Talking With The Right People

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One of the best ways, in my opinion, to really find out what life is like on the inside of a company you are considering applying to is to talk with some of the drivers and

mechanics that work there. It's simple to do, it's incredibly effective, it makes perfect sense that a company's current drivers would know best, and you're going to be pleasantly surprised at the honesty you'll

get! Now please be aware of one thing, though....often times, a company will offer a referral bonus to any employee that refers a driver to the company. Often times it's quite significant...in the area of $500. So when you begin talking with a truck driver or a mechanic, make it perfectly clear that you are looking for an honest opinion, not a sales pitch. If you were looking for propaganda you could simply talk to their recruiting department. If they seem rather persistent about wanting to give you their name and truck number so that they can make money for recruiting you, simply thank them for their time and try to find someone else.

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But most of the time you will get a brutally honest opinion. Truck drivers often tend to look out for other truck drivers. We all live the same kind of lives and face the same difficulties, so the last thing we should want to do is make life difficult for one another. Make sure you talk to at least five different drivers from any particular trucking company. One or two could just be happy or unhappy with their company at that particular time based on

some current events.But if you can get a pretty consistent group of opinions from several different drivers then you know you've probably gotten a good feel for the way drivers are being treated at that company. Ask them if they're getting the mileage they would like to be getting, whether they get home roughly when they are supposed to, and whether or not the trucks are well maintained. That's the three most important things a company must do well.

Speaking With Company Mechanics

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Also, talk to one or two mechanics if you can get the opportunity. And if the company is located too far away to visit in person, don't be afraid to call the shop! Just tell whoever answers the phone that you're considering becoming a driver for the company and you'd like to know his opinion on their maintenance program.

Ask them if the trucks are well taken care of and especially if their driver's requests for small things like new wiper blades, faulty mirror heaters, and blown fuses are handled promptly and without debate.If they aren't taking the time and care to look after the trucks then not only will you be losing a lot of money while unreliable trucks are sitting in the repair shop all the time, but you'll know that the company's management really isn't concerned with the comfort, safety, and happiness of its drivers.

A Poor Maintenance Program is a Huge Red Flag. Stay away from that company. You'll also be surprised at how often a trucking company's maintenance guys will be honest with you. The vast majority of mechanics take pride in what they do. They want to do things the right away because the safety and reliability of the equipment they work on is what determines their reputation. If they aren't being allowed to maintain the equipment properly, they'll more than likely let you know. It's their way of defending their reputation, and I don't blame them. 

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