We’ve all bought the wrong size pants. We’ve all gone on a bad date. We all sold that first car. All for the same reason – it just wasn’t a good fit.
The same goes for jobs and, after more than two decades in the industry, I can say for certain that’s nowhere more true than in trucking.
The trucking industry is as varied as the vehicles we drive, from pickup trucks to combination units and everything in between. A commercial driver’s license opens a world of opportunities but it doesn’t automatically put you in the right position. With the trucking industry facing a shortage estimated at 50,000 drivers or more, almost any candidate can find gainful employment with little effort.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put the effort into it.
Trucking companies of all types are actively and aggressively seeking candidates. You can work for just about any one of them. But which one works best for you?
Long-haul, over-the-road operations have single drivers and driver teams crisscrossing the continent, sometimes for weeks at a time. Are you single? The solitary type who enjoys your own company for long stretches of time? Do you have a partner you can spend 24 hours a day with for long periods?
Local pickup and delivery operations and gas-haulers can go home every day – not necessarily every night, but every day, at some point.
You’ve got your CDL, but you don’t necessarily have the endorsements to drive for every company. How often do you want to tarp and chain? Can you handle a hazmat load? How about standing meat? (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you need to study up some more before deciding what you’re going to drive.)
You need to answer all of these questions and address all of these issues before deciding on your next career move.
You need to research everything you can about the company you’re looking at. Check the website and read the reviews. Remember, it’s always easier to post a negative comment than a positive one. Question the recruiters and talk with other drivers.
Most importantly, talk to your family and talk to yourself.
Before you put yourself in that seat, make sure it fits.