Posts


Over the past few years, there’s been a lot of talk about driverless trucks and the impact they’ll have on the trucking industry. But, it’s important for drivers worried about their jobs to not give in to the sensationalist headlines. While driverless trucks are definitely the wave of the future, they won’t be replacing truck drivers in the foreseeable future. Here’s the basics on driverless trucks and why truck drivers will still be needed, no matter what.  

What is a Driverless Truck?

A driverless truck is any semi-truck that has at least some level of autonomy. SAE International, (formerly the Society of Automotive Engineers has laid out six levels of automation in regard to semi-trucks.   

Level 0 is no automation, and level 1 includes assisted steering and lane departure warnings. Level 5 is a fully automated truck that can drive itself, even in inclement weather without needing a driver. Most companies are introducing level 2-3 automation right now, with level 5 only happening in controlled demonstrations.  

Driverless trucks have been in development by dozens of companies over the last ten years. Big companies like Tesla and Waymo (Subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., the company that owns Google) have been developing self-driving technology for years. There’s also lesser-known tech companies like Plus, TuSimple and Embark that have already gotten billions of dollars in investor funding for their trucks. While there’s a lot of money going into driverless truck technology, drivers shouldn’t be worrying. 

What Do They Mean for Truck Drivers?

While it makes sense on the surface, it’s a common misconception that driverless trucks will put drivers out of jobs. Since most companies are only testing level 2-3 automation right now, the trucks aren’t doing everything themselves. And even when level 5 trucks are on the road, an experienced driver will still need to be in the truck at all times in case something goes wrong. 

That’s because truck drivers do more than just drive. A truck can’t load and unload freight or talk to customers and dispatch about the details of an order. This means that truck driver jobs will be more than safe for the foreseeable future.  

What’s the Future for Self-Driving Trucks?

As of right now, it’s full steam ahead for the companies investing time and resources in driverless technology. Some in the industry believe we’ll begin seeing driverless trucks as the norm in the next decade, but this estimate may be a little optimistic.  

Yes, the big players in driverless trucking are talking about implementing the technology, but it’s still a long way from happening on a large scale. The majority of trucking companies, especially smaller ones, don’t have the money to use this technology within their fleets anytime soon. But, even if and when that does happen, trained drivers will still be needed in the cab at all times. If you’re a truck driver, don’t spend time worrying about driverless trucks any time soon. 

two men in a truck

Find a Truck Driver Job

Drive My Way matches you with a job based on your personal preferences and qualifications.
Create a Free Profile

What is the Vaccine Mandate?

In early November, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) issued an emergency order that starting in early January, all companies with 100 or more employees would be required to implement a vaccine mandate for all employees or do weekly testing for those who wish to remain unvaccinated. The announcement caused a stir in a lot of industries, especially trucking. Here’s all the latest news on OSHA’s recent announcement and how it will affect truck drivers.  

What’s the Latest News?

A similar mandate will be put into place by the Canadian government in early January. This will require U.S. drivers who go across the border to provide proof of vaccination before entering the country. The compliance date for U.S drivers entering Canada to be vaccinated is January 15th, 2022. While proponents of the mandate say it will help curb the number of people infected with the virus, opponents say it will add stress to an already stretched supply chain. 

cdl driving test

The Supreme Court held an emergency hearing on the subject on Friday, January 7. The court is deciding whether or not the executive branch has the authority to implement such an order. While we don’t know when the court will make a ruling, it’s likely that it will be sooner rather than later, due to the urgency of the issue.  Early reports indicate that the court is leaning towards blocking the mandate. 

The American Trucking Association, (ATA) had this to say about the mandate,  

“Based on survey data, we believe a vaccine mandate would fuel a surge in driver turnover and attrition, with fleets losing as much as 37% percent of their current driver workforce to retirement or smaller carriers not subject to the mandate.” 

How Will the Vaccine Mandate Affect Drivers?

The mandate states that any company with 100 or more employees will need to issue a vaccinate mandate or have employees tested weekly. There are a few exemptions to this rule that will affect truck drivers;

  • Employees who do not report to a workplace where other individuals are present 
  • Employees who work from home 
  • Employees who work exclusively outdoors  

OSHA had this to say about how the mandate will affect truck drivers specifically,

“There is no specific exemption from the standard’s requirements for truck drivers. However, paragraph (b)(3) provides that, even where the standard applies to a particular employer, its requirements do not apply to employees “who do not report to a workplace where other individuals such as coworkers or customers are present” or employees “who work exclusively outdoors.” Therefore, the requirements of the ETS do not apply to truck drivers who do not occupy vehicles with other individuals as part of their work duties. Additionally, the requirements of the ETS do not apply to truck drivers who encounter other individuals exclusively in outdoor environments. On the other hand, the requirements of the ETS apply to truck drivers who work in teams (e.g., two people in a truck cab) or who must routinely enter buildings where other people are present. However, de minimis use of indoor spaces where other individuals may be present (e.g., using a multi-stall bathroom, entering an administrative office only to drop off paperwork) does not preclude an employee from being covered by these exemptions, as long as time spent indoors is brief, or occurs exclusively in the employee’s home (e.g., a lunch break at home). OSHA will look at cumulative time spent indoors to determine whether that time is de minimis.”

While most company drivers will fall under these exemptions, this would not cover drivers who work in teams or drivers who need to go inside buildings regularly for trainings or orientation, but once again, it’s unclear how OSHA will treat these cases.  

How Will it Affect Employers?

Employers, just like drivers, will need to comply with the new regulation. Some in the industry worry that the mandate will give an unfair hiring advantage to companies who employ less than 100 people that don’t have to comply with the regulation. 

While this would be the first time the government has mandated vaccination for workers, many employers in the trucking industry have already been requiring vaccination for their drivers for some time now. This means that not much will change for them. 

As of right now, this story is still unfolding, and a lot could change between now and if and when the vaccine mandate goes into effect. That includes a possible Supreme Court ruling that would make OSHA’s emergency order unconstitutional. Make sure to look online regularly for updates to stay informed on how this will impact you or your company.  

two men in a truck

Find a Truck Driver Job

Drive My Way matches you with a job based on your personal preferences and qualifications.
Create a Free Profile


Driving any motor vehicle during icy and snowy conditions brings an inherent risk. When that motor vehicle is a 25-ton semi-truck, that risk becomes amplified. Drivers need all the help they can get when out on the road in these conditions. That’s where snow chains come in. Snow chains have been used for over 100 years to help drivers of all vehicle types gain traction and avoid wheel spin on snowy and icy roads.  Aside from the obvious safety aspect here, most states have chain laws that you’ll need to follow as well during icy and snowy conditions. We asked CDL Driver, Kirstie about how she chains up her tires for winter,

“The most important thing is to check your chains, especially if you’re not very familiar with the ones you’ve been assigned. Lay them out flat on the ground and inspect the cams, hooks, links and be sure they are not twisted. If possible, I always tried to put them on a drive axle directly below the fifth wheel for maximum weight and better traction.
Lay them out flat on the ground and drive onto them, then begin the arduous task of actually connecting them, a good chaining key, or cam key is a must! Once they are on properly, they should be quite tight over the wheel. It’s a good idea to stop, check, and even retighten them. I always kept my windows open a crack while running chains as well. It’s important to hear what’s going on, and should anything come loose, you will be aware.”
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to chain up your semi-truck tires for the snowy months ahead.  

Step 1: Lay Down Chains and Inspect

Lay your chains out flat on the ground and look them over for any damage or twists/knots that you’ll need to undo. Once you’ve ensured they’re in good working order, check that the chain hooks are facing up as well. This will be important later.

Step 2: Attach Chains

Place the chains over the top of your tire. They should hang or drape down over each side. Make sure they’re evenly distributed on both sides with the hooks facing out, away from the tire. Next, you’ll need to physically attach the chains to each other.

For this part, it’s always best to do the inside of the tire first. This can be difficult given that you’ll need to get under your truck, so some drivers prefer to use a tool like a rod as opposed to their hands. Either way, you’ll need to loosely attach the chain links to each other at the bottom of the tire. Repeat this step on the outside of the tire as well. The goal here isn’t to get them as tight as you can, just connecting the links from one side to the other is fine. 

You’ll also need to make sure that you have the same number of excess links on the front and back side of the tire. If you have three extra links on the back side, then you should have three extra links on the front side. If the front and back are different, that will cause the chain to rotate unevenly when you’re driving.  

 

After this, you’ll need to get into your truck, and drive forward just a few feet so that you can get the connection points of the chain in a safe area for you to tighten them.

Step 3: Tighten Links and Cams

Now that the chains are attached to the tire, they’ll need to be tightened. By hand, connect the chain to the closest possible link. You’ll want to pull in the most slack that you can manage. After you’ve done this, you’ll want to use your adjusting wrench to physically turn the cams on the chain. 

This will tighten the chains even more. It’s ok if you’re not able to give each cam a full turn, you may only be able to get one or two of them to one full turn, but that’s fine. The goal here isn’t to get the chains as tight as possible. The general rule is to get them tight enough that you can get a few fingers in between the chain and the tire comfortably.

Step 4: The Extra Mile

To make your semi-truck tires even more secure, add bungee cords across the chains. The bungees will attach from one end of the chains to the other. Three or four bungees will do the trick.

The key here is when attaching the bungees, make sure the hook is facing away from the tire. You don’t want it rubbing up against the tire, causing damage to the outside wall of the tire. Also make sure not to attach the bungee cords directly to the cams.

As a truck driver, taking your rig out in snowy and icy conditions is never ideal. If you do have to go out in the elements, safety is key. While it’s a big one, chaining up your semi-truck tires is only one part of winter driving safety. There’s a number of other ways to make sure you’re doing everything you can to stay safe in difficult conditions.  

two men in a truck

Find a Truck Driver Job

Drive My Way matches you with a job based on your personal preferences and qualifications.

Create a Free Profile

4 of the Best Sleeping Tips for Truckers

Truck drivers and a good night’s sleep don’t always go well together. Besides being a major annoyance, lack of sleep can lead to safety issues while on the road. Many drivers, specifically OTR drivers, experience poor sleep habits, which can lead to irritability and slow reaction time—two big issues if you’re driving a large vehicle for extended periods of time. It’s also a major factor in accidents involving truck drivers. There are a few reasons that truck drivers, specifically OTR drivers are at a greater risk for developing sleeping problems. Aside from the difficulty of finding a place to sleep, they may have to deal with noise, lights as well. While these challenges can be difficult, there are a lot of things that truck drivers can do to help them sleep better while on the road. Here are 4 of the best sleeping tips for truck drivers.

1. Find a Safe Spot

This first tip comes to us from Larry, a CDL A Owner Operator.

“I tell new drivers to sleep at truck stops or rest areas. Preferably well lit, especially if you are a female truck driver. Also, plan where you’re going to stop, and pay for parking if necessary. Never park on side of the road or on an on ramp. That’s very dangerous! Planning is very big part of knowing where to park. Remember, if it seems sketchy, it probably is! Keep it moving.”

2. Eliminate Distractions: Light and Sound

There are two main types of distractions that drivers who are trying to sleep deal with: light and sound. For light, we recommend using a visor shade for your windshield, as that’s the biggest place where light can pour into your truck. If that’s still not enough, wearing a face mask is your best bet. A heavy duty one that won’t move around much while you’re sleeping works best.

sleeping tips

Eliminating sources of sound is also important but can be a bit trickier. While this is easier said than done, the best thing you can do is to try and park away from other trucks if possible. But this, of course, isn’t always an option. If it’s specific noise, like people talking or engines that keeps you from falling asleep, consider using a white noise machine. These are devices that look like a speaker and emit sounds similar to TV static or waves that many people find it easy to fall asleep to. If it’s all noise that bothers you, you might want to think about a pair of ear plugs. Take this as a last resort though, as it’s important to still be aware of your senses, especially if you’re in an unfamiliar truck stop or rest area.

3. Get a Better Mattress

Having a quality mattress is an often overlooked but crucial component for driver sleep, especially in older drivers. Mattresses, especially higher end mattresses, can seem like a big investment. But when you consider how much time you spend in your tuck, it’ll prove its value in no time. The Sleep Foundation has a lot of great information on the best mattresses out right now for truck drivers.

4. Consider Caffeine Alternatives

Coffee, Red Bull and soft drinks are very popular with truck drivers thanks to their caffeine content and wide availability at restaurants and gas stations. But, having too much caffeine during the day or any within 5 hours of going to sleep is shown to cause issues like not letting you access deep sleep, which can have negative effects on your short and long-term memory.

For many long-haul drivers, getting a good night’s sleep can prove difficult. There are any of number of challenges that affect your sleep and subsequently, your performance on the road. While these sleeping tips can help, it’s important to know when it’s time to see a licensed sleep specialist. If your sleep issues get bad enough, a professional is your best resource in keeping yourself healthy and safe while on the road.

truck driver at loading dock

Find a Truck Driver Job

Drive My Way matches you with a job based on your personal preferences and qualifications.

Create a Free Profile

new year's resolution
Each year, people all over the world decide which New Year’s Resolution they want to commit to for the following year. Exercising more, learning a new hobby, and eating better are all common resolutions people try to stick to.  Truck Drivers are no different, but their lifestyle of being on the road makes finding resolutions, let alone sticking to them that much harder.  That’s why we’ve compiled 7 common resolutions for truck drivers and how to stick to them! 

1. Eat Better on the Road

This is a very common New Year’s resolution, but it’s also the one that most people fail! Why? Many people set unrealistic expectations that they can’t reasonably meet when it comes to eating better. The lesson here is that you don’t need to do it cold turkey. Instead of cutting out all energy drinks, start with drinking them 3 times a week instead of everyday. This is a much easier resolution to stick to that can lead to you eventually cutting them out entirely, if that’s what you want.

2. Find a new podcast 

Finding good podcasts is a great New Year’s resolution for drivers. Spending hours and hours behind the wheel can get a little dull, so finding interesting podcasts is a great way to keep yourself engaged while on the road.  

There are a huge number of trucking podcasts out there that will connect you with other drivers, give you tips for being on the road and provide you with industry news. The Trucking Podcast, Driver Hub and Trucking for Millennials are just a few of the trucking-specific podcasts out there. Aside from those, there are podcasts out for every interest or hobby. Ancient Rome, fly fishing, engine repair, there’s a podcast for everything! Do a quick search on Spotify, Apple Music or any other streaming service to see what’s out there.  

3. Take care of your eyes

Driving for extended periods of time can really put a strain on your eyes. That’s why taking care of them makes a great new year’s resolution for truck drivers. You can start by making sure to wear sunglasses during the summer or whenever the sun’s out. Aside from being a fashion statement, they help protect your eyes from UV rays that can do damage to your eyes over an extended period of time. Another tip is to be honest about yourself when it’s time to start wearing glasses or contacts, even if you only need them at night or when it’s raining. Schedule a yearly visit with an optometrist to get ahead of eye problems as they occur.  

4. Get some exercise in

Whenever possible, get some light exercises in while on the road. There’s been a lot written about this subject in recent years, so we’ll just give you the highlights. If you’re in an area you’re familiar with, think about using your 30-minute DOT break to talk a short walk or do some bodyweight exercises like push-ups, sit-ups or crunches. There are also some lightweight equipment options like resistance bands and grip trainers that are easy to use as well.  

5. Sleep Better

sleeping tipsGetting a good night’s sleep is vital to being a great trucker. Unfortunately not sleeping well is a problem many drivers face. Simple fixes like eliminating light and sound distractions and limiting your caffeine intake before bed can make sleeping on the road much easier.

6. Keep a Clean Cab

The benefits to keeping your cab clean are the same as keeping a clean room or house. The act of cleaning and having a tidy, neat space are shown to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. If you need any more incentive, clean cabs probably aren’t going to get as much DOT attention as a cluttered one will.   

As for the outside of your truck, keeping that clean is extremely important too, especially if you’re an Owner Operator. Make it part of your new year’s resolution to wash it frequently, as dirt, mud, and road salt can add premature wear to different parts of your truck. If a truck’s dirty enough, structural problems that you’d be able to see on a clean rig can be hidden.   

What are your New Year’s resolutions for 2022? If we missed it, let us know in the comments!  

two men in a truck

Find a Truck Driver Job

Drive My Way matches you with a job based on your personal preferences and qualifications.

Create a Free Profile

driver liaison
As more and more new drivers enter the industry, companies are seeing the benefit to having someone these drivers can rely on for information and to help after their training is done. This position is known as a Driver Liaison, and it is becoming increasingly popular for many trucking companies. 

What is a Driver Liaison?

You might see this position can go by different names, but the core responsibilities are always the same. They assist drivers with any questions or concerns they might have while on the job. This position is especially helpful for new drivers, as they have someone they can rely on if they’re in a difficult situation. Think of the driver liaison as a mentor to drivers. You’re not actively in contact with them and teaching them things, but you’re always there to lend a hand when they need it. 

Besides helping drivers who are in a pinch, what are the other responsibilities?

In addition to helping drivers while they’re on the road, you’ll also be their ambassador to higher management. This involves regularly meeting regularly with management to discuss pain points that drivers are having and how to resolve them. Other duties could include overseeing driver orientation and working with trainers to discuss their responsibilities.  

Are Liaisons different from trainers and dispatchers?

Driver Liaisons aren’t the same thing as driver trainers. Liaisons aren’t in the cab, teaching a brand new driver about the truck and the rules of the road. They are most likely going to be at the warehouse or company facility communicating with drivers via phone, helping them with more niche issues or problems as they come up. This position is also different than dispatcherssince they aren’t communicating with drivers about loads, delivery times and routes.  

How do you become a Driver Liaison?

There are no federal requirements for this position, but there are some general qualifications that most companies will want applicants to have. The first is an active CDL. Though you probably won’t be doing any driving yourself, you’re expected to know your way around a truck.

Next, you’ll need industry experience. Since this position is tasked with helping drivers through any number of unique and challenging situations, you’ll want to have experienced those yourself or at least know what to do when they occur. Additionally, companies may also prefer someone who has experience within their organization and knows their specific policies and procedures. This is why many companies may choose to hire within for this role.  

What qualities should a Driver Liaisons possess?

The best driver in the world might make the worst driver liaison. That’s because this position is about more than just being knowledgeable on trucking. It’s about having the ability and desire to give that knowledge to others. You can know everything there is to know, but unless you’re able to communicate that information quickly and succinctly to a driver who’s in a jam, it doesn’t matter. 

Along with this, patience and people skills will go a long way in this position. Greeting drivers with a friendly attitude and being sympathetic towards their wants and needs will be your best way to succeed in this role.  

Becoming a driver liaison is a great position for experienced drivers who are looking to get off the road but still want an active role within the industry. Especially if you enjoy an outward-facing role that will make a difference in the careers of young drivers.  

two men in a truck

Find a Straight Truck Driver Job

Drive My Way matches you with a job based on your personal preferences and qualifications.

Create a Free Profile

straight truck jobs
While Straight Truck Driving might not be what you think when you hear the word “trucking,” straight truck drivers make up a very large part of the industry. The ATA reported that in 2020, over 3.97 million class 8 trucks were registered for business purposes in the U.S, up 1.5% from 2019. With this increased need for straight truck drivers, it’s important for prospective drivers to have all the facts. Here’s everything you need to know about what it’s like being a straight truck driver. 

What is a Straight Truck?

A straight truck is any truck that has a cab and trailer that cannot be detached from each other. Straight trucks are also smaller than your traditional semi-trucks and come in under the important threshold of 26,000 pounds. Depending on the make and model, straight trucks are between 10- and 26-feet length and 6 and 8 in height.  

What are they used for?

While it’s possible that straight trucks can be used for regional or OTR work, the vast majority are used for local deliveries. The most common use for straight trucks is furniture and home appliance deliveries. The U-Haul trucks that people use for moving are also straight trucks. These trucks are perfect for any freight that is too small for a semi and too big for a sprinter van. 

What do you need to be a straight truck driver?

As it stands right now, a CDL is not needed to drive a straight truck, as long as the truck is under 26,000 GVWR. But that doesn’t mean every company will hire someone without a CDL for a straight truck position. That’s why it’s a good idea to have your CDL B before applying, even though it’s not a federal requirement. 

What companies hire straight truck drivers?

Any company that utilizes a delivery service will employ straight truck drivers. Retailers that sell furniture and home appliances often offer delivery services via straight truck. Building product companies also employ straight truck drivers to deliver materials to and from worksites. 

Expedited freight servicers may be the biggest employer of straight truck drivers. These companies specialize in getting freight from point A to point B as quickly as possible. Businesses typically utilize them when their plan A for getting their freight to where it needs to go didn’t work out. These companies may work an entire region of the country as opposed to working locally. Courier servicers may also employ straight truck drivers, but it’s unlikely as their freight is usually too small to require a straight truck.  

What are the pros?

The biggest benefit to driving a straight truck is the consistent home time. Unlike OTR trucking, drivers are rarely, if ever, gone for more than a day. They usually get nights and weekends off as well, following standard business hours for delivery.  

Since Straight Truck Drivers rarely need to travel across state lines, it’s a great position for drivers under 21 who are looking to get valuable hours behind the wheel before they can do OTR work and cross state lines. Also, classes to earn your CDL B will generally be less expensive than those for a CDL A, making it a good option for drivers looking to start earning without putting down such a large investment.  

What are the cons?

One thing to know about straight truck driving is that there’s probably more to the position than just driving. Manual labor is present in a lot of straight truck jobs. Aside from just touching freight, many times it will be the driver who is responsible for delivering the product to someone’s door and maybe even setting it up inside the home or business.  

Another possible con is the customer interaction part of straight truck driving. Aside from delivering products to people, you may have to deal with an unhappy customer from time to time. While this won’t be a problem for some, many drivers got into trucking to avoid these types of interactions.  

Like with all driving positions, straight truck drivers are in heavy demand. This means that there’s a lot of variety out there for prospective drivers when deciding who they choose to work with. Straight truck driving is also a great steppingstone for young drivers who want experience before doing OTR or regional work.  

If you’re ready to find a trucking job that fits your needs, create a free Drive My Way profile and get matched with Straight Truck driver jobs in your area.  

two men in a truck

Find a Straight Truck Driver Job

Drive My Way matches you with a job based on your personal preferences and qualifications.

Create a Free Profile

two men in a truckThe truck driving community is very tight-knit. There are a number of unspoken rules and courtesies that truckers follow that aren’t covered in CDL school. These unspoken truck driving rules are passed down from driver to driver and generation to generation. We talked to drivers who shared a few of the unspoken rules they’ve learned over the years.

Spacing and Passing

A common pain point for many truck drivers is when cars zoom around and cut them off with little regard for their safety. This behavior is frustrating, but it’s much worse when it comes from a fellow truck driver.

Jerry shared, “If you have room, use it. Don’t cut it short if you don’t have to.”

When passing another truck driver, make sure you have at least 200 feet of distance from the back of your trailer to the front of their cab. This may seem like too much space, but it’s really not. Being any closer could mean that the driver behind you can’t see their surroundings, which could be disastrous if they need to make a sudden stop.

Tina shared, “Drive as far ahead as you can, and don’t wait until the last moment to make a move.”

Don’t Talk About Your Haul

truck at gas station

This is a big one for many new drivers. While you may trust the person you’re talking to, you never know who could be listening in, especially if you’re stopped at a truck stop or gas station. Telling others about your haul is a high-risk, no-reward situation. You don’t gain anything from telling someone your freight, and you stand to risk a whole lot by doing it.

This tip could seem a little too over-cautious, but there’s good reason for it. According to the FBI, $139 million was reported stolen via cargo theft. The best way to avoid being part of this statistic is to keep what you’re hauling close to the chest.

Get Your Gas and Go

This unspoken rule is more common courtesy than anything else. Don’t be that driver that sits at the diesel pump for an extra 15 minutes while you grab your snacks and go to the bathroom.

Donald shared, “Be thoughtful of the other drivers and move off the fuel pumps. No parking at the pumps or area just ahead of the pumps. Just get your paperwork and park in the lot if you want to buy lunch, take a shower, sleep, etcetera.”

While this is a problem for regular drivers as well, it’s worse for truck drivers. Why? Drivers are on a tight schedule and need to get moving as quickly as possible. Your quick trip to grab candy and a drink could be costing a fellow driver money.

Follow Lot Courtesy

Lot courtesy goes a long way in trucking. Make sure you’re driving carefully and following all posted speed limits in any lot, especially at night or when it’s crowded. Also, make sure to respect drivers who may be sleeping.

Chuck shared, “Don’t sit there side blinding a guy with your headlights when they’re backing up.”

The last thing they want to see is someone blasting their headlights while they’re already parked in a space. And if you’re planning to catch some shut eye, take a quick look and make sure you’re not blocking anyone in who was there first.

Jerry shared, “Do not block someone in! If they were parked there before you got there, common sense should tell you that their break will be up before yours.”

Honk!

Honking for kids has been a trucker tradition for generations. Kids love doing it, and it can make their day while on a long car trip with the family. And who knows, your honk could be inspiring the next generation of truck drivers!

These are just a few of the unspoken rules of trucking. There’s countless more out there, and as the industry evolves, there will be new ones as well. What are some of the unspoken truck driving rules that we missed? Let us know in the comments.

truck driver at loading dock

Find a Truck Driver Job

Drive My Way matches you with a job based on your personal preferences and qualifications.

Create a Free Profile

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.  

 

truck driver at loading dock

Find a Truck Driver Job

Drive My Way matches you with a job based on your personal preferences and qualifications.

Create a Free Profile

backing up a semi trailer

Backing up a semi-trailer is one of the most difficult skills to learn as a driver and an even harder one to master. It’s a weakness for many new drivers straight out of school and even some more experienced ones. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Here are 6 of the best tips drivers use to back up a semi-trailer with confidence. 

1. Practice

This is obvious, but for good reason. Practicing is the number one way to become comfortable backing up a semi-trailer. If you’re able to, try finding an empty lot or truck stop to practice in. Perfecting your technique in an empty space is a lot easier than doing it when you’ve got shippers/receivers staring at you while you try to back into a difficult dock. 

We spoke to Natalie and she shared her advice for other truck drivers.

“Do everything yourself in confidence. When I first got into trucking, I never wanted to back in. I was always looking for someone else to help me. I had to overcome that fear and that anxiety, so I said to myself one day, “no, I’m going to do this on my own.” I’ve gotten to the point now where I can back in and remain much more calm than I could at first, ” shared Natalie.

 

 

 

2. Watch Your Wheel

This is a tip usually learned during CDL training and one many experienced drivers still use. Simply put, place your left hand on the bottom of the steering wheel. Whichever direction you move the wheel is the direction the trailer will move. If you move the wheel left, that’s where the trailer will go, and the same for moving it right. From there, it’s a matter of looking at your mirrors and not oversteering. It seems too simple to be true, but it’s a tried and tested technique.  

This can also be done the opposite way, where a driver puts his or her hand at the top of the wheel and moves it in the opposite direction of where he or she wants the trailer to go, but it’s all a matter of preference.  

3. G.O.A.L

Tyler, CDL A Driver

G.O.A.L “Get Out and Look” is the number one way to avoid damage to your equipment as well as your surroundings. It may seem like common sense, but some drivers avoid this method because they feel it makes them look like an amateur. But the results of not doing it can be disastrous. Here’s what Tyler, an experienced truck driver, had to say about the G.O.A.L method. 

“No matter how many times you have to get out and look, DO IT! Better to be safe than the person who backed into someone or something because they were too lazy to take a few minutes to check. Part of the job to not tear up your property or someone else’s. Lose the ego and get out and look. Do it ten times if you have to. It’s better than the alternative.” shared Tyler.   

4. Use Experienced Spotters

Sure, anyone can spot you if you’re trying to parallel park a car on a side street. That doesn’t mean anyone can spot you backing a tractor trailer into a loading dock. They may be trying to help, but spotters without truck driving experience can do more harm than good, as they don’t understand the finer points of maneuvering a vehicle of that size. So, unless you know they’re an experienced driver, the G.O.A.L method is your best bet.  

5. YouTube It

Watching a video is no substitute for the real thing, but if you’re in a pinch and can’t find a place to practice, they can come in handy. YouTube has hundreds of videos from experienced drivers giving their tips and tricks on the best way to back up a semi-trailer. This can give you a great visual if something’s not clicking. 

Every driver is going to have a slightly different way of doing things, so do a little research and find a video that works for you. The best practice for finding some of the best videos is to choose based on view count or positive comments. Take this one for example, which has close to one million views and counting. 

6. Know When to Say No

In all parts of life, if your gut is telling you that something’s a bad idea, it’s probably a bad idea. The same is true for backing up a semi-trailer. There’s no shame in telling a shipper “No” if you honestly think your trailer won’t make it in. You know your vehicle much better than they do. If there’s debris or something like a stack of pallets in your way, don’t be afraid to ask them to be moved so you can safely back in. Your safety and the safety of your truck are more important.  

When it comes to backing up a semi-trailer, patience and practice are the keys to success. No one comes out of CDL school an expert at it. Just have confidence in your abilities as a professional driver, and you’ll be a pro at backing up in no time.

truck driver at loading dock

Find a CDL Truck Driver Job

Drive My Way matches you with a CDL job based on your personal preferences and qualifications.

Create a Free Profile