Posts

Everything to Know About Conestoga Flatbed Trucking Jobs

Photo courtesy of Kelsey, Conestoga Flatbed Driver

When you’re trying to find which type of driving is right for you, there are plenty of options available. If you’ve decided that driving a flatbed truck is right for you, consider finding a Conestoga flatbed trucking job. There are plenty of pros about this type of driving, and many drivers make a great career of it. But there’s also cons to consider as well. Let’s take a look at some things to know about Conestoga flatbed trucking.

What is a Conestoga Flatbed Trailer?

Before we get to the pros and cons, let’s talk about what it actually is. See the picture of this wagon? This type of modern-day trailer actually gets its name from the original Conestoga wagons like this picture—the kind that pioneers used to cross the United States in the 1800s.

A Conestoga trailer is one of the most versatile types of trailers available. It is a flatbed trailer, but with an accordion-style tarping system that simply pulls over the freight. So, you get the ease of freight loading that a flatbed provides with the load protection provided by the cover.

Very Versatile Freight Hauler

As mentioned earlier, these are very versatile. Because you’re only working with a flatbed trailer, you can load freight from either side, or with a crane from above. You’re not limited to loading and unloading from the back of the trailer. So, if there is a need to lift unusual-sized loads onto the trailer for shipping, a great option is to hire a Conestoga flatbed driver for the job.

Time-Efficient Transport

Because the drivers don’t need to spend a lot of time manually tarping down loads or only loading from the back, drivers often find they’re saving a lot of time on the road.

We talked to Adam, a Conestoga Flatbed Driver for his company Adam Graham Transport. He shared his perspective on the amount of time he saves and advice for other Conestoga flatbed truck drivers.

Adam Graham Conestoga Flatbed Truck Driver

Adam, Conestoga Flatbed Driver

Adam shared “My biggest piece of advice is forget about the loads you might do once a year and think about the extra loads you will get from not having to waste time tarping or waiting in line to use a mandatory tarp station. The amount of money and time saved along with the safety aspect of not having to risk falling off of your trailer come out to be worth way more than the couple higher paying loads that you can get with your standard flatbed.”

Conestoga drivers do not have to move around heavy tarps and tie down the cargo bit by bit. With the ease of pulling the folding cover over the whole load and snapping it into place, this gets the driver moving faster.

Pros and Cons from a Conestoga Driver

We talked to Kelsey, a Conestoga Flatbed Driver for Long Haul Trucking, and she gave us a few points to share with drivers considering this type of career. Check out what Kelsey has to say below:

conestoga flatbed driver

Kelsey, Conestoga Flatbed Driver

Pros

  1. Speed: “You can usually get in and out of places quicker than if you had to tarp. It is nice not having to worry about anything oversized. You always know your trailer clearance height.”
  2. Securement: “Being able to hop in back of your trailer and check all securement makes it a less stressful haul.”
  3. Freight: “Customers with special style freight seem to like them, so you can get some pretty neat freight just because of the trailer style.”

Cons

  1. Maintenance: “These trailers can be a pain if they aren’t taken care of. I would recommend they do the research on the company, and make sure the company takes care of the equipment.”
  2. Tarp Wear and Tear: “These tarps can be torn easily and not many places in the country will work on them. For drivers just getting into it, be sure to be extra cautious.”

So that’s the basics of what you need to know about Conestoga flatbed trucking jobs. If you’re looking for a job like the one that Kelsey describes, let us help you find a great fit that meets your needs. Click the link below and get started with a Drive My Way profile today!

flatbed truck driver

Find a Flatbed Trucking Job

Drive My Way partners with trucking companies who are hiring flatbed truck drivers. Create a free driver profile to get matched to flatbed jobs.

Create Your Profile

type of freight

When deciding what type of freight is best for you, there’s a lot to think about. As a driver, you’re probably looking for good pay, home time, and job availability. Seems simple, but there’s a lot that can go into that decision. Not all types of trucking are for everyone. Choose something that meets your needs and is a good fit for your lifestyle. Otherwise, you’re going to be looking for a new job all over again all too soon. When you think about the type of freight you want to haul, these are a few things to help make your decision.

Making the Right Decision

Your Lifestyle

One of the most important things to consider when you are trying to decide on a type of freight is your lifestyle. Choose a job that fits YOU. That includes pay. If a job doesn’t pay well enough to support you and your family, you probably won’t stay very long. Home time is another “must-have” for most drivers. Some drivers are die-hard OTR fans and like nothing better than weeks on the road. Other drivers need home time every night to tuck their kids into bed. 

There are jobs out there for every type of trucker, so decide what works best for you, and look for jobs that meet your bottom line expectations.

The final lifestyle question has to do with how you spend your time on the job. Do you want to be driving most of the time or have a variety of non-driving related tasks mixed in? There are jobs out there for every type of trucker, so decide what works best for you.

Company Type

Once you make some big decisions about lifestyle and narrow down your list, consider company type. Do you want to work for a large carrier or a small carrier? Small carriers are more likely to give you that “family feel,” but freight may be less consistent depending on their specialty. On the other hand, large companies usually have higher freight volumes, but you might not feel as personally connected to your team.

Along with company size, consider haul type. Would you prefer a company that always carries the same thing or do you like a little variety in your life? Similarly, do you want to always work with the same customers? Consider looking for a dedicated route. Also, there are some local routes where you can get to know your customers the same way. 

Experience and Endorsements

At the end of the day, there’s a job for every driver, but not every driver is a good fit for every job. Experience and endorsements are two big deciding factors. Some jobs typically go to drivers with more experience. For example, most drivers who haul over-dimensional loads have at least 10 years of experience under their belt. 

Endorsements can also make a big difference. Some jobs “require” specific endorsements while others “prefer” them. Endorsements verify your training in a specific area, but they are also a sign to the employer that you were willing to invest in yourself to take on new responsibilities. If you identify a type of freight that is a great fit for you, find out if you have the right endorsements. If not, consider whether it’s worth getting additional training right now. 

A few of the most common endorsements for CDL A and CDL B drivers are:

Types of Freight to Consider 

1. Dry Van

dry van truckMany truck drivers start out learning to drive Dry Van. Dry Van drivers usually carry dry goods and a wide variety of non-perishable freight in 53’ trailers. Many Dry Van positions are over the road or regional. Drivers who want to drive Dry Van will have a wide range of companies to choose from. With so many companies to choose from, read job descriptions carefully to make sure the job fits your pay and home time needs.

Endorsements: Many Dry Van positions do not require endorsements, but some specialized loads may require Hazmat or Doubles and Triples endorsements.

Lifestyle Fit: Hauling Dry Van is a popular choice for many drivers. It’s great for new drivers because there aren’t as many special considerations as for some other types of freight. Many experienced drivers stick with Dry Van for similar reasonsthere’s often lots of variety in the type of freight drivers haul and it has a refreshing level of simplicity.

2. Refrigerated Freight

refrigerated truck driverRefrigerated trucking, more commonly known as Reefer trucking, is particularly good for drivers who have some experience already and pride themselves on their close attention to detail. Reefer drivers most commonly haul food, which gives drivers a lot of job security. If you are a Refrigerated Freight owner operator and do have a hard time getting a load, you can also haul Dry Van freight in a Reefer truck. 

Endorsements: Most Reefer positions do not require endorsements. 

Lifestyle Fit: Reefer trucking is hard work but is also compensated well. Most people consider hauling refrigerated freight after they have a few years of experience and are looking to diversify. Most of these jobs are regional or OTR, and you will have a lot of companies to choose from. Reefer drivers tend to work odd hours and will find themselves regularly loading and driving during nighttime hours.

3. Flatbed

oversized flatbed loadFlatbed drivers are in high demand and, as a result, pay is typically more competitive than some other driving jobs. Unlike Dry Van or Reefer jobs, Flatbed jobs often require more physical work to safely secure the loads with tarps. Some flatbed drivers will have a Conestoga trailer with a sliding tarp system instead of a traditional flatbed trailer. That often makes loading, unloading, and securing much more convenient for the driver. 

Endorsements: Typically, Flatbed drivers do not need additional endorsements

Lifestyle Fit: Flatbed trucking is often considered one of the more challenging types of trucking jobs. If you don’t mind a little extra physical work and are up for an adventure, the higher pay and regular job demand make Flatbed a great choice for many drivers.

4. Tanker

tanker trucks getting filledDriving a Tanker truck can mean hauling either liquids or dry bulk. If you see a Tanker truck position available, it could be for anything from gasoline or water (liquids) to food or materials like sand (Dry bulk). Often, Tanker truck drivers have a few years of experience, and as the name says, you’ll need your Tanker endorsement. 

Endorsements: Tanker endorsement required. For some jobs, you will also need a Hazmat endorsement to haul hazardous materials. 

Lifestyle Fit: Tanker drivers earn a good wage and usually have strong benefits. In addition, many Tanker jobs are regional or local, so drivers are home frequently. Unlike Dry Van and Reefer, loading and unloading a Tanker can go quickly. You could be in and out in under 20 minutes! Drivers wear protective gear to reduce that risk during the loading and unloading process. 

5. Specialty Loads

If you want to haul a specific type of freight, chances are someone will pay you to do it. In addition to the more common haul types we mentioned earlier, there are many types of specialty loads out there. Here are just a few examples:

  • Over-Dimensional Loads: Anything bigger than typical dimensions. Usually, drivers need to have some flatbed experience first.
  • Autohauler: These drivers haul cars. It’s highly specialized and valuable freight, so drivers need a lot of skill and are paid well. 
  • Intermodal: Any freight that uses at least two types of transportation is intermodal freight (ex. Train and truck). Most drivers work close to a railroad or shipping hub.
  • Livestock: Frequently Livestock drivers usually haul chickens, pigs, horses, or cows. Drivers need a certification for the specific type of livestock they haul. It’s hard work, and drivers are compensated well for their extra efforts.

find-cdl-truck-driver-jobs

Find a CDL Driving Job

We match you with a job based on your personal preferences and qualifications.

Find a Job Today

E.J. Stutzman

Today’s Job of the Day comes from E.J. Stutzman

E.J. Stutzman, Inc. is a family owned and operated company that’s looking for CDL A OTR drivers. We are a regional carrier running all 48 contiguous states and Ontario. We have a stock of forty aluminum spread axle 48’ & 53’ flatbeds and drop decks rounded out with Conestoga trailers to keep freight dry.  With 24/7 tracking and dispatch and a knowledgeable support staff, E.J. Stutzman, Inc. has the tools and equipment necessary to get the shipment where it needs to go.

E.J. StutzmanAs a Company Driver for our Flatbed division, you have the respect and support of an entire team behind you every step of the way! We make safety, respect, and teamwork a priority. E. J. Stutzman has resources available to help you reach your career goals. We put you behind the wheel of some of the newest equipment in the trucking industry and our sophisticated freight planning ensures driver friendly freight and reliable home time.

Currently, E.J. Stutzman is hiring CDL A OTR Conestoga Flatbed Drivers in Sugarcreek, OH.

Compensation

  • Pay is percentage based: Pay as high as $0.60 CPM for experienced drivers.
  • Average of 2,500 miles per week
  • Weekly mileage bonus starting at $0.03 per mile
  • Twice yearly safety bonuses based on accrued mileage
  • Stop-off pay, tarp pay, detention pay, break down pay
  • Vacation pay of 1 week after first year
  • Paid training — up to $100 per day

Job Highlights & Benefits

  • Home every weekend
  • Take Home Truck program available
  • Rider and Pet ride along program
  • Prefers to hire within 150 mile radius of Sugar Creek, OH
  • Manual – Late model Freightliner, Cascadia, Columbia
  • 1 outward facing camera, no inward facing and no audio

Interested in applying for this opportunity?

Learn more about the company, the job requirements, compensation, benefits, and more.

Learn More & Apply

Things to Know Before Becoming a Flatbed Driver

If you’re a truck driver looking for a challenge, some might say flatbed drivers have the most challenging jobs over the road. Others might even say it is the most dangerous trucking gig out there. But if you’re up for the adventure, flatbed trucking can be a great job. So, when thinking about becoming a flatbed truck driver, here are a few things to know before deciding.

1. Flatbed Driving: The Basics

Let’s start with the basics: to drive a flatbed truck, you need to have a CDL license. In most cases, that requires a Class A or B license. Once you have the license, companies hiring flatbed drivers typically prefer flatbed experience to get started, so finding a company that provides training would be helpful.

Flatbed drivers are in high demand and because of this, pay is typically more competitive than other driving jobs. The high demand for flatbed drivers is likely directly linked to the skills required to be a successful flatbed driver. Unlike dry van or reefer jobs, flatbed jobs often require more physical work to safely secure the loads with tarps.

Marian Kulostak Flatbed Driver

Marian Kulostak, Flatbed Driver

We talked to Marian Kulostak, a flatbed driver, and he shared his advice:

“Take your time, do it right the first time. Speed will come with experience. Ask questions, observe others, and then ask more questions!” shared Marian.

Learning how to become a successful flatbed driver takes time as well as experience on the job. Finding other drivers who are willing to help you learn and answer your questions is key to succeeding quicker.

2. Securing Your Cargo is Key

oversized flatbed load

Oversized Loads

While all flatbed drivers typically need to learn how to secure their load, hauling oversized freight requires even more skill. These flatbed drivers carry unusually shaped freight that does not fit inside the confines of a standard sized trailer. As such, these loads need plenty of support to keep them secure. Check out the handbook from the FMCSA to cover all of the topics of cargo securement.

Conestoga Trailers

Some flatbed drivers will have a conestoga trailer instead of a typical flatbed trailer. These trucks are unique and often make loading, unloading, and securing much more convenient for the driver as well as provide shelter for your freight without the need of manual tarping.

Weather Conditions

Brittney Mills Flatbed Driver

Brittney Mills, Flatbed Driver

Not only do the loads need to be secured, but flatbed drivers also need to make sure freight is protected from weather conditions. We talked to Brittney Mills, an experienced flatbed driver, and she shared her advice:

“Always check your securement. If you think you have enough straps or chains, add one or two more. You can never be too safe. Make sure your tarps are tight, loose tarps can cause it to rip or your load to get wet,” shared Brittney.

Securing freight during inclement weather not only protects the load, but it also protects other drivers on the road. Without this extra precaution, the tarps could fly up while driving, causing a major distraction and hazard to other drivers.

3. Additional Safety Tips

When it comes to loading, unloading, and securing, following specific safety tips is essential. It is highly recommended that drivers avoid attending to freight while on the side of the roadway. Taking time to secure loads while at a truck stop or in a parking lot will provide flatbed drivers with a much safer environment.

flatbed truck driverIn addition, wearing the right clothes as a flatbed driver is also key. Investing in shoes with a good, no-slip grip will be helpful, especially during rain or snow. Having something that covers your clothes can also be helpful, especially when loading and unloading freight that potentially has mud or other elements covering it.

Overall, flatbed drivers are one-of-a-kind and demand a very specific set of skills. Mastering these will not only allow drivers to flourish in the area, but also start to stand out from the crowd of other drivers.

EJ Stutzman is Hiring Flatbed Drivers

Find a Flatbed Truck Driving Job

Drive My Way has partnered with trucking companies nationwide who are actively hiring flatbed truck drivers for their open positions. Create a free driver profile to be matched to jobs that meet your needs.

Create Your Profile

RJ Logistics

Today’s Job of the Day comes from RJ Logistics

RJ Logistics Assets provides customized transportation solutions throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. We are committed to being the industry leader and our success is built upon the foundation of customer service, lasting relationships, and a healthy culture. In this role, you will be generally running from Chesterfield, MI to Laredo, TX and prefer you live within a 150-mile radius of our terminal. Are you ready to partner with us?

Currently RJ Logistics is hiring OTR Conestoga Flatbed Company Drivers and Owner Operators in Chesterfield, MI as well as Owner Operators in Laredo, TX.

 

Owner Operator Job Highlights

  • Sign-On Bonus: amount depending on experience: average $2,000 paid out quarterly
  • 70% Gross Revenue (Increased % for Fleet Owners)
  • Potential to earn $3,000 – $6,000/week
  • Referral Bonuses: $1,500
  • 6-month $100 bonus for zero CSA score

Company Driver Highlights

  • Sign-On Bonus: depends on experience
  • Industry Leading Rate per Mile: start at $0.47/per mile depending on experience and will negotiate
  • Average weekly pay: gross $1,500/week
  • Health Benefits: medical, dental, vision: BCBS
  • Excellent Home Time: based on your needs and will accommodate
  • Every 6-months $100 safety bonus for zero CSA safety score

Owner Operator Perks & Highlights

  • Parts Discount Program
  • Fuel Discount Program
  • Tire Discount Program
  • Paid Cargo Insurance
  • Onsite Mechanics
  • No Forced Dispatch
  • No Trailer Rent
  • Driver Lounge
  • Healthy Culture
  • Respectful Team
  • Bilingual Staff
  • Advanced Technology

Company Driver Perks & Highlights

  • Driver Lounge
  • Healthy Culture
  • Respectful Team
  • Dedicated Dispatchers
  • Bi-weekly Direct Deposit
  • Paid Vacation
  • Paid Holidays
  • Bilingual Staff
  • Advanced Technology
  • Advanced Safety and Securement Training
  • Volvos – 2014 – 2017 automatics

Owner Operator Experience & Qualifications

  • Minimum age: 23
  • No felonies past 7 years
  • No DUI’s past 3 years
  • Tractor needs to be year 2005 or newer
  • Valid cab card and bobtail insurance
  • Must meet all MDOT and FMCSA requirements
  • Pass DOT physical and drug screen
  • Current medical card
  • No preventable accidents within 1 year
  • Must be registered in new FMCSA Drug Clearinghouse
  • Good verifiable MVR and work history
  • Minimum experience: CDL Class A: 1 year
  • Must meet minimum experience requirements
  • Prefers a driver with flatbed experience
  • Reliable cellular communication
  • Runs under our authority

Company Driver Experience & Qualifications

  • Minimum age: 23
  • No felonies past 7 years
  • No DUI’s past 3 years
  • Must meet all MDOT and FMCSA requirements
  • Pass DOT psychical and drug screen
  • Current medical card
  • No preventable accidents within 1 year
  • Good verifiable MVR and work history
  • Must be registered in new FMCSA Drug Clearinghouse
  • Minimum experience: CDL Class A: 1 year
  • Prefers a driver with flatbed experience
  • Reliable cellular communication
  • Lease Purchase options available after 6 months as Company Driver

Interested in applying?

Learn more about the job requirements, benefits, pay and more.

Learn More and Apply

Larry Vititow Trucking

Today’s Job of the Day is from Larry Vititow Trucking

Larry Vititow Trucking is seeking CDL A OTR Flatbed/Stepdeck Drivers and Dry Van Drivers in Sulphur Springs, TX.

Larry Vititow Trucking logoLarry Vititow Trucking, LLC is a family-owned and operated trucking company for more than 50 years, built by generations of truck drivers. We are rapidly growing our team and seeking Company Drivers to haul flatbed and stepdeck freight from Northeast, TX to customers across the US. Drivers will be pulling 48 foot Stepdeck or Flatbed trailers. We have loads to accommodate your needs and desired home time.

Compensation

  • Average gross weekly pay: $1,500
  • Paid weekly
  • Base up to $ .50 CPM practical miles with an average of 2,800 – 3,300 miles weekly
  • Drivers are paid based on tenure with our company
    • Starting pay – $.46 CPM
    • 5 years – $.50 CPM
    • 3 years – $.49 CPM
    • 1 year – $.48 CPM
    • 6 months – $.47 CPM
  • Flatbed Oversize Load Pay  – $.05 CPM with $50.00 minimum
  • All miles paid, loaded and unloaded
  • Additional Weekly Performance Bonus Pay (All based on legal miles driven and contingent upon no accidents, no tickets & on-time deliveries). If driver completes:
    • 3,000 – 3,999 miles – $.02 CPM
    • 4,000 or more miles – $.04 CPM
  • Additional Pay:
    • Detention Pay – $10 per hour after 2 hours (contingent upon on-time delivery)
    • Extra Stop Pay – $25.00 for each extra pick or drop
    • Layover Pay –  $150 a day
    • Flatbed Tarp Pay – $50 for each load
  • Bonuses include:
    • Clean Inspection Bonus – $50 per inspection

Benefits & Perks

  • Healthcare plan will be available in the near future
  • Small company; personal relationships with a very low dispatcher to driver ratio of 1:8

Home Time, Routes & Schedule

  • Home Time: Varies based on your needs. Weekly, every other week or longer options available. Weekend home time possible.
  • No slip seating
  • Schedule: Hours vary based on delivery requirements. Most work is during the week; weekend work and holiday work are only required occasionally. We will do our best to work with you to meet your needs and desired home time
  • Dey Van Level of Touch: No Touch Freight; 50% drop and hook
  • All work is year round, not seasonal

Equipment

  • 2016 or newer Peterbilt (manual transmission) and 2019 International (automatic transmission)
  • Entire fleet has combination of manual and automatic transmissions
  • No cameras
  • Company owner provides only the best equipment and personally oversees all the maintenance done at our terminal

Qualifications for Company Drivers and Owner Operators

  • Must be at least 24 years of age
  • Must have CDL A license
  • Must have a minimum of 2 years verifiable tractor-trailer driving experience
  • No more than 4 moving violations or citations in the past 3 years
  • No more than 2 preventable accidents in the past 3 years
  • No DUI/DWIs or reckless driving charges in past 3 years
  • Must meet Department of Transportation (DOT) testing and physical requirements and be knowledgeable of DOT regulations
  • Must be able to pass a required pre-employment drug screen
  • Prefer drivers living within 150 miles from Sulphur Springs

larry vititow trucking

Join the Larry Vititow Trucking Team!

Larry Vititow Trucking is seeking CDL A OTR Flatbed/Stepdeck Drivers and Dry Van Drivers in Sulphur Springs, TX.  Join their team!

Flatbed Drivers Dry Van Drivers

loadtranz

Today’s Job of the Day comes to us from LoadTranz

LoadTranz believes in providing the best equipment, benefits and salary for their company drivers.

They are hiring for over the road positions based out of San Antonio, TX. The candidate will be expected to work as a valued member of OTR operations driving typically 10-14 days in a row. They get drivers home on a weekend or 4 consecutive days off. Also, a typical OTR assignment includes running flatbed conestoga trailers throughout the US from San Antonio/Laredo.

As a family owned and operated trucking company, they remain dedicated to providing the best quality of life for their OTR drivers. They pay a guaranteed minimum weekly salary. In addition, they always pay a gross take-home pay of $1,250 per week. They pay on actual, approved dispatch miles. They pay when the load is delivered, not when we receive the paperwork. No tarping involved.

In addition, they provide every OTR driver with the peace of mind of knowing what they earn each week. They are a results-orientated company that wants drivers who are professional and safe.

Interested in applying?

Learn more about the job requirements, benefits, pay and more.

Learn More & Apply