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How to Read Trucking Company Reviews: 4 Questions to Ask

February 17th, 2023

Robbie Schaefer

Robbie Schaefer

Robbie came to ATS with ten years of transportation experience under his belt. He has worked at ATS for the last seven years as a driver consultant. He prides himself on using his industry knowledge to assist drivers in making the best career decisions for themselves.

Picture this: You’ve been needing an item for a while, so you hop on Amazon, type the item in the search bar, click “Add to Cart” and purchase the item on the first listing you see. 

You spend good money on it and you’re excited for it to arrive. But once it does, it’s clear you made a mistake. Right out of the box, it looks cheaply made. It breaks after a week of using it.

You go back on Amazon to share a review of the product (and purchase something better) and notice that nearly every review mentions the same issue you had. Had you read the reviews, wasting your money on the faulty item could’ve been entirely preventable. 

Going to a new company without looking at the reviews is kind of like the same thing, except on a much grander scale. Instead of spending $100, you’re investing hundreds of thousands — even millions — of dollars into your trucking career, your livelihood. 

You want to read those reviews. 

But, how you read those reviews matters. Did you know people — and drivers, notably — are much more likely to leave a review when they’re upset?

It’s the same way that married couples will often complain about their spouses a lot more than they’ll sing their praises — even when their spouse is lovely a majority of the time. 

You need to know how to read reviews to get the most out of them instead of allowing them to mislead you.

I’m here to help you with that. As a longtime recruiter with Anderson Trucking Service (ATS), I want you to read reviews on our company. And no, that’s not because I’m so blindly confident in our company that I think no one says anything bad about ATS. It’s quite the opposite. I know bad reviews are out there. And I want those reviews — along with the good ones — to help inform your decision to come here. If you choose to come here, I want you to be happy and stay here for a long time. And if you aren’t fully aware of what we have to offer, that’s a lot less likely to happen. 

Why You Need to Read Trucking Company Reviews By Drivers

Why should you read reviews? It’s pretty simple, really.

When you don’t read reviews, you end up with the crappy item from Amazon that I mentioned in the example above. 

The difference is, this is your livelihood, not a dish towel. In the world of a truck driver, it means you might end up with a company that can’t provide you with what you need to succeed. 

Your career is your livelihood. The last thing you want is to go to a company and discover something negative in your first few weeks you could’ve easily learned by looking at reviews. If you make a pattern of not reading reviews, this could lead to a path of job-hopping — one of the worst things you can do for your career. 

Photo of a phone screen with focused on the Google app.

Sites to Read Trucking Reviews On 

Reviews are right at your fingertips nowadays and you can find them everywhere. Social media, Google, job posting sites — they’re pretty easy to find. 

You can also find reviews of trucking companies from places like Trucking Truth and Truckers Report.

I also highly recommend you go straight to the source for your reviews: fellow truck drivers at the truck stops. The best reviews will come from current drivers — though you do need to keep in mind what type of work they’re doing and how it compares to you (more on this later). 

Because so few drivers leave reviews, reviews sites don’t provide a fully accurate representation of the company. That doesn’t mean the reviews aren’t helpful; you just need to keep this in mind when you read through them. People are also two or three times more likely to post a review when they’ve had a bad experience. That’s why talking to drivers in person is a great way to get a well-represented, random sampling.

If you want to get your creep on, start snooping around the company’s social media pages. Keep an eye on the comments section. Do you see comments from current drivers? Are they complaining a lot? Feel free to send them a private message. Chances are, they’ll be willing to talk to you. And there’s no pressure for them to respond, either.

4 Questions to Ask Yourself When Reading Trucking Company Reviews

Keep an open mind when reading reviews. You should never take a review at face value.

Does the Trucking Review Sound Truthful? 

When you’re reading a review, chances are it’ll fall into one of two categories. 

  1. The company sounds too good to be true
  2. The company sounds like trash fire waiting to explode

There’s often not a whole lot of in-between, so you’re left to read between the lines. 

When you’re reading reviews, think about what the review is really saying. If there’s only a rating and no reasoning behind the rating, you can throw that review out the window. The review should provide context.

In other words, if a driver is just complaining about the company with no reasoning or scenarios (“I didn’t make money,” or “Management sucks”), it’s hard to determine how truthful the review was or if they were just having a bad day.

It’s all about the context. Do they provide concrete reasoning for why they’re upset or happy with the company? How do different factors play into their final review for the company? How could this affect you if you worked at the company? 

Now, consider how the driver’s actions may have played into that situation. 

If a long-haul driver complained about not making any money but also talked about going home every couple of days, you may not take their review very seriously. 

Every driver’s experience with a company will depend on their attitude and working style — which means every driver has a different experience. Ask yourself if you’re getting the whole truth.

So, if a review seems highly exaggerated, it probably is. Use your best judgment.

You may see a ton of reviews that seem overly optimistic and exaggerated. Question your recruiter. Are these reviews incentivized?

Is There a Pattern in the Reviews?

If you’re wondering if a review is truthful, keep reading reviews. Is there a pattern? 

For instance, if you often see drivers talking about bad equipment and horrible maintenance, with examples of things that went wrong, you should take this seriously. If you only see one review in a sea of hundreds of reviews, it might have been a rare occurrence and something you likely won’t need to worry about.

If you notice a pattern of similar statements in multiple reviews, that’s when you might want to take it seriously. Absolutely take those reviews and talk to someone at the company about them. 

How Does this Review Relate to My Experience with the Company? 

This is a critical question to ask when you’re talking to drivers for a particular company. 

Because there are so many different career paths you can take as a driver, you want to hone in on reviews and testimonies from the drivers that are on the path you’re considering. For instance, when you talk to a van driver or only read reviews about the van division, you might be left wondering what it’s like to be a flatbed driver. Seek out those reviews. If you can’t find them, delve deeper with your recruiter.

Similarly, you may see a lot of bad reviews about a specific position you’re not interested in, but nothing about the driving division you want to pursue. Ask your recruiter how those same issues drivers are experiencing will affect you. Find out if they’ll pertain to you and your situation. 

You also have to consider your personality and running style as a driver. You might see a ton of bad reviews from drivers who wanted to get home every night or every weekend, and because the company is an OTR company, they were upset they could only go home every few weeks. That complaint might not be a problem for you if you only want to go home once a month. 

Similarly, you might hear from a driver at the truck stop who’s complaining about tarping and securing in the cold. If you only haul reefers, that complaint won’t apply to you. 

You should also pay attention to the universal complaints that apply to all drivers. For instance, complaints about not getting paid on time, feeling disrespected by management and poorly maintained equipment will affect every driver at the company.

Online reviews concept. A hand holding a phone that shows aa 4.4 star rating. There are photos of reviews nearby.

Did the Trucking Company Respond to the Review? How?

When checking out reviews, you also need to look at how the company responds to the reviews. 

Now, you’re probably not going to see responses on trucking forums, but you should see responses on job sites like Indeed and Glassdoor or Google and social media platforms.

It’s not a good sign if the company doesn’t respond to any reviews or only responds to positive reviews. That gives the impression they don’t care about driver feedback or they have no desire to take negative feedback into consideration. 

There’s also a potential problem with how the company responds. If they strike back or get defensive, it could be because the review had some truth to it and they feel like they’re backed into a corner. This should raise a red flag with you. 

The same thing goes for when you talk to recruiters about the reviews you’re seeing. When you talk to them about it — and you most definitely should — see how they react. Are they defensive? Dismissive? Either of these may be a bad sign. They could be defensive or avoidant because they know the review addresses a problem with their company. 

Instead, a recruiter should validate your concerns and talk through them with you. They should be honest about how these concerns will or will not affect you.

An Honest Review of ATS — Is it the Right Company for  You?

Reading reviews should be a normal part of your process when considering new companies to drive for. This is an important step that you shouldn’t skip. You can prevent a lot of wasted time and money by checking out what others are saying. 

At the same time, don’t make a knee-jerk reaction after reading reviews. Talk to someone at the company about your concerns and see how the conversation goes before you get to orientation. The way the recruiter handles it will tell you a lot about the validity of the reviews. Don’t be afraid to ask specifics. 

Here at ATS, we want to make it easy for you. That’s why we’ve put together a list of top complaints of ATS — a list of bad reviews, if you will. That way you can decide quickly if ATS is the right company for you.