Types of Trucking Companies
Within the trucking industry there are a number of different types of trucking companies and positions within those companies. Compensation, safety, and employee benefits are all important to consider when deciding which trucking company is the best fit for you. Different companies also offer different opportunities - lease purchase companies allow truckers the freedom of being their own boss, and drivers at smaller companies are more often recognized for their hard work than drivers at larger national companies.
Flatbed Trucking Companies
Flatbed trucks are used in many areas including transportation, manufacturing, and construction. They are often used for transporting oversized loads or products. A pro to consider is higher pay. Drivers who work for flatbed trucking companies are paid higher per mile compared to other types of trucking due to the harder labor. Flatbed trucking companies also spend less time loading and unloading compared to dry vans and typically only make one to two deliveries per week.
Something important to consider is the physical and mental labor required of flatbed truckers. The job can be very dangerous for both the drivers and others on the road if the load is not secured properly. Some drivers might like the balance of sedentary driving for long periods of time and the heavy exercise that comes with securing and tarping a load. The driver is in control of how dangerous the job is based on how well they use their training and being more alert on the road.
Lease Purchase Trucking Companies
When drivers enroll in truck lease purchase programs, they also become owner operators. Drivers for lease purchase trucking companies who become owner operators have to pay extra expenses, including truck payments, when compared to other types of trucking. Truck owners must carry two types of liability insurance: physical damage insurance for hauling a trailer and bobtail insurance for driving a truck without a trailer. Truck owners also have to pay for their own license and permits as well as all repairs and maintenance costs for their trucks.
However, with patience and hard work, drivers for a lease purchase trucking company are able to essentially become their own boss. They can own the truck they drive for work and start their own business. Owner operators can earn a higher gross salary, have a greater say in what loads to transport, and determine their own schedule.
Companies That Pay For CDL Training
There are many companies that pay for training as a commercial driver. Maverick USA offers paid training in flatbed trucking. They also have a CDL Sponsorship program for people who do not yet have their CDL license. Maverick offers full coverage of housing, tuition, and meals during CDL school. Prime in Springfield, MO and Salt Lake City, UT also offers a paid apprenticeship CDL program. If you drive for Prime for a year after earning your CDL, you pay the base fee of $155. Prime pays for your bus ticket, meals, and hotel stay during orientation.
Other trucking companies that pay student drivers for CDL training include C.R. England, Roehl’s and Wil-Trans. C.R. England based in Salt Lake City, UT offers a 17-day CDL truck driving school with all tuition expenses paid as long as the student driver commits to nine months of driving with the company after they pass their CDL test. Although there are many companies that offer paid CDL training, these programs are located in very few states.
Small Trucking Companies
Small trucking companies split their loads between company drivers and owner-operators.This means they tend to have fewer equipment expenses and fewer benefits expenses, allowing them to offer more competitive compensation packages than national trucking companies. Also, with a local company, drivers tend to have a better relationship with who they are working for and have a better understanding of the company’s goals and history.
Drivers who work for small trucking companies may be recognized more often for their hard work and what they do for the company by their superiors than drivers who are one of many in a national company. However, U.S. trucking companies have recently been mandated to electronically log employee hours in an effort to keep tired drivers off the road and minimize accidents. However, it may also drive smaller trucking firms out of business. As a result, they will need to find more drivers to haul the same amount of freight, which could mean cutting pay.
Heavy Haul Trucking Companies
Drivers for heavy haul trucking companies are expected to do heavy manual labor. Their duties include but are not limited to: chaining down shipments so they do not move while in transit, tarping and strapping down loads, and dealing with longer loading times. Along with the physical expectations, working for a heavy haul trucking company takes a lot of time on the road, behind the wheel, and on the job. Learning how to get used to the turn radius of a long semi-truck tractor will take time and patience.
Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers have one of the highest rates of injuries and illnesses of all occupations because of on-the-road accidents. Many heavy haul trucking companies find it difficult to retain qualified drivers because of the nature of the job which includes a difficult lifestyle and long periods of time away from home.
- C.R. England CDL School. Accessed September 28th, 2018. https://www.crengland.com/cdl-training-schools.
- Wil-Trans. Accessed September 28th, 2018. https://www.wil-trans.com/careers/training/.
- CDL Paid Training. Accessed September 28th, 2018. https://www.cdl.com/trucking-resources/general-resources/employers-offering-paid-training.
- Types of Trucking Jobs. Accessed September 28th, 2018. http://www.alltrucking.com/faq/truck-job-types/.
- O*Net. Accessed September 28th, 2018. https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/41-3041.00.
- Glassdoor.com. Accessed September 28th, 2018. https://www.glassdoor.com/index.htm.
- Bureau of Labor & Statistics. Accessed September 28th, 2018. https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes413041.htm.