What do you look for in a trucking job? 


For many CDL drivers, the answer is obvious: fair benefits and competitive pay that validate the difficult but essential work truckers do each day.  


However, there are many other factors that can demonstrate a carrier’s commitment to their driver’s success and safety that every trucker should consider before deciding to join the team. Keep reading to find out what you should be looking for in a trucking position, and why it’s important to ask about these factors in every interview.  


Check the Reviews 

The first step any trucker should take before even applying to a position is to look at reviews or talk to other drivers. A company can make as many great claims as they want, but the real proof comes from actual experiences had by former and current employees. 


Research the company’s reputation by reading online reviews on platforms like the Better Business Bureau and GlassDoor, or use specialized trucking forums like TruckersReport. Look for patterns related to safety, communication, and overall driver satisfaction.  

Reviews are important to learning more about company culture and values and what opportunities are offered. Keep an eye out for any information on company retention rates, which can be a clear marker of the quality and work experience of employees.  


While research is important, it’s best to reach out to current or former drivers who have worked with the company. Ask about their individual experiences, challenges, and any red flags they encountered. 


Freight Type 

Another important consideration is the type of freight a company primarily handles, such as dry van, refrigerated, flatbed, or tanker. These can have an impact on your time at home, work/life balance, and overall satisfaction, so choose a company that aligns with your preferences and expertise. 


If being home every night is a priority, inquire about home time policies. Does the company offer consistent schedules or flexible options? Ask about the process for taking time off work and assess if the balance meets you and your loved ones’ needs.  


Carriers that primarily conduct OTR or longhaul runs will understandably provide less home time, while they might offer other benefits that make it worth a driver’s time. Look for options such as last mile delivery if staying local and having a flexible schedule is essential for you.  


However, no matter the freight type, inquire about the company’s stance on work/life balance and how they support their drivers in achieving it. Finding the right balance between work and home life is crucial for your overall well-being and job satisfaction. 


Training & Professional Development  

A company that invests in continuous learning and training benefits both the drivers and the organization, so assess what opportunities are available for ongoing professional development.  


Discover if they offer paths for career advancement, such as internal mobility or the potential to receive skill certifications and specialized training. Ask if longevity in the company comes with benefits such as better route choice, promotions and increased compensation, or the ability to become a mentor for other drivers in a trainer program.  


Communication is Key 

Clear communication is an essential part of every trucking job, so it is important to understand how a company views and values conversation and driver engagement.  


Ask about how communication works with dispatch and employers. Is it efficient? Do they listen to and understand drivers’ concerns and needs? This is an area where it helps to ask during the interview phase but also read reviews and talk to current employees.  


Driver feedback helps carriers to improve the quality of company policies and employee satisfaction, so some conduct regular driver engagement surveys or offer one-on-one meetings. Find out how the company seeks driver feedback, and how they act on this input.  


Health & Wellness Support  

A factor that some drivers might not consider asking about is how a company supports their employees when it comes to mental and physical wellness. An employer that prioritizes driver health is a good sign, so it’s important to ask about safety protocols, health insurance, and driver support programs.  


Find out about health insurance, dental coverage, or other wellness programs offered to support physical health such as a gym membership. Some carriers also provide programs to support mental health, such as access to online counseling programs like BetterHelp 



Finding the right fit for a CDL job can be tricky, but it’s always worth the time and effort to make sure your experience and interests align.  


For more information on trucking jobs and industry trends, check out the rest of our Truck Driver Blog posts and follow us on social media! 

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

cdl driving test


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.  

two men in a truck

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