Finding a trucking job can be difficult when you are just starting out and have limited behind-the-wheel experience. What are you supposed to do when all of the companies you apply to say you don’t have enough experience, yet no one will grant you the opportunity to get the experience you need? It’s a Catch-22 that has kept good truck drivers out of the industry for far too long. Thankfully, the tide is changing, and we have some helpful advice on what you can do to work around this problem when finding top-paying trucking jobs in the US.
Issues with Lack of Experience in Trucking
Why is behind-the-wheel experience such a big deal when trying to get a trucking job? For starters, if you lack experience as a trucker, you are more apt to make mistakes that can be costly, as well as dangerous. As a result, trucking insurers often make it too expensive and nearly impossible to hire truckers with limited experience. Fortunately, that way of thinking is turning around.
Nowadays carriers are more likely to take a risk and hire new drivers including student truck drivers and rookies. Part of this is due to the huge demand for truck drivers to take loads for carriers. If you are in the inexperienced driver’s seat and are looking for ways to get hired with a limited work history, we’ve got you covered.
Training for CDL Holders
You already know that you can go to truck driving school to get a commercial driver’s license or CDL. But did you know that you can go to trucker training if you already have a CDL? There are refresher courses for truck drivers who have limited experience, been out of the industry for a while, or want to brush up on certain skills and gain confidence.
To find trucker refresher programs, check out the community colleges, tech schools, and trucking schools near you. Most are starting to offer this type of driver training. You’ll be able to apply your skills and your certification for the course as part of your trucking resume. At the very least, you will be able to show that you have been going the extra mile to gain behind-the-wheel experience even if you can’t find a trucking job.
Trucking Companies Hiring with Limited Experience
One of the biggest roadblocks for truck drivers with limited experience is a work history. Most of the trucking companies you want to apply to will require you to have 12 to 18 months of driving experience. That’s an issue for truckers who are new to the industry and just getting started, yet hoping to find trucking jobs. If you have come across this issue, we are here to help. Check out some of the top-paying trucking companies that require only a few months of behind-the-wheel experience.
US Xpress Trucking Jobs
US Xpress considers truck drivers who have been hauling for three months to be experienced truckers. The company is also offering a $10,000 sign-on bonus to these experienced drivers. Plus, right now you can earn $4,000 of this bonus within the first 120 days of driving for US Xpress.
As it stands, most trucking companies pay out sign-on bonuses in increments over a period of a couple years. This is an incentive to keep drivers working for that company, which boosts employee morale. So, for US Xpress to pay more than a third of this massive sign-on bonus within the first four months is a great deal for drivers.
Dart Transit for Truck Drivers
Dart Transit hires owner-operators who have a minimum of six months of OTR driving experience within the last three years. With Dart, you can take off on your own as an owner-operator running your fleet of one. Dart will also help you get your own truck with a healthy lease purchase program for drivers. If you want more independence while earning up to $156,000 a year, consider putting your application in with Dart Transit.
Best Haul Types for Rookies
As a new trucker, aka a rookie truck driver, you don’t want to jump the gun and get in over your head with hauls. For instance, you will not want to take an oversized trucking load as your first haul. Most companies would never let you do such a thing, but also you should know better. This is the best way to ruin your driving history in the instance that anything goes wrong, and due to a lack of experience, it may well.
Instead, you want to look for trucking companies that offer the easiest haul types. The easiest to handle is a dry van trucking job. With dry van loads, you have a sealed-up container that doesn’t require constant checking. In fact, most of the time, a dry van load will be called a drop-and-hook. All you have to do is back up to the filled trailer, hook it up, and take off.
By looking for trucking companies that hire for dry van loads, you’ll have the best chance of getting hired with minimal experience since this haul type is the least demanding. It’s a good way to get your foot in the door in the trucking industry while gaining some months of driving experience that can allow you to find a new trucking job in the future.