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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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military-friendly trucking companies that hire veterans for trucking jobs

After serving our country, many veterans make the transition into the trucking industry, seeking companies who hire individuals with military experience for their truck driver jobs. Many trucking companies enjoy hiring veterans for their driver positions as they embody the motivation and dedication the company is seeking. In the process, these companies are putting veterans on a strong path for the future in civilian jobs while adding disciplined employees to their talent pool.

PTS Worldwide

pts worldwidePTS Worldwide Inc. is a family owned and operated over the road trucking company dedicated to the Department of Defense and the security of our nation. They are fundamentally a people-oriented organization and know that the intelligence, insight, and energy that each individual brings to the job makes them better and stronger as an organization. It is their objective to maintain a working environment where all employees can achieve their fullest potential.

PTS Worldwide, Inc. is a company founded by drivers for drivers and knows they need your skills, enthusiasm, and commitment to achieve our goals together. They run all 48 states from military base to base, and they hire CDL A OTR Team Drivers and OTR Owner Operator Teams nationwide. As a company founded by drivers for drivers, they offer competitive pay with minimum guaranteed miles, generous bonuses, and excellent health and welfare benefits.

Oldcastle

oldcastleAs North America’s largest manufacturer of building products and materials, CDL trucking jobs are just one part of what makes the wheels at Oldcastle turn. But, they are an essential part of the equation. No matter what role a worker plays at Oldcastle, however, one thing is certain. Veterans work at this Atlanta-based company with 2,000 locations nationwide.

“Attracting truck drivers is a huge challenge, so we wanted to promote those opportunities,” says Cindycindyr Reeves, Human Resources Director for Oldcastle, Inc. To attract more military talent to Oldcastle jobs, the company overhauled its website to include a military tab on its careers page. Therefore, when applicants click on the military tab, open job opportunities can be seen, including CDL trucking jobs, engineering and sales opportunities, warehousing jobs and more. Also, the website features a link to help retiring military personnel translate their skills to civilian jobs.

“Our website tells them what job would be a good fit for them,” Reeves says. “It’s a page through military.com with a lot of credibility.”

In addition, Oldcastle launched its military-focused webpages in January 2016, and the company launches other military initiatives this week on Veterans Day. “Attracting veterans serves as an important part of our strategy,” Reeves says. “We wanted to make a place where potential military employees could come and feel welcome and know that Oldcastle has positions that are a strong fit for them.”

hollandHolland

In August 2015, this Holland, Mich.-based company hired Jason Schenkel, an Army veteran, as its talent acquisitions and fair employment manager. It did so specifically to increase its veteran recruiting and outreach.

Schenkel recruits for every position in the company, including CDL trucking jobs. “If I can find a military veteran that fits, I will recruit them for any position in the company,” Schenkel says, estimating that 70% of his recruits are truck drivers. After all, of Holland’s more than 8,000 employees, 6,000 of them are drivers.

Jason Schenkel (center) with his family

Jason Schenkel (center) with his family

Early on, Holland recognized similarities between the trucking industry and military culture in terms of safety, stress, customer service, and hours, Schenkel says. As a result, the military job candidates Holland encounters “have all the intangibles that make for a good truck driver. That’s the way Holland looks at it.”

Being an Army veteran helps Schenkel connect with his audience. “As a veteran, I know the culture, the tempo, the language, the hardships,” he says. “I think it helps me in my work. Holland, from the beginning, has put a lot of time and effort into the veteran initiative. We don’t do it because some government agency says we should. We just feel it’s a good fit for the veterans and for the company.”

exchangeArmy & Air Force Exchange Service

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) proudly served America’s armed forces since 1895. Striving to deliver quality goods and services at competitive prices, trucking plays an instrumental part of AAFES’ mission. AAFES commits to hiring veterans, National Guard members and reservists. In fact, veterans compose 12% of the company’s workforce. Overall, the company hires them because of the high value they bring to the organization.

“The AAFES partnered with the National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve…to actively recruit members,” says Col. Karen G. Fleming, Deputy Director, Logistics, for AAFES and herself a 26-year U.S. Army veteran. “We collaborate more than ever with installation transition offices to recruit soldiers and airmen who transition back into the civilian workplace.”

To support its military personnel, The Exchange, as AAFES provides up to 15 days annually of paid leave to guard members or reservists performing military duties that take them away from the job.

AAFES is similar to the military in some respects, Fleming adds, especially in regard to devotion and service. “Their motto is “family serving family,” Fleming says. “In addition, they remain devoted to providing the goods and services to our Army and Air Force.’”

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hire salespeopleFortune magazine always is full of helpful business advice, and they’re back at it with a few great tips for hiring quality salespeople who will stand the test of time.

First, bosses must realize that talented salespeople don’t always make talented sales managers.

“Selling and managing, including hiring, require very different sets of skills,” notes Dave Stein, co-author of Beyond the Sales Process: 12 Proven Strategies for a Customer-Driven World.

Stein spent the past 30 years coaching sales teams and their bosses. He says that whoever promoted you without enough management training “deserves at least half the accountability” for your current pickle. He points to research showing that the failure rate among star salespeople “rewarded” with promotions like yours is a startling 85%.

So what should you do instead? Here are three great ways to hire the right people, in Stein’s view:

1. Don’t go it alone

A time-tested way to tell how well someone will fit into your organization’s culture, and understand its goals, is to invite a couple of colleagues to sit in on meetings with candidates. Stein recommends a three-person interviewing team, but they don’t have to be the same two people (besides you) every time. If the manager who initially hired you is still there, for instance, you might ask him or her, along with perhaps a high-performing member of your current sales team. The point is to get more than one set of insights about each applicant.

2. Stick to a consistent hiring process

Stein has seen many sales managers go wrong by trying to wing it. “You need to think hard about precisely which skills and attributes your best salespeople have, based on what’s been most effective in reaching your particular customers,” he says. “Once you have that profile, make a list of interview questions with definite right and wrong answers — no exceptions.” This takes a lot of thought ahead of time, he adds, but it’s worth the extra effort, since relying on a “disciplined, black-and-white set of hiring criteria cuts sales-staff turnover to an annual rate of 5% to 15%.”3.

3. Require candidates to simulate real-life sales calls

It’s hard to guess how well someone will perform without seeing him or her in action, so Stein recommends role-playing exercises he calls simulations. “I’ve known many sales managers who have been horrified or embarrassed during their first customer meeting with a new rep they just hired,” he says. “It happens more often than you would guess.”

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In today’s world, it’s important for employers to make the right hire. But which qualities should trucking companies hiring look for in a candidate?

Career website HR Bartender says the best employees share certain qualities that set them apart from the pack. The next time you interview a candidate for one of your CDL trucking jobs, see if they exhibit any of these exceptional traits, demonstrating a high-performing trucker.

1.They have their own system.

Whether it’s a morning routine, a mindfulness ritual or a journal, high-performing employees have their own way of staying grounded and organized. It helps them stay focused on what’s important so they can perform.

2. They listen to others–for feedback, suggestions and proven strategies.

High-performing employees take in information. It could be feedback on their performance or a tip from a speaker during a conference.

3. They hold themselves accountable.

Always focused on quality, high-performing employees keep their word. If, for whatever reason, they cannot deliver, they renegotiate the deliverable. People who work with high performers know exactly what to expect.

4. They are focused on the positive.

This isn’t to say that everything around them is always positive. But when given a choice between celebration or cynicism, they find a way to look on the bright side. This outlook helps high-performing employees stay engaged with their work.

5. They will accept a challenge and often don’t need to be told to do things.

High-performing employees are willing to take on tough tasks. They are ready to solve problems. Many times, they are the employees bringing you the problem and the solution.

6. They set short-term goals and stretch goals.

High-performing employees set goals for themselves in addition to the goals the company sets for them. They look for opportunities to exceed expectations.

7. They learn from their mistakes.

Speaking of accomplishments, high-performing employees don’t always achieve their goals. But they do use those moments to reflect and learn from the situation. They don’t view it as failure. It’s an opportunity (see Habit #4).

8. They know how to manage their time.

This ties into Habit #1. High-performing employees are able to perform at a high level because they understand their personal working style and know how to get things done. This includes saying “no” at times so they don’t disappoint.

9. They’re committed to their own personal development.

High performers are not complacent when it comes to new skills. They learn something every single day. They understand that learning takes place in small iterations.

10. They’re highly engaged and willing to commit to the organization.

Several of these habits point to an individual who is happily engaged with their work and the company around them. They perform at a high level because the organization is invested in their success.

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trucking companies

Even in the face of several poor economic signs, trucking company executives feel upbeat about 2016. They remain confident that it brings “solid growth” for their companies, a recent survey by Transport Capital Partners (TCP) found. When it comes to trucking companies hiring, the demand for drivers is definitely still there, too.

A Feb. 2 article about the survey in American Trucker Magazine cautioned.

However, that trucking executives, and those responsible for CDL driver jobs, have more tempered enthusiasm about their ability to attain rate increases in the coming months.

Trucking’s “expectations” regarding their ability to win rate increases dropped to the lowest levels in over five years, noted Steven Dutro, a TCP Partner, in the American Trucker article. “Expectations are lower than in recent years but are still positive for 2016,” he said. “The indication is for a stable business environment and little fear of a recession.”

Yet, attaining rate increases will be a challenge, Dutro emphasized.

“At the beginning of 2015, 79% of the participants in our survey were looking forward to rate increases over the year ahead,” he noted. “Turning the page into 2016, that number had dwindled to 41% – the lowest percentage we have recorded since 2009.”

That’s partly a result of slumping freight activity that began in the fourth quarter of 2015 and continues currently, American Trucker added.

The survey reflects more diverse opinions among individual carriers now than in years past.

Perhaps most telling of industry expectations for 2016, added TCP’s Dutro, is that a strong majority – some 61% of carriers – expect to expand their fleets this year. “Growth expectations are not quite as robust as they were in 2014 and 2015,” he stressed. “But, this number is still relatively consistent with the expectations – and the modest growth – of the past few years.”

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The executive director of the North American Council for Freight Efficiency talks about how trucking companies can save fuel and money.Mike Roeth is Executive Director of the North American Council for Freight Efficiency and Operations Lead at the Carbon War Room. We talked to him about his goals as NACFE executive director, how technology is helping trucking companies save fuel, and more.

Q: How does the North American Council for Freight Efficiency help the trucking industry?

A: The NACFE seeks to improve the freight efficiency of North American goods movement by improving the quality of information flow and by highlighting successful adoption of technologies. Overall, we focus on freight as well as fuel efficiency through not only improving the miles per gallon of diesel, but by increasing the freight hauled in ton-miles per gallon or cubic ft-miles per gallon.  Also, we seek to improve efficiency for whatever fuel is used, including liquefied and compressed natural gas.

Q: In 2012, NACFE partnered with the Carbon War Room, a Richard Branson startup, to bring www.truckingefficiency.org to the industry.  Tell us about that.

A: It’s a comprehensive, unbiased and free technology guide for fleets and all end users to understand the confidence they should have in various fuel-saving technologies.

Q: As Executive Director of NACFE, what are your goals?

A: Success for me is helping all stakeholders improve their part of the process. Also, that applies to suppliers developing better products, truck and trailer builders integrating them, and fleets buying and operating them.

Q: What new fuel-saving tools on the market do you encourage fleets to take advantage of?

A: First are the technologies themselves, which can be investigated at www.truckingefficiency.org.  We focus on Class 8 tractor trailers and have identified nearly 70 different solutions, technologies, that are currently available to save fuel or haul more freight. Another excellent tool is the EPA SmartWay program.  Finally, I try and keep the industry informed on all kinds of things I see in the work I do. Each week I share some insights on Fleetowner.com.

Q: You have said that new technologies lead to $9,000 in fuel savings per truck annually.

A: Absolutely.  In our annual fleet fuel study, 14 large fleets shared their adoption of these technologies and their year-over-year changes in the average fuel consumption for their fleet.  They’ve improved the efficiency of their trucks from around 6.1 mpg to just under 7 mpg in 2014.  We predict that had they not purchased these techs, they would have spent $9,000 more per truck on fuel in 2014.  That’s huge. And considering that they run 53,000 trucks, these fleets alone saved $477 million!

Q: What more can trucking companies do in terms of fuel efficiency?

A: There’s plenty.  More fleets can take advantage of these fuel-saving technologies, some of which can even be retrofitted onto older trucks.  Also, I encourage everyone to look at our website and strongly consider an approach to save fuel.  Other opportunities include simply slowing down on the road. For every 1 mph in speed reduced, you can save 0.1 mpg.

Q: What services does the Council provide that you would like to get the word out on?

A: Great question, I’ve mentioned the website, I’d also like to invite everyone to join one of our quarterly workshops. They’re great fun. We invite industry leaders to share their thoughts and then we spend about 2-3 hours in small group discussions debating the benefits and challenges of adoption. It’s a safe environment where suppliers, fleets and others come together to understand and share their experiences.

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