Big Frank’s Fire Truck – In part one of our series, Choosing Truck Driving Jobs Part I: Factors Affecting All Companies, we talk about various factors and considerations that will affect your experience in the company where you work.
In part two of our series, “Choosing Truck Driving Jobs Part II: You and” Your People “Are the Most Important Factors”, we talk about surrounding yourself with the right people, understanding the factors that influence delivery the things you will get, and the things you can do to put yourself in the best position to succeed.
Big Frank’s Fire Truck
In the third section, “Choosing Truck Driving Jobs Part III: How Your Family and Lifestyle Will Affect Your Choice”, we consider your personality and lifestyle. Are you married? Do you have children? Do you like adventure? How long do you want to be away from home? All of these questions are included in the process of selecting the right truck driving job.
In section 4, “Choosing Truck Driving Jobs Part IV: Advantages of Large Transport Companies”, we of course talk about the benefits of working in a large freight company.
Now in part 5, we will talk about some of the disadvantages of working in a large trucking company, and discuss what life is like in a small company.
Ok, the big truck companies must have some losses, right? Of course they do. In a large company, you are just a number, not a name. Hopefully you will get to know some people who work in offices such as your operator, boss, and maybe one or two middle managers such as terminal managers or operations managers. If you know a lot of people … and by knowing me that they really recognize you by name or truck number, you might have done a very good job or a terrible job for several months, or maybe even a few years. It’s hard to stand out when there are thousands of drivers in one company. So, if you like personal attention and a family-like atmosphere, large companies will not provide it for you.
Therefore, you will find it very difficult to get special consideration for anything. Doing a good job for several years will give you an automatic thank-you letter and maybe a patch for the company jacket that you have to buy from your own company store when you want it. At the other end, you might find yourself in a unique situation, and no one will take the time to understand your side. They don’t have time, and frankly many of them don’t really care. I will discuss more about this topic with some stories related to this theme.
Smaller companies, in my opinion, do not have too many advantages over larger ones from the driver’s point of view. You will surely get to know everyone in the office, and they will surely know you. Often if you live near your main office, people in your company will even get to know your family and other employees’ families. This family atmosphere is indeed fun, but you also have to be aware of a number of things.
For one, just as in a tight group of people, everyone tends to know the business of others. Maybe you don’t want everyone in the workplace to know about the surgery you are going to do, or the difficult times you experience with your marriage, or the problems your child is having at school. Maybe you get a decent salary increase, but now other drivers are jealous and make a fuss. Or maybe your extraordinary performance is rewarded with more miles and better trucks, which again causes problems with other drivers. As you might know, I’ve been in a situation like this before and I don’t like it too much. Having a colleague as a close friend is not always easy to maintain, especially if there is a type of competition between employees in terms of payment, equipment, or shipping.
One time I worked at a small company that attracted food tankers. There are only eleven drivers in the company. I ran very hard for them and before too long they came to expect too much from me. Things arrived at the point that I run an average of about 4,500 miles per week. That’s a ton! Over time, company owners expect more from me. That’s more ridiculous. Eventually I stayed on the road for almost six weeks in a row, averaging around 4,500 miles per week (totally illegal – you can’t log in for miles legally), and when I returned home he ordered a burden for me transport two days later. Six weeks on the road, two days at home, and I have to go again? I don’t think so. Well, he said I could run a load or get fired. I have been there a year, and I have a perfect record of safety and service. I was also second among drivers in miles away per week, but I don’t think that’s good enough. It turned out that the owner was in serious financial trouble and I knew the company was closed only a few months later.
So it turns out he really wants to get all the money in so he can save the company. But he has a good thing with me and destroys it. Not only that, but he used my DAC report that I left the truck, which was totally untrue! But because he was out of business, he could not respond to my claim that he falsified the report, so I had no trouble moving to the next job. A little advice – don’t make the mistake of running so hard. Don’t run too hard so you will damage your mind, body or license. Think long term and make smart choices. I was very young at the time, made a lot of money running so hard, and wanted to encourage myself to see what I could do. Well, what I do is make myself sick. I made myself tired, burned, and spent about 3 days in bed with some kind of flu / flu / virus at one point. Remember, long-term success means planning for the long term and making smart decisions all the time, not just part of the time.
So be aware of the fact that small truck companies will rely on you far more than large companies. There will be advantages and disadvantages for the company where you work. Remember that there is always a compromise when you choose where you want to work. It’s just a matter of finding what works best for you.
In part 6 of this series we will discuss several types of jobs driving different trucks – dry vans and refrigerators!
Brett R Aquila
15 Years of Veteran Truck Driving
Owner – http://www.truckingtruth.com – the biggest, most honest and informative site on the web for those who are considering becoming a truck driver. We have a lot of resources on our site, including:
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