earnings. 

Over the past half-decade, there’s been a pronounced trend of motor carriers offering guaranteed weekly pay options for drivers to help make their paychecks more predictable and to support driver’s week to week through whatever issues may arise on the road.  

Nearly 40% of carriers surveyed by The National Transportation Institute in late 2022 are offering guaranteed weekly pay programs. That’s up from just 15% five years ago, in late 2017. Look for this trend to continue. 

Also, look for a rise in transition pay incentives in the coming years. Transition pay is either an upfront payment or a weekly paycheck addition that helps bridge gaps in drivers’ pay when they are transitioning into a job at your fleet.  

Due to onboarding time and paycheck schedules, drivers transitioning jobs from one fleet to another could go weeks without a full paycheck, leaving them cash strapped and making it difficult to meet their monthly bill obligations.  

Transition pay helps solve that issue, and it gives fleets another incentive to market in their recruiting programs. Like guaranteed pay, transition pay helps support drivers and their paychecks by offering consistency, reliability, and preventing early-tenure pay gaps that contribute to turnover in the first 90 days.

4. Weighting Bonuses Toward Retention and Tenure — Not Sign-on

buying a semi truck

Sign-on bonuses have long been a mainstay in the driver recruiting world. However, they’re not effective tools for long-term retention, and they often can exacerbate churn of short-tenured drivers.  

The average amount paid out in sign-on bonuses is more than double that of referral bonuses, but more fleets have been placing a greater emphasis on referrals rather than sign-ons over the past year. The number of fleets offering referral bonuses is now nearly 90% in 2022’s fourth quarter, whereas 70% offer a sign-on bonus.  

Also, the dollar amount offered for referral bonuses on average has climbed nearly 10% year over year, while sign-on bonus amounts have grown just 4%.  

In lieu of sign-on bonuses, more fleets are evaluating and implementing retention bonuses, tenure pay, and referral bonuses that put a greater emphasis on keeping their existing drivers rather than relying on hefty sign-on bonuses to bring in new hires to replace departures. 

5. Meeting Demands for Schedule Flexibility

Truck Driver Hiring Events: What to KnowScheduling flexibility may not sound like it’s directly tied to a driver’s paycheck — but it can and should be viewed as an element of a fleet’s driver compensation package and a vital component of recruiting and retention programs.  

Increasingly, due to both generational shifts in the workforce as well as a greater desire by most workers for better work-life balance, demand for scheduling flexibility is becoming a force that fleets must reckon with, whether by altering routing and shift options to meet expectations for greater work-life balance or putting resources into incentives and bonuses to compensate drivers for the tougher and more undesirable schedules. 

For example, for schedules that aren’t desirable (especially for the many fleets that have a seniority-based bid system that consistently leaves less-tenured drivers with the least undesirable schedules), fleets increasingly are building incentive programs that make those schedules more lucrative and help alleviate resentment by drivers working those shifts.  

To learn more about the trends impacting driver pay and to gain benchmarking insights into how your fleet’s driver wages and benefits compare to peers and within markets where recruiting and retention are vital, visit NTI’s website,

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family owned trucking company
A family-owned company is any company that is owned in majority by at least two members of the same family. While the phrase “family-owned” might make you think of a small-time mom and pop shop, that’s not always the case. Technically, Wal-Mart, the largest retailer in the world is a family-owned company. Family-owned companies also outnumber corporate-owned companies by a wide margin. Studies show that 90% of all U.S businesses are actually family-owned.  

So, what does this mean if you’re a truck driver? Like with retail, construction, or any other industry, working for a family-owned trucking company can be a much different experience than working for a corporation. Here are three perks of working for a family-owned trucking company.   

1. Treated as a Person, Not Just an Employee

family owned trucking company

Terrance and David, Lansing Building Products

At some companies, it can feel like you’re a number instead of a name. Family-owned companies make an active effort to learn about you, your family and your life outside of work. This helps drivers tremendously when it comes to having a work life balance and taking time off. 

We talked to Terrance and David, two drivers for Lansing Building Products in Jackson, Mississippi. They shared with us what it’s like working for a family-owned company. 

“Working for a family-owned company makes you feel at home and valued vs. a non-family-owned company where you feel like youre just another number,” shared Terrance and David.

2. Become Part of a Tight Knit Family

Probably the biggest perk of working for a family-owned company is the tight-knit culture. Working at a family-Owned company gives drivers the opportunity to really know their fellow co-workers and the people above them. Developing these long-term relationships is what many drivers enjoy most about working for a family-owned company.  

“The biggest benefit of working for a family-owned company is knowing that you can trust your employers to help you grow and boost your self-confidence. Also, having a caring family that makes you feel welcome gives you an incentive to work harder,” shared Terrance and David. 

It’s also not strange for drivers of family-owned companies to have a repour with the CEO of the company. Having this direct line to the top decision makers in the organization gives drivers the opportunity to suggest changes and improvements to how things are done. This means that they can have a direct impact on the company they work for.  

3. Develop New Skills Outside Your Role

Another perk about working for a family-owned company is the ability to wear more than one hat. As discussed, not all family-owned companies are small, but a good number of them are. This means that you may be asked to do some things outside your normal job description.  

While this might not be what all drivers are looking for, family-owned companies are a great place to learn new skills that will help you later in your career. These skills could be anything from hauling different types of freight l to learning the financial side of the business. If you want to become an Owner Operator or even own your own fleet one day; this kind of experience is invaluable.  

Deciding whether a family-owned Company is right for you comes down to what you’re looking for. If you’re happy with being part of a large workforce with set rules and guidelines, going the corporate route might be for you. If you’re looking for a driving job with a smaller team that will lead to new skills and experiences, then it’s time to look at family-owned companies.  


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Image via Prairie Publishing

Ron Stencel, a 65-year trucking dynasty, knows the trucking game all too well.

When he was 3, his father took him on a haul to Kansas City from Minnesota Lake. He immediately fell in love with the profession, and has spent his entire adult life dedicated to the industry. Trucking is in his blood.

Sixty-five years later, Stencel hopes pass the family business onto his son and grandson, Ron Adam.

“When school was out for the summer I could not wait to get to ride in the big truck during summer break,” Adam Stencel told Prairie Publishing, which shared the Stencels’ story

Sadly, few young people share Adam’s enthusiasm for a life on the road.

Like so many truckers, Stencel has felt the impact of fewer young people entering the trucking profession. In the article, he says new government mandates about monitoring drivers’ time has negatively affected the industry. As he explains, people often choose this profession due to its flexibility and freedom, but the new rules take a lot of the fun out of driving, Stencel says. With truckers’ every move now being monitored, that freedom and flexibility has begun to fade.

As the former vice president of the Minnesota Truckers Association, Stencel is a long-time advocate of CDL drivers. In fact, to foster a close-knit community among Minnesota drivers, the MTA began holding an annual get-together. The group had its most recent congregation on June 23. “You just don’t know how long these truckers will be around and it is important to maintain the friendships.”


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Step aside, Uber and Google, a career trucker is making history for self-driving tractor trailers.

Jeff Runions, autonomous-truck test driver, prepares the future of the trucking industry. As he told NPR, Runions works for Starsky Robotics. They are a small company developing fully autonomous trucks for the highway. The trucks are driven by professionals once the trucks got off at the exit.

As truck drivers continue to decrease in numbers, Runions hopes autonomous trucks will be a huge opportunity for the industry to keep up with demand. In his interview with NPR, he says automated vehicles would allow drivers to spend less time on the road and more time at home with their families.

This would be a drastic change from the three weeks of on-road time he remembers from working on his own and with a commercial trucking company. In fact, Runions would like to see drivers having a “regular life” with a 40-hour work week. By making drivers’ lives more enjoyable, he hopes to spike interest in the industry from potential drivers.


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If you’re on the market for a new CDL trucking job in 2017, now is a good time to brush up on your networking skills. Several avenues exist to help you take control of your next career move, like these touted by Mary Sherwood Sevinsky of the noted career site Work It Daily.

1. Use LinkedIn

I can’t say enough about LinkedIn. Many professionals are coming to have a better understanding of the platform and how it can benefit them. But most don’t recognize what a powerful skill and knowledge building tool it can be.

By following influencers, channels and individuals as well as engaging themselves in groups, members can keep current in their industry and sharp on business in general. Discussions with those from similar and dissimilar backgrounds can broaden your horizon and give you a different perspective.

2. Join Professional Groups

Sometimes you need to see like-minded people in a different venue and in person. Online groups are fine, but nothing can replace the impact of a smiling face, warm handshake, or appreciative nod. Find or create a group near you. Meetup is becoming a great way to create and manage in-person groups.

Chamber of Commerce or industry groups in your area are likely to be accessible to you and can be a good way to learn and build your network. Networks can help you by allowing you to feel connected, but they can also help ensure you find out about opportunities in a timely way.

3. Volunteer

Yes, you can learn a lot through volunteering for charity or civic groups. Big Brothers Big Sisters, Rotary, your local hospital or church can all be great places to learn and grow. Sometimes, you learn how well-off you are. Sometimes you find that you have the best social media skills (even if you consider yourself technologically challenged). Before you know it, you might be improving a skill you never knew you needed and that will benefit others as well as yourself.

4. Get Additional Education

You can take a class or go back to school to pursue a degree or certification. There are plenty of online options for formal training, but don’t forget about the brick and mortar facilities as well.

5. Schedule Downtime

You may miss learning opportunities, or at least insights, if you don’t set aside time to process your work day. Make sure you allow enough time to think about what you did and how you did it. What did you learn? Whom did you help? What did you accomplish? What could you have done better?

Think about these things – keep a work journal to capture even further opportunities to learn.

Are you looking for a CDL trucking job in 2017? Follow Drive My Way on social media here and stay up to date on the trucking companies hiring!


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ttnews.comBlueGrace Logistics, based in Riverview, Fla., announced that Warburg Pincus agreed to an investment of $255 million in the firm, Transport Topics reports. Also, that includes committed capital and direct investment to increase growth and acquisitions.

In addition, BlueGrace Logistics expects to increase employment in Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Tampa and other markets. Overall, they plan to hire 500 to 700 new employees, nearly doubling the current 370 employees.

Whether the new jobs include CDL trucking jobs remains undetermined.

“This investment gives a major shot of adrenaline to our already fast-growing operations,” BlueGrace CEO Bobby Harris said. “We help customers transform their shipping across the country. And, for me, it’s especially gratifying to see more employees come to the company and find a great career.”

Founded in 2009, BlueGrace developed a proprietary software platform.

Overall, it provides customers who need to ship goods with multiple offers from trucking companies. New York-based Warburg Pincus “has been a long-term investor in the technology-enabled logistics market. BlueGrace is a rapidly growing innovator in that industry,” said Alex Berzofsky, managing director of Warburg Pincus. “We see meaningful opportunities for continued growth for the company. And, we look forward to supporting the BlueGrace team.”

Read the rest of the Transport Topics story here.

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Trucking Software Company Gets  Million in Venture Capital from Big Names


One tech startup got a big financial boost this week when it received a $16 million windfall from investors. The Seattle-based trucking software startup Convoy makes a big splash with big-name tech investors. Investors include Jeff Bezos of Amazon, who likes what Convoy peddles.

Overall, Convoy’s software matches trucking companies to firms that need products transported.

Transport Topics magazine said word of the $16 million in new venture capital for Convoy. This comes only months after Convoy made a foray into Washington state’s technology scene. In addition, they raised $2.5 million in seed money from Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, among others.

“The new round, led by Menlo Park, California-based Greylock Partners, with participation from high-ranking executive Jeff Wilke, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom, Acosta Executive Chairman Gary Chartrand and LinkedIn executive Mike Gamson,” Transport Topics wrote.

Convoy creates software that connects truck drivers with freight that needs hauling. The startup developed a website and app into which freight companies enter information about what they need moved. It includes the equipment required. Next, Trucking companies then swoop in and claim the job. The traditional model involves companies working with third-party brokers to find truckers. Convoy lowers transport costs by cutting out the middle man and automating part of the process.

Convoy raised this second round of funding thanks to its rapid growth and increasing demand from trucking companies.

The company now stands at 31 employees

They preppe to relocate to a larger, 6,000-square-foot office space. It also announced this week that it will expand into Oregon. It plans to use its new funding to continue its expansion throughout the year.

“One of the only limits to our growth is how fast we can hire the people that we need,” Forecki said.


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XPO Broadens Its Reach in HealthcareWhile CDL trucking jobs may be the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear XPO Logistics, this article about the company’s latest news centers on its further expansion in the healthcare sector.

XPO Logistics landed a contract as the third-party logistics provider for Trinity Health. The two companies stated this in a release March 9.

In a news article about the agreement, Transport Topics said Trinity manages 90 hospitals and 124 continuing-care facilities in 21 states. Now, they construct a $26 million supply distribution center in Fort Wayne, Ind.

“The facility services the Great Lakes region of the Midwest. In addition, they serve as the first of four such centers planned,” Transport Topics wrote. “XPO signed on to ‘manage and operate’ the new facility as Trinity’s ‘contract logistics manager’.

“This initiative represents an enormous change in the way we stage and move supplies to our hospitals,” said Lou Fierens, a Trinity senior vice president. Also, Ashfaque Chowdhury, XPO’s president of supply chain in the Americas and Asia-Pacific commented. The facility “boosts the local economy and deliver on our promise to Trinity Health of consistent, efficient, high-quality service.”

XPO spokesperson Gary Frantz said XPO Logistics stays active in the healthcare sector. In fact, they remain active for nearly 10 years. Furthermore, its clients include health systems such as Trinity and medical supply manufacturers.

 “Now, combined with the larger resources of XPO’s supply chain group, and our experience helping major brands in other verticals pursue supply chain-led business transformations, we have a tremendous solution set to offer to the health care community,” Frantz said.

Site preparation begins before the end of March, and construction takes about a year.


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