How long should i drive for my first company?

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by cdavis188, Sep 3, 2021.

  1. TripleSix

    TripleSix God of Roads

    Apr 10, 2009
    Copied in Hell
    If you are eventually jump ship, have a reason. Don’t just jump ship because it’s been a year. You want to advance. You want to get a better gig, not just a new gig.

    Pick a reason:

    -Better money. Don’t get caught up in that cent per mile crap. If the average driver at your current gig makes $55k, better would be the average driver at the new gig makes $70k. If you bring your A Game every day, you will do better than average, but average is how you gauge the money, not the CPM pay.

    -Better trucks. Less cattle prods. Higher top speeds.

    -Better management. No handholding/micromanagement, more trust. No stupid company policies. No carrot dangling (fuel bonus bull crap). If you are a solid driver, you will thrive in such an environment. If you one of those big baby sidewalk sissy type that needs to be coddled, you won’t.

    Local/regional job. Want to be home every day/weekend? Plenty of these jobs around. In fact, there are more of these type jobs than any other. Most are smaller fleets, 50-100 trucks that have private contracts. The next time you drive down the highway, notice how many rigs there are without a name on the back of the trailer. Notice the rigs that are pulling old mega carrier trailers. You can get a local/regional job with full benefits, good pay, 401k, and home every day.
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  3. Moose1958

    Moose1958 Road Train Member

    Dec 17, 2010
    Ainigriv Notpmah
    To answer this question I would say starting at 6 months some carriers will open up for you. At a year more will. The thing is I must agree 100% with @TripleSix ! I know from experience with hundreds of drivers I have assisted over the years that well over 90% of the time when a driver "jumps" from a carrier to another carrier they find what looked like greener grass to be astroturf!

    This topic is a bit of a hot button with me. I can't tell you how many times I have spoken to a driver that actually believed what some driver full of hot air had to say about who he drove for. Before I become a driver myself I never used the word hyperbole much. Some people may use the word embellish! Both words mean the same. These bags of hot air are not actually telling a lie! What they are doing is far worse. I will say it this way and close. The best lie is that lie with just enough truth in it to make it believable! Not trying to morph this subject! PLEASE don't believe 99% of what you hear at a truck stop lunch counter!
    dwells40, TripleSix and Kyle G. Thank this.
  4. JoeTruck

    JoeTruck Medium Load Member

    Mar 13, 2015
    LOWER 48
    The better companies like to see "stable" work history.
    Plan your move and put money away for the transition. You will be without a paycheck for at least two weeks.
    And yes move forward in Schindler, flat bed or tanker are great moves.
    Trucker61016 and Val_Caldera Thank this.
  5. NewbiusErectus

    NewbiusErectus Medium Load Member

    Jun 27, 2012
    just echoing the sentiments of a few others: do your absolute best to ensure that your next job is a step up (rather than a lateral move).

    I see it both here (on TTR) and the real world - so many people rolling the dice when they move on. They make lateral moves for a decade and then scream about how horrible the industry is.

    When interviewing, be analytical. You can perceive a lot just by observing. In other words, interview the potential employer as much as (if not more than) they’re interviewing you (Just don’t make it obvious, to where you might be seen as a prima donna).

    Tenure is good, but it would be very hard to maintain if the next gig ends up the same (or worse) than your current gig.
    TripleSix Thanks this.
  6. Moose1958

    Moose1958 Road Train Member

    Dec 17, 2010
    Ainigriv Notpmah
    Most everybody that makes hiring decisions wants to see stability. This also sometimes means more than job history. I know a guy that had his application (non-driving job) round filed because he had moved 5 times in the last 7 years. Some employers also use 3rd party sources to check credit and social media history! Now to ground this topic back to trucking! It can be a bit expensive to comply fully with the FMCSA regulations. Some carriers simply assume you are going to jump at the first sign of a problem and round file your app. Right now I know a guy that has 5 trucks leased and he can't get the company to whom he has leased them to clear a driver. Reason? Job history because the driver has an abandonment on his record. The driver disputes it and has the records to show it's vindictive BS, but the carrier won't budge!

    The thing is right now so many carriers need warm bodies they are hiring people even with bad job histories or questionable experience.
    Trucker61016 Thanks this.
  7. Hazmat Cat

    Hazmat Cat Medium Load Member

    Oct 18, 2019
    I’m still with first driving company. I picked the one I wanted when I started. No need to look around for now.
  8. SteveScott

    SteveScott Road Train Member

    Nov 10, 2015
    Change jobs when it becomes obvious that your employer isn't delivering on promises made when they hired you, or when your income isn't enough to survive on, and not a moment sooner.

    Trucking companies expecting employment "stability" in an industry where no stability exists is a joke. Most carriers have an annual employee turnover over 75%. Somebody is hiring all of those drivers and not asking about a stable work history. Sorry if I sound cynical, but after I got into the industry and had 3 jobs in 2 years from companies that could care less about their drivers, I decided to become an O/O and haven't looked back. I'll never work as a company driver again. I realize that's not possible for most, but I don't think job hopping in such a volatile industry hurts your odds with most employers. They know what this industry is like just as much as the drivers do. They wouldn't hesitate to fire you after years of employment for a minor accident or a ticket.
    sventvkg, Trucker61016 and Chinatown Thank this.
  9. asphaltreptile311

    asphaltreptile311 Road Train Member

    Jun 16, 2016
    Figuring out what type of trucking you want to do is huge. If I could do it all over I would have just started with dry van and went up from there .
  10. cman87

    cman87 Light Load Member

    Jun 29, 2016
    I did 6 months OTR, 8 months regional, and now 3 months and counting local/home daily. Each change was more pay and more home time.

    I still had a handful of companies trying to bring me in for an interview back in March/April. I don't think companies care about job hopping unless it's extremely frequent or if you're getting fired.

    Chinatown Thanks this.
  11. BeHereNow97

    BeHereNow97 Medium Load Member

    Sep 15, 2020
    Do you know your long term goals in the trucking industry OP?

    If so, I don't see how it hurts if you want to apply early to where you would want to go anyways after your year is up.

    For example, lots of LTL companies are really hurting for drivers right now. If your goal is to go somewhere like Estes, Old Dominion, etc. etc. after 1 year with your starter company, just put in your application to these LTL companies at your 3 month, 6 month and 9 month anniversary dates at your starter company. The worst the LTL companies can say is no. If they need drivers bad enough, they might hire. If they do hire you and you intend to stay long term, switching jobs in this case wouldn't hurt you at all.

    Job hopping might hurt you but tactfully switching jobs with a purpose to fulfill your long term goals won't hurt you in the slightest.
    Trucker61016, Chinatown and dwells40 Thank this.
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