3+ Things To Look For in Your Next OTR Driving Job

The driver shortage is back — making it the perfect time to find a great over-the-road (OTR) driving job.

A lot has changed since 2018, when the American Trucking Association first estimated the driver shortage had exceeded 60,000. First, the freight market cooled significantly. Hundreds of freight companies closed. Then, the pandemic rocked the industry, and our country. Many trucking firms sidelined dozens or even hundreds of drivers. More companies closed entirely. Not all of those displaced drivers are eager to re-enter the market.

As a result, truckers like you are in even greater demand. Some trucking companies have battled through the tough times and are thriving. But they need new drivers to expand operations and capture new opportunities. Many will try to entice you to join their organizations. With so many options, you’re in control. You get to choose which company is the best fit for your next OTR driving job.

Recently, we talked to some of our drivers to get their feedback on what’s most important when driving for a company. Here are their top suggestions:

1. Consistent Freight

The freight market is hot. But we all know how quickly that can change. Many companies are already hanging on by a thread, struggling to survive. But obviously, they won’t tell you that. You have to ask your own questions:

  • How long have you had the same lanes?
  • Who are your primary shipping customers?
  • How long have you partnered with them?

The best way to judge a trucking company’s future, is checking out its past. Loyalty among customers is a sure sign the company is consistently doing things the right way.

2. Culture

Many companies need you to work for them. Look for a company that WANTS to work with you. You’ll know the difference immediately. They know your name. They find solutions to make your job easier. They work with you to accommodate each other’s needs and responsibilities. A company committed to driver appreciation knows that a successful driver is good for business. Likewise, a successful driver knows what’s necessary to keep it that way.

3. Driver Turnover

There’s a lot drivers can tell you — even when you don’t talk to them directly. There’s been a surge in driver turnover rates, recently reaching 96% churn.

Ask companies about their driver turnover rates. When you find a company with driver turnover rates closer to 70% — you know that drivers are appreciated. The drivers are getting good lanes. They’re home as promised. They’re treated consistently and respectfully.

BONUS — Drivers Know Best
Drivers know what it’s like to be behind the wheel for 14 hours, waiting in detention, dealing with new regulations and avoiding careless motorists. Like you, they have a life away from the rig. Ask them whether their dispatcher gets them home when promised. Ask them if they even have a regular dispatcher. Ask them about how loads are assigned. Are the good loads reserved by seniority?

You know drivers will tell you the truth. They’ve been where you are now. And they appreciate any support they’ve received over the years. Recruiters are a good resource, too. But they’re trying to get a body in the yard and behind the wheel. A driver is trying to make a living — just like you.

WANT TO DRIVE FOR AMX?

You’re in the driver’s seat of where you work — and who you work for. Now is a great time to advance your career as a truck driver. Choose a company that can consistently offer quality work for quality pay — both today and tomorrow.

paul-powell-headshot

Paul Powell, Director of Reefer Operations, AMX

Prior to joining AMX, Paul owned Powell Transport Solutions, which was purchased by AMX in 2020. Paul’s background also includes owning a financial services firm.