How to Find the Best Trucking Company to Work For

March 31, 2022

Have you thought about what the right trucking company for you is? Finding a good trucking company to work for is the most important factor for your success as a truck driver. Nothing comes close to impacting your life as a driver as much as your relationship with the company you work with and how they treat their drivers. There is a night and day difference between working with a trucking company that you trust fully and one that takes advantage of its drivers. After reading this guide, you will know how to find the best trucking company to work for and why it is essential to take your time researching trucking companies. By the end of this article, you will know the best trucking company for your needs!

The best trucking companies are driver-focused

Though selecting the right trucking company can seem complicated, we recommend you take your time when researching trucking companies. Your decision will impact your career as a professional driver more than any other. Choosing to work with a trucking company known to be driver-focused will benefit your career and life more than you can imagine. From waking up excited to go to work each day to developing genuine relationships with the people you work with, working with a trusted trucking company will bring peace of mind and joy into your work life, which carries over into your personal life. With a driver-focused trucking company, your efforts on the job are noticed, and you are known by name instead of a truck number. Truck drivers find their work more enjoyable and meaningful when working with a trucking company that cares about its drivers. Still, to better understand the real value of a driver-focused trucking company, it helps to look at what the opposite side of the spectrum looks like.

The dishonest trucking company

In today's trucking industry, it's common to hear about dishonest trucking companies that are notorious for taking advantage of drivers. We've all heard horror stories about someone who had a horrible experience being mistreated by the trucking company they worked for. These trucking companies participate in dishonest business practices and keep money in their pockets by shortening the miles a driver has driven that week. While the companies doing this are usually smaller operations, it doesn't mean that a medium-sized carrier or even a mega-carrier is incapable of cheating their drivers. These trucking companies will jeopardize your commercial driving license by sending you out on the road with improper equipment or without valid insurance. Avoiding trucking companies like these is the biggest step you can make towards your happiness, safety, and success as a professional driver.

Researching the best trucking company to work for

We now see the difference between working for a driver-focused trucking company and those that use and abuse their drivers. You might be asking what the next step in finding the best trucking company to work for is? Well, it's time for research, and we suggest starting with online reviews of the company. We also recommend talking with drivers currently or previously employed at the trucking company you are researching, but we will get to this in a bit. First, it's best to carefully consider the weight you give to the negative reviews you find online when researching trucking companies, such as the reviews on Google or trucker-focused blogs and forums. Not every review you read online is valid because the internet allows people to post information without first validating if that information is accurate. Due to this internet flaw, recruiters and advertisers can cover up negative aspects of the driving position in a positive light. On the other hand, vengeful drivers leave negative reviews of a promising trucking company out of spite or revenge. Remember, not all negative reviews left of a trucking company are from a mistreated driver with the motive to prevent others from experiencing the same treatment they did. Suppose you see that most reviews are negative. In that case, it's safe to assume the negative reviews are accurate if drivers mention having the same issues with the trucking company. Don't take every review at face value, and consider this when making your final decision in choosing the best trucking company to work with.

Talk to drivers at the trucking company

Drivers love to talk. While a recruiter can mislead you and advertisers can lie, a company's drivers are the best truth-tellers when it comes to spilling the details of a company. Drivers are especially vocal in talking about their company's pay, miles, and home time. Speaking with current or previously employed drivers at a company is the best way to learn what working for a trucking company you're researching is actually like. This is the most accurate method to find more information about a company you're interested in. Drivers love to discuss with each other because there is camaraderie among truck drivers, even if they work for different companies. Most drivers remember the struggle of searching for the best trucking company and, in most cases, want to help other drivers avoid those same headaches, which cost them their time, money, and health. When speaking with a driver about the company they are working for, you will not have to second guess if the driver loves it there - they will make it known! Drivers who are happy with their company will talk about their company much differently than drivers who can't stand the trucking company they work for. Speaking with drivers currently or previously employed at a trucking company you're researching will tell you about all the little details of a driver's daily life, which make a huge difference but might slip your mind to mention during orientation or a recruitment call.

otr truck driver

What kind of trucking company is right for you?

Have you considered the different trucking companies, and which one is right for you? Trucking companies are categorized into three size tiers: large, medium, and small. It's safe to say that a small carrier becomes a medium-sized carrier at 20 trucks and a medium-sized carrier becomes a large trucking company at 100 trucks. The three tiers of trucking companies provide their unique set of pros and cons, with medium-sized carriers being a good mix between the two. For example, working with a larger trucking company can help you towards your CDL. Still, your efforts aren't noticed as much as with a smaller company. While working with a smaller company, you will feel much more of a part of the team. Still, you wouldn't have truck repair service as readily available as working for a larger carrier. Now, let's take a look into the characteristics of the three tiers of trucking companies to determine which fits your needs as a driver the best.

Mega-Carriers: Large trucking company

Larger trucking companies, or mega-carriers, provide many benefits to the driver but come with their own drawbacks. You will usually receive a complete benefits package after a certain amount of time on the job, unlike working with a small trucking company. You can feel safe knowing your paycheck will always hit your bank account each week without fail. You also don't have to worry about being out of work for a week if your truck breaks down as you would working with a mom-and-pop trucking company. Mega carriers have more resources available to get your truck back on the road than working with a smaller company. Mega carriers also help aspiring drivers earn their CDL through company-sponsored training programs and offer you a guaranteed job once you complete it. Though mega carriers will help you get your CDL, this is after you sign a contract that says you will work for them at cheap wages for at least a year. Mega-carriers are more known in the industry and have a larger advertisement budget, so they will not have difficulty replacing you. Also, just because a trucking company is bigger does not mean they think of their driver's needs first, but usually have to keep their investors and shareholders happy. While these may be generalizations, that doesn't mean there aren't mega-carriers that are a good trucking company to work for. If a mega-carrier provides what you're looking for as a driver, search for those with the reputation of being more driver-focused.

Smaller trucking company

It's time to compare mega-carriers with their opposites: the smaller-sized carriers. While your truck might not receive repairs as quickly as with a mega-carrier, smaller carriers carry benefits that interest many professional drivers in working for them instead of the mega-carriers. You are known by name with smaller carriers, and your daily efforts are noticed more. Your actions and decisions carry more weight when working with smaller carriers as a driver. Suppose a driver needs more miles for the week or has an unexpected death in the family. In that case, a small carrier will usually do what they can to accommodate their drivers, so they don't lose them. Smaller carriers have their own issues, which could be problematic for some drivers. They might run you harder and longer than you'd like or are used to. Smaller companies are prone to having more internal issues due to a lack of experience or education in running a small business. You won't have the resources or manpower readily available for you like with a larger trucking company. Smaller companies also have a more challenging time replacing their drivers, which is important when you want to take a break or go on vacation. With fewer options available, smaller carriers do what they must to get the job done and keep the business running, but unfortunately, it can be at the expense of their drivers.

Medium-sized trucking company

We believe medium-sized carriers to be an excellent option for most professional drivers because they share a good mix of benefits similar to mega-carriers and smaller carriers. Medium-sized carriers are still small enough where you are known by name and for your driving skills to be noticed, like with a smaller trucking company. Usually, the owner is much more available and accessible to drivers and sees the driver as an invaluable asset to the company instead of someone to dispatch. From our experience, we have seen mid-sized carriers have the most attractive pay structures for drivers because they understand the value of drivers. They are willing to meet the ongoing demand for professional truck drivers by offering enticing pay and will take more steps to retain their drivers than a mega-carrier.

What you should find out about the trucking company

Let's dive into what should be at the front of your mind when evaluating the trucking company you're interested in working with. You should find out the company's lanes and decide if you will be happy with running these lanes. It doesn't make sense to sign on with a company to quit a month later because you're not happy with the lanes. Does the company constantly advertise they are looking for professional drivers? While the trucking industry is known to have a high turnover rate, there is a difference between companies advertising for drivers because they can't hold onto them and companies advertising for drivers because they are rapidly growing. Find out how long the veteran drivers have been with the company. When drivers stay with a company for over three years, it tells you the company knows how to keep their drivers happy. Are the drivers treated as equals and with respect? No driver should ever be disrespected by management. How long has the company been in business, and what age is their equipment? Take a look at the quality and maintenance of their fleet's trucks and trailers. This will show you their attention to detail and focus on safety. Talk directly with the person in charge of payroll, the lead dispatcher, and a manager or the company owner if there is an opportunity to do so. This opens a line of communication between you, allowing you to handle any issues that arise in the future. Don't forget to find drivers you can talk to so you can ask if they have issues with payroll often, if dispatch is challenging to deal with, and how well the equipment is maintained. The answers to these questions are vital for you to know as a professional driver but might slip your mind, so we recommend writing them down.

Migway - A driver-focused trucking company

Here at MigWay, we are a medium-sized trucking company, in the Charlotte area, with lanes that take drivers all over the US. We offer drivers a perfect blend of what they love about smaller carriers and the benefits a mega-carrier provides for their drivers. Most of our OTR professional drivers deliver freight from the east coast to midwest America. All of our drivers are home every weekend. Starting as a second-generation family business, we have been a part of the trucking industry for the last 12 years. MigWay's growth has snowballed thanks to the family atmosphere surrounding our company's culture. We know how to treat and take care of our drivers because they're a part of our family. A family atmosphere on the job has been a business buzzword lately. Still, it's different when drivers tell us they feel it as soon as they step into the building and are greeted by a team member. We strive to perfect the driver's experience at MigWay and have been recognized with Great Place to Work awards and on the Inc 5000 list. Our company mission statement is simple - to build a great company and to enrich the lives of our employees. A two-pronged mission statement that guarantees professional drivers will succeed with MigWay!

Conclusion - Call to action for professional drivers

cdl a driver

Congratulations! You've made it to the end and have learned what to look for when searching for the best trucking company to work for. You know the pros and cons that small, medium, and mega-carriers provide to drivers. You now should know which of these trucking companies fits your needs as a driver. Below are some takeaways for you to remember: Take your time to research. Then, don't be afraid to shop around and weigh your options. Changing jobs can affect your employment history and cost time and money. Don't believe everything you read online. Positive reviews can be paid advertisements, and negative reviews are likely to be a vengeful driver. Talk with other drivers about their experience with a company. First-hand experiences can be invaluable; however, you should always consider the source's reliability. It is up to you to find the best trucking company to work for you. Your success as a professional driver counts on the kind of company you work with and how they treat their drivers. At MigWay, we have a particular passion for treating our drivers right and enriching the lives of our employees. While we tell you to take your time when researching, we've also made it easy to find a driver-focused trucking company if you're looking for an OTR driving job on the east coast. We are a driver-focused company with many drivers that love to call MigWay home. Save yourself the job hunting headache of looking for the best trucking company to work for, and reach out to us so we can help you get started with MigWay. See you soon!

If you are interested in applying for a driving position with MigWay, please click this link or reach out to us on our social platforms!

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