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Switching Trucking Companies: 4 Keys for Success

February 16th, 2024

Jeron Rennie

Jeron Rennie

Having grown up around the trucking industry — with his dad and several uncles serving as truck drivers — it’s only natural Jeron found his way into the industry as well. Jeron joined ATS in 2018 as a member of the marketing team, where he grew his knowledge of the trucking industry substantially. Now as the driver recruiting manager, he is responsible for ensuring a smooth recruiting process in order to create a quality driver experience.

Are you looking for a new driving career in trucking? Do you think the grass is greener on the other side at another trucking company? Maybe you aren’t taking home the pay your current trucking company promised, you need better insurance benefits, or the company is simply no longer a good fit for you. 

If it’s time for you to change trucking companies, do some research before putting in your two weeks’ notice. After all, you don't want to go to another company that makes you just as unhappy. 

Here at Anderson Trucking Service (ATS), we know how important it is to have as much information as possible before deciding which trucking company you want to call home. We talk to drivers like you every day — helping them determine what their needs are and which company can accommodate them best (even if that isn't ATS). 

You deserve to find a carrier that meshes well with you and advocates for you out on the road. 

In this article, I’ll discuss the four things you need to consider when you're looking at quitting your trucking company to go to another one. Check out my top tips for finding the best truck driving job for you below.


1. Take Your Time When Switching Trucking Companies

Drivers typically fall into two categories when they're thinking about changing trucking jobs: transient drivers and methodical drivers. 

A transient driver is one who frequently hops from trucking carrier to trucking carrier — chasing freight and a big paycheck. They might follow a knee-jerk reaction and choose a trucking company without doing much research on the carrier.  

A methodical driver takes their time when deciding which carrier they want to work with. Unless you're desperate to take a job — maybe your trucking company isn't paying you or is encouraging unsafe behavior — you shouldn’t jump into a new driving career at any old carrier. Take your time learning more about several trucking companies. In other words, be a methodical driver. 

Choosing the “sexy” job (AKA, the company whose Facebook ads say they pay the most — whether or not they actually do) isn’t always the best decision to make long-term. Slow it down and take your time when changing trucking jobs. You wouldn’t get married to someone after first meeting them, so don’t marry a trucking company without first determining if you’re compatible.

Talk to driver recruiters from different companies to find a carrier that aligns with your values and career path. Talk to more than one carrier. It shouldn’t take two or three hours to decide who you want to work with. It might take two or three weeks or even two or three months. 

Without giving yourself adequate time to gather all the facts to make a decision, you may end up taking a job that doesn't align with your values. You may find yourself hunting for another job soon. Everyone knows that switching jobs is never fun, especially if it might mean going without pay for several weeks.  

Download the checklist now!

2. Ask About Freight Type and Programs

In speaking with recruiters at different companies, find out what type of freight they haul and what programs they have to offer. Do they have lease purchase programs or do they only hire company drivers? Maybe you've only ever leased a truck but you're ready to try something new.

Do they only haul one type of commodity or do they have a diversified freight portfolio? You may not want to haul the freight they’re hauling, or you may not want to haul the same thing day in and day out. 

Ask about their track record in helping drivers grow in their careers and where that falls on their priority list. They may not be able to offer you the career growth you desire or the support you need to get you there. Make sure they value safety just as much as you do, too. 

You’ll also need to determine what routes the company offers, including over-the-road (OTR), regional and local. The right trucking company will get you home when you need to go home. 

Close up of a hand writing on paper with a pen.

3. Make a List of Negotiables and Non-Negotiables

Pay is obviously top of mind when you're considering a new company — no one wants to work for free — but you should also make a list of negotiables and non-negotiables when changing trucking companies. 

If you could paint the ideal carrier to work for, what would that look like? Keep a checklist of questions in mind as you research and talk to driver recruiters. Here are just a few of the questions you should ask before you sign up for orientation:

  •       How does the lease program work?
  •       What’s the difference between being a lease driver versus a company driver?
  •       What are the benefits?
  •       How often can I go home?
  •       How often will I get paid?
  •       Is the company stable?
  •       What type of equipment is available? Is it well-maintained?

As you consider your options, remind yourself why you’re switching companies and what you don’t want out of a new company. 

Think about your long-term career plan. If you haven’t made a plan yet, now is the time. Where do you see yourself 10 years down the road?

Related: How to research trucking companies


Five gold stars.

4. Look into the Carrier’s Reputation

Research the trucking carrier’s reputation. Review their website and social media channels. Compare each company. Determine if their values align with yours. Read their reviews and watch their videos.

Look for a stable, financially sound organization — which is especially important in today's market. Ask about the turnover rate. If they have a high turnover rate, the company might not be giving drivers what they need. If you want to grow, you need to find a stable company you can grow alongside.

Talk to other truck drivers who work with the company you're looking into. Ask them what they think of the company, if they would recommend them to other drivers, if they feel stable with the company, and so on. Take the opportunity to learn about the company from the driver’s perspective versus what the trucking carrier puts on its website. If your recruiter doesn’t give you any reference drivers to talk to, take that as a red flag.

You should be able to trust the trucking carrier and driver recruiter you work with. Building a strong relationship with your recruiter and driver manager is important.

If you can, investigate how the carrier trains its driver managers. Your driver manager will be your constant support and closest resource on the road. They should be able to adequately meet all of a driver’s needs. 

Related: Learn how ATS trains its driver managers

Find the Best Trucking Company 

Hopping from trucking carrier to trucking carrier will only leave you with a sour taste in your mouth.

When changing trucking jobs, investigate potential carriers thoroughly before making a jump. Speak to recruiters and ask plenty of questions to ensure you feel good about your decision in the long run. Don’t apply for multiple positions and simply choose the recruiter that calls you first. 

Are you unsure where to go from here? This list of the best trucking companies to work for is a great place to start. Plus it provides tips for choosing the best company for you.

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