7 Features of the Best Trucking Company to Drive For

Looking for a new trucking company to work for can be challenging. To make things easier, we’ve outlined certain features that a truck driver should look for in a busin


Jacob Lee
April 5, 2023
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The best trucking company to drive for can vary based on what a trucker needs from their job. Every transportation business is different, and drivers will need to examine each carefully to find the one that’s best for them. 

According to the American Trucking Association (ATA), the best trucking company to drive for will have:

  1. Fair Pay 
  2. Comprehensive Benefits 
  3. Commitment to Safety Procedures
  4. The Right Haul Distance
  5. Industry Experience
  6. Good Company Culture 
  7. A Nearby Terminal

Drivers should also know the requirements that transportation businesses have. 

The best trucking company to drive for can be found with the right amount of time and research. 

What Type of Jobs Do the Best Trucking Companies to Drive for Offer?

There are a variety of truck driving jobs to choose from. Many of the best trucking companies specialize in the transportation of specific goods. 

Some career paths available to truckers include:

  • Owner operators
  • Ice road drivers
  • Oversize transport
  • Refrigerated transport
  • Dry van
  • Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) transport

Divers should consider the type of transportation services they want to perform before looking at other features of a trucking business. Fortunately, drivers can find many employment opportunities in the transportation industry.  

A truck driver in a safety vest while jotting down notes on the inspection they're conducting on their truck

What to look for in a Trucking Company

Truck drivers can start looking at potential employers after determining the type of freight they want to transport. Truckers can find the best semi truck company to work for by assessing various factors.  

1. Fair Pay

The best companies to drive trucks for provide drivers a competitive salary. This profession requires drivers to perform various tasks, so fair compensation is a must.  

These tasks include:

  • Time 
  • Commitment
  • Training
  • Attention to detail
  • Handling of valuable goods

The time and commitment required this career requires can put strain on a truck driver’s personal relationships. Drivers may also require additional training if they want to transport certain loads. 

Divers must ensure that the salary provided by a trucking company is fair to them. They can do this by factoring in their level of experience and the type of freight they’ll be expected to haul. Truckers with families should carefully consider the pay a business offers as well.

Truck driving requires constant focus. The slightest mistake could mean disaster for a trucker and the valuable goods they’re transporting. Each effort that’s required for truck driving demands fair compensation.

2. Comprehensive Benefits Packages

Drivers can find good trucking companies to work for by examining the benefits package they offer. Many transportation companies provide an assortment of non-salary compensation.

Truck driver benefit packages typically offer:

  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance 
  • Disability insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Retirement plans
  • Paid time off (PTO)
  • Paid holidays
  • Tuition reimbursement

Sitting in the same spot for hours on end and having little time to exercise can take a toll on a driver’s health. Truckers can also suffer injury or illness outside the job. The medical insurance provided by benefit packages allow truck drivers to maintain and improve their health. 

A retirement plan will also let a trucker save money during their tenure with a company. Drivers can move retirement plans to a new company if they choose to change jobs. PTO and paid holidays are another perk that come with employee benefits. 

This lets truckers enjoy paid vacations or home time with family and friends.  Lastly, some businesses provide tuition reimbursement to their drivers. Truckers with student loans can use this to pay some or all of their student loans. 

Every trucking company offers different benefits packages. Therefore, truckers consider a few different factors when before they pick one. 

This includes:

  • Personal health
  • Family health needs
  • How much time off they require
  • Plans for retirement
  • Students loans 
  • Access to disability insurance 

Drivers focusing on these factors will have an easier time identifying which benefits package that a company provides is best for them. 

Speaking of health, learn how to cook healthy make ahead meals for truckers that will keep you full while on the road.  

3. Commitment to Safety Procedures

Safety is an important feature to look for in a transportation provider. The best trucking company to drive for is one that cares about the well-being of its truckers. The  Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has many regulations that businesses in the transportation industry must follow. 

Legal requirements for truck drivers and companies include:

  • Hours of Service (HOS) regulations
  • Drug and Alcohol Testing
  • Maintenance and inspection of vehicles
  • Electronic logging device (ELD) requirements
  • HAZMAT regulations

Truckers should make sure the company they’re interested in follows these regulations. Some transportation businesses have additional precautions that drivers have to follow.

Some additional safety precautions to look for in a trucking company include:

  • New-hire training
  • Safety meetings
  • Red flag warning system

Training provides drivers with knowledge about company practices while on the road. Safety meetings are a great opportunity to remind truckers of the safety requirements they need to practice. Transportation companies use red flags to issue warnings to their drivers if they break safety procedures while driving.  

Trucking businesses have additional precautions because they want to ensure trucker safety. Therefore, drivers should seek out business that have company rules and follow federal regulations. 

4. The Right Haul Distance

Truck drivers need to consider how far a trucking company will require them to travel. The best haul distance depends on a trucker’s personal preference.

Some companies perform long haul transport, while others perform short haul transport. If a driver chooses to work a long haul transportation company, they can expect to be on the road for multiple days or weeks at a time. Long haul trucking also requires drivers to spend several  hours behind the wheel before a break.

There are  benefits of long haul jobs though, such as:

  • Higher pay
  • Travel to new places
  • Trucker independence 
  • Flexible route and schedule planning

Truckers that drive for a short haul shipping company will come home every night. This type of transportation service requires driving within 150 miles of the starting location. Short haul trucking can be fast-paced because drivers often make multiple stops during the day.  

Short haul benefits for truckers include: 

  • Predictable routes and schedules
  • Better sleep 
  • Work-life balance
  • More consistent work

Long haul is great for truckers that value independence and high pay. Drivers that prefer a consistent schedule and want to come home every night should seek a short haul trucking position. 

5. Experience In the Industry

Drivers can find a trucking company to work for by examining the company’s level of experience. A business that has been in the transportation industry for many years will be better to work for.  

Experienced trucking companies are often better because they have:

  • Proven success
  • Other experienced drivers
  • Better training
  • Professionalism 

Working for an experienced company is easier and more enjoyable for most truckers. A trucking business with a short history in the transportation industry may lack important knowledge. This can cause the employee turnover rate to rise. 

Some less experienced companies can still provide a good work opportunity for truckers. That said, drivers should make it their priority to apply with a seasoned employer. 

ABCO Transportation is one trucking business with plenty of industry experience. We started in 1993 as a company that ships perishable goods and routine non-hazardous products. Since our start, we’ve provided great job opportunities for truck drivers that have wanted to improve their careers. 

6. Good Company Culture

The best trucking companies to drive for have an excellent company culture. Some values of a trucking business can be found in the training or benefits packages they offer. 

High driver turnover is an indicator that a trucking business struggles with poor company culture.

A good company culture is revealed in many aspects of the workplace, such as:

  • Communication 
  • Overall goals
  • Attitude
  • Respect 

Communication is essential in the workplace. If a trucker needs help, dispatch should to be there to answer when they call. Drivers also need to know the goals of their company to abide by what’s expected of them. 

Attitude and respect go a long way in the transportation industry. Being on the road is already difficult enough. Truckers shouldn’t drive for a company that doesn’t appreciate their efforts or is rude. 

 Truckers should research job reviews and educate themselves about a business to determine if their values align.  

7. A Nearby Terminal

Location. Location. Location. It’s not just a real estate slogan.  Truckers spend most of their time behind the wheel. To ease the amount of driving they have to do, many truckers choose to a job that’s based close to them. 

The average amount of time it takes a worker in the U.S. to commute to their job is 26 minutes. Therefore, drivers should try to work for a company they can commute to in 30 minutes or less.

This commute time will prevent a trucker from driving more than necessary when they get off from work. Commutes that take 30 minutes or less also give drivers more time to get ready in the morning. 

Semi truck traveling on bridges and going in different directions

What Do Good Trucking Companies Look for in a Driver?

Drivers should be aware that the best semi truck companies to work for have high standards for their employees. Transportation businesses will place the requirements they’re looking for within job postings. Truckers should make sure that they meet of them before they send an application. 

1. Safety Record

The safety record of a truck driver is very important to transportation companies. Truckers that have a bad safety record can be harder to insure. Carriers will also avoid drivers with a record of safety violations for financial reasons. 

An accident-prone trucker is more likely to inflict unnecessary costs on their employer when they make a mistake. A Smaller transportation businesses are more likely to deny drivers with a bad safety record than one that is larger. 

It’s essential for truck drivers to always follow safety procedures. A good record will increase their marketability when they start looking for a new company to work for. Less experienced drivers can prove their commitment to safety by verifying their graduation from a commercial driver license (CDL) school.

2. Driver Experience

Good trucking companies want to employ experienced drivers. That said, truckers that have spent less time behind the wheel can still find good employment opportunities.  

While there are plenty of job opportunities for less experienced drivers, trucking companies that require more experience are likely to pay more. 

There are two ways that a trucking business measures experienced: 

  • Solo miles driven
  • Amount of time spent driving

Solo miles is the cumulative distance that a trucker has driven on their own. Most businesses look for drivers that have at least 60,000 solo miles. That said, others are willing to take on drivers with 20,000 miles or fewer. 

Experience can also be measured by the months or years that a driver has been working in the industry. Many of the best trucking businesses require at least one year of experience. Other companies are willing to take on truckers that have just finished their CDL training program. 

Many transportation businesses will verify the experience of a driver by obtaining a Drive-A-Check (DAC). This piece of paperwork provides details on a trucker’s employment history. 

Additional details include:

  • Personal demographics
  • Legal transgressions 
  • Driving history
  • Department of Transportation (DOT) infractions
  • Drug testing results

Truckers should ensure that their employment history is accurate before they submit their application. These businesses recognize the value of having seasoned drivers and are willing to compensate them more for their work. 

3. Endorsements

Transportation providers value drivers that have one or more CDL endorsements. Truckers that take the time to earn multiple endorsements have more skills than drivers with only a regular CDL.  

Some endorsements a trucker can earn include:  

  • Passengers (P)
  • Tanker Vehicle (N)
  • Double & triple (T)
  • Hazardous Materials (H)
  • Tanker/Hazmat Combination (X)
  • School bus endorsement (S)

There are many types of carriers in the transportation industry that will require one or more CDL endorsement.

A truck driver looking out their window

How Long Does It Take To Get Hired at a Trucking Company?

The amount of time it takes for good trucking companies to hire can range between a few days to a few weeks. It all depends on a company’s demand for truckers and the hiring process. Currently, the U.S. is struggling with a truck driver shortage, which has increased demand for drivers. 

Every trucking business has unique procedures that it uses to hire new company drivers. 

That said, most companies have a hiring process with some variation of the same steps. 

  1. Application review
  2. Interview 
  3. Screening
  4. Offer of employment
  5. Onboarding 

The hiring process for unionized trucking companies is much longer. Unions add more steps that truck drivers will have to complete. 

These additional steps include:

  1. Orientation for the union
  2. Negation of the driver’s terms of employment

Union orientation can take anywhere between a few days to a few weeks. Negotiations regarding a trucker’s employment terms will also lengthen the hiring process. There are many good trucking companies to drive for that provide non-union and union jobs. 

Truckers should always be prepared for a long hiring process when they apply for a position with a company, whether it’s union-based or not.  

Get the Trucking Career You Deserve by Driving With ABCO

ABCO is a great company to work for if you want to improve your trucking career.

Get access to competive pay and comprehensive benefits packages. To make being on the road more enjoyable, we allow drivers to bring family members or spouses with them during their travels. 

Fill out your ABCO job application if you’re ready to take your trucking career to the next step or call our team at (866) 980-2710 if you have any questions.

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