Where Are The Top Trucking Jobs? One Answer Will Surprise You

Top Trucking JobsWe’re all in search of those top trucking jobs. You know the ones. Great pay, nice equipment, fantastic home time. Recruiters promise it. Churning drivers go from company to company in search of it. But they’re left with the same question.

So Where Are Those Top Trucking Jobs?

Before I give you my answer, let’s consider a few of the big carriers out there. I think they fall into three categories.

  1. Huge fleets with 100 percent turnover rates: They go after the folks with no experience, often pressuring them towards lease-purchase agreements. Although I have talked to a couple of drivers that seem happy with one of these companies, most of us would wear a bag over our heads if we had to move one of these trucks across the street.
  2. The above average fleets, national or regional: Here in Wisconsin we have companies like Halvor Lines, Roehl Transport and others that get drivers home regularly and try to deliver what they’ve promised. I mention these two because I’ve worked for both of them. I would still be at Halvor today if I hadn’t been offered my current gig.
  3. The elite companies: Whether an owner operator or a company driver, companies like Land Star and Walmart are great fleets to drive for. Line-haul jobs, pedal routes, dedicated runs, these are all great gigs.

Avoid the companies that fit number 1 like a long line at the Pilot. You may find something you love with one of the other types, but I have another thought. Stop looking at trucking companies.

Many Top Trucking Jobs Aren’t With Trucking Companies

Twice in my driving career I’ve driven trucks for companies that weren’t trucking companies. They made a product or sold a product. They even owned a truck or two. Technically, they have a DOT number and some kind of authority. That makes them a trucking company. But they operate like a business that does something else well. They just happen to own a few trucks.

I started my driving career years ago by attending a truck driving school on the weekends. This allowed me to keep my job with a local cabinet manufacturer. Once I obtained my CDL I went to work as a driver for the same company. That little company had some serious advantages. I never considered this place to hold some of the top trucking jobs in the area, but I was a rookie. What did I know?

  • They paid hub mileage. That means I never drove for free.
  • They paid stop pay. With 20-25 stops on some of those loads, it added up quickly.
  • Rarely did they have a back haul. They wanted that trailer back so they could ship the next load.
  • When loads were short, I was able to work in the warehouse so I would still have a pay check.

That company only had one problem. I was the low man on the totem pole and the last guy to get a load. Nobody was leaving. With 4  company drivers and two owner operators, all with a decade or more of seniority, I’d be years waiting for a full time driving job there. Several of those drivers are still there 16 years later.

My current gig is with a livestock company. They buy and sell. That’s their focus. I was lucky enough to know someone when they needed another full time driver. Although we have a couple of part time and temporary drivers helping out from time to time, the other full time driver has been there over 30 years.

What I love about these types of jobs is what they’re usually looking for in a driver. They just wan you to do a great job without having to worry about you. Places like this tend to pay well. They understand home time. They really have little idea of what you do, but they are willing to pay to get it done. In many cases you’ll have some hands-on work with the delivery, but they’ll pay for your time. They consider full time employment 40 hours a week and appreciate the extra time you put in.

So How Do You Find These Jobs?

Pay attention to what’s around your home town. Have your family and friends keep an eye out. Watch the industrial areas for trucks that belong to that business. Get a list going of potential future employers.

Once you’ve got a few companies nailed down, figure out if you know anyone working there. Word of mouth could get you in front of the right person long before the job is advertised. In many cases they don’t really know how to interview or hire a truck driver. Your introduction could save their time and land you that job.

Do You Own Your Truck?

Being an owner operator could be a big benefit to many of these trucking companies that aren’t trucking companies. Owning one less truck means one less headache. Don’t hesitate to talk to a few of these businesses once you’ve identified them. At the very least, you may find some good local freight for the gig you’ve got now.

Do you have one of these jobs?

I know a few of you do have your dream job. Let us know if you do, or if you’re looking for that perfect fit. We’d love to hear from you.