6 Questions New Truck Drivers Should Ask Employers During Interviews
When pursuing truck driver opportunities, it’s essential to align yourself with a company that holds the same values as you. While plenty of truck driving jobs are available, not every company will be the right fit for you.
If you’re a new truck driver preparing for interviews, don’t be afraid to come into the interview with a list of questions for your potential employer. This will give you a better idea of their culture and how they do business.
When preparing your questions, consider salary, benefits, the company environment, and the overall work-life balance. If you’re still not sure what types of questions you should be asking, here are six you can add to your list.
1. What Is Your Home-Time Policy?
All transportation companies should have a home-time policy. This policy establishes how many weeks a driver must be on the road before they’re allowed to come home. For example, some companies may require new truck drivers to drive seven consecutive days before they’re allowed four days of home time. Every company is different—if the home-time policy isn’t stated in the job description, you need to ask about it during the interview.
While many drivers prefer being on the open road for weeks at a time, this may not work for truck drivers who have family obligations or need to be closer to home. Think about your current life—will this company be able to meet your needs?
2. What Is the Expected Salary for This Position?
The average pay for truck drivers varies state by state and company by company. You always want to know the starting pay so that you can compare the salaries of other companies. Generally, the more experience you have, the higher pay you will receive. You may also receive higher pay if you hold multiple CDL certifications.
3. Do You Offer a Benefits Package?
Just like salary, you want to be sure that the company you work for offers a benefits package that can support your current lifestyle. Don’t be afraid to ask about medical insurance, paid time off, and retirement options. If insurance is available, does it only cover the employee, or can you enroll in a family policy? Additionally, you’ll want to confirm what type of insurance is included in the package (medical, vision, dental, etc.). Lastly, always ask if there is a waiting period for coverage. Some companies may allow you to take advantage of their insurance packages right away, while others may only offer insurance once you pass a 30-day probationary period.
4. Which Routes Would I Typically Drive?
Next, be sure to ask which routes company drivers frequently take. Asking this question will help you assess how long you will be on the road and understand how far away the terminal location is from your home.
5. Do You Have a Safety Program or Set of Standards for Employees?
You also want to ensure that the company you choose prioritizes your safety. Driving on the road for hours can be a dangerous job. Always ask detailed questions about the company’s training, safety policies, insurance coverage, and truck maintenance programs.
You should also ask where the company stands on inclement weather conditions, safe driver incentives, rider policies, and if the company or the driver pays the commercial insurance on the truck.
You may also want to ask if the company has a slip-seat policy in effect, which means that multiple truck drivers will share a truck. If you will be working under a slip-seat policy, what happens if there is damage to the truck?
6. What Type of Equipment Will I Be Using?
Lastly, you want to be sure you’re comfortable on the road. Ask the company what equipment they provide and if there is any equipment you will have to purchase on your own. Truck driving equipment includes special liftgates to the trailer, air ride suspension kits, and a sleeper (bed). Be sure to also ask about the type of truck you’ll be driving (or if you need to purchase your own truck) and what accessories you’ll have to use when transporting goods.
Start Your Truck Driving Career at TSI
Do you want to become a truck driver? Get in touch with our team at TSI. We’ve been providing cross-border freight transportation services for over four decades. As a family-owned and -operated business, we’re committed to creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for our employees. In addition to our competitive pay, exceptional benefits package, and consistent growth opportunities, we also provide a six-week, hands-on program for new truck drivers.