Well, here we are again. It’s the start of a new year and we are all eager to see the craptastic crappy crapfest that was the year 2020 in our mirrors. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather use Tabasco sauce as eye drops than go through another year like that! So since we’re all looking to start fresh, let me make a suggestion to you.

Look for a new trucking job

Hear me out here. I’m not saying you should quit your job just for the sake of starting afresh. What I’m saying is that you should look around to see what options are out there. The problem here is complacency.

We’ve discussed complacency about driving safely on a couple of different blog posts/episodes, but now we’re talking about a different kind of complacency… job complacency.

TD97: A Trucker’s Worst Nemesis – Complacency

TD104: Complacency Strikes

No one likes change

Listen, I get it. No one likes change. If you’re happy where you work, why would you want to look for another job? In true Trucker Dump style, let me tell you a personal story that will hopefully drive my point home.

My job change story

I was comfortable at my previous job. I knew how things worked and I figured out how to get the most out of it. I genuinely liked my dispatcher and I was generally treated with respect. I had a pretty good idea how much money I was going to make each year and I assumed I was at the top of the pay scale for truckers… assumed being the key word here.

Heck, I liked this company so much that I worked for them for 5 years the first time. When The Evil Overlord decided to get back into team trucking, I quit so we could work for a company who had better team operations. But when the Great Recession of 2008 hit, she left the trucking industry for good. What to do?

Well, to emphasize even further how much I liked this company (and my job complacency), I didn’t even bother to shop around again. After being away for 1.5 years, I went straight back to them. I never cracked a trucking magazine, talked to another trucker, or visited a trucking jobs website to see what the options were. And I continued to work there for the next 8 years.

If you do the math, that’s 13 years of my life I gave to this carrier. Was I happy there? You bet! But just because you’re happy where you are doesn’t mean you can’t be happier somewhere else.

At some point around the eleventh or twelfth year with them, I finally started to long for something that would get me home more often than every three weeks. To be fair, their policy was only two weeks out, but I always chose to do three weeks to maximize the money.

Also, for years I had been hearing through conversations and eavesdropping that there were trucking jobs out there where you could make a lot more money than I was making. I had heard this from many different drivers, but I always chalked it up to another trucker lying about how much money they made. I’m assuming we’ve all heard the driver bragging about making $100K working for 40 CPM (Cents Per Mile), right? Whatever, dude.

Well, it turns out that not every trucker is full of bovine dookie. I can tell you from personal experience that the stories are true. But I digress.

The job search

Let me make a suggestion to you. Do what I did and put out some feelers. There’s no obligation here; just humor me.

Sign up with job sites like Indeed.com and Monster.com and set up email alerts for the type(s) of driving jobs you’re interested in. Peruse services like AllTruckJobs.com, CDLjobs.com, or a frequent source of trucking news on the Trucker Dump Podcast, TheTruckersReport.com to see what trucking companies are offering nowadays. You can even take a different approach with an app like TruckDriverPower, where you can set the parameters of pay, home time, trailer type, etc. you’re willing to take and trucking companies then come to you if they meet that criteria. How’s that for an interesting concept?

The idea here is simply to make you aware of what’s going on outside your comfy little workplace. Again, there is no harm in doing this. You aren’t being disloyal to your current employer. You’re just being smart.

Finding the new job

Now I’d like to tell you that as soon as I put the feelers out, I found the perfect job and jumped on it immediately. But that’s not the way it happened. I honestly didn’t keep track, but I’ll bet I had my eyes peeled for at least a year, probably closer to two.

I was admittedly disheartened before I finally saw one of those coveted jobs I’d been waiting a lifetime for to pop up in my Indeed.com email. I applied and got a phone interview.

The job was offered to me, but sadly it wasn’t going to work out. It would’ve been a great job for a younger trucker who had some time to work their way up the ladder, but this 50+ year-old dude didn’t have the patience to take a $20K per year pay cut and unsteady work until a bunch of old-timers retired.

Sure, this discouraged trucker was still driving for a carrier that he liked, but something was missing now. I had been sooooo close to landing that “perfect” job where I would’ve been home every day. With that  door closed, it seemed like it would be a long time before I found another golden egg.

The transition period

Despite my pathetic self-pity, I continued to keep my eyes open. One day I saw the name of an LTL (Less-Than-Load) carrier in my home area. The advertised pay was equal to mine and the home time was far better.

But instead of seizing the day, I started doubting again. Would this new job really pay what they advertised? What if I quit only to find out I’d been lied to? I chose not to even bring it up to The Evil Overlord.

After seeing the ad run again a few months later, I finally brought it to The Evil Overlord’s attention. Now she wanted me to get off the road as badly as I wanted it, but she’s even more risk-averse than I am. And that’s saying something.

While my willingness to take risks had expanded, her’s hadn’t. She knew what to expect with my employer. Like me, she had grown comfortable. She convinced me not to pursue it.

Every 3-6 months from then on, that advertisement peeked it’s little head up out of a hole like that pesky groundhog in Caddyshack. I swear I saw it taunting me with a funky little dance once!

He who does not ask, does not receive

After the third or fourth job taunting, I finally chose to act. Wisely, I chose to call the listed phone number instead of exploding a bunch of dynamite on a golf course. I spoke to the guy who would be my boss. He was really laid back and didn’t appear to be in any hurry to get me off the phone, which is a good thing considering how many questions I ask. Anyone who knows me, who read How to Find a Great Truck Driving Job, or is married to me could tell you that.

Four times I talked to this guy for approximately 30 minutes. After each call, I would inform The Evil Overlord what I learned and I’d give her a little nudge. Anyone who knows her knows she doesn’t bend easily. Heck, my idea got knocked down so many times, I felt like Rocky Balboa.

During this time, I found and questioned every driver from this company that I could find. They all said that the advertised yearly pay would only be that low if I was lazy, which I’m not. They told me the pros and cons and then every one of them said it was the best trucking job they’d ever had. And their many years with the company seemed to back that up.

Just like Rocky in the big match, in the end I wore her down and claimed my victory. She finally said, “Fine. Go ahead and apply.” When I hung up the phone I may have even shouted, “LORINNNNNNDAAAAAAA!!!! Or not. I later found out she only relented to get me to shut up about it. Well, what do you know? Apparently it does pay to be annoying sometimes! Regardless, when you’re married to someone called The Evil Overlord, you take the win however you can get it!

The new job wound up being better…. MUCH better

To make a long story slightly shorter, this is by far the best job I’ve ever had, trucking or not. I get paid a good mileage rate, I don’t have to mess with customers, I have fabulous insurance, I get paid for holidays, I’ve got good vacation time and sick days, and I’m guaranteed to get home every weekend (I deadheaded 607 miles home this week).

But that’s not all; there’s more!  I get paid a good hourly wage for everything from fueling, to layover/detention, to drop/hooks, to loading/unloading freight, to waiting to get a tire fixed, or heck, even when stuck in traffic due to a wreck.

To put it in plain terms, my gross pay is about 25% more than my old job. It will probably be even higher next year since I had 10 weeks of lower pay 2020 thanks to the cursed COVID.

Even crazier is that my bring home pay is almost double my old paycheck amount, largely thanks to the vast difference in insurance premiums. I’m not saying this extreme pay hike will happen for everyone, but it certainly won’t if you are so focused and content with your current job that you don’t look for other opportunities.

Basically, for the first time in my life I feel like I’m getting paid what I deserve.

I realize I’m only slightly less than two years into this job, but I have yet to dread going to work on Monday. Can you say that? Even if you can, how do you know your work life couldn’t be even better?

Now is this job all peaches and cream? Of course not! There are some really weird company rules and the equipment I drive is anything but stellar. But hey, you’ll be surprised how less-stressed you are about breaking down if you’re getting paid for your time!

The worst thing about my current job

The crappiest thing about my current job is knowing I could’ve been doing this for the past 11 years if I hadn’t been so complacent with my old job. If I had taken those “lying” truckers at their word instead of assuming the worst, I would’ve been about $200K richer and I would’ve been home to enjoy it a heck-of-a-lot more!

To sum up…

I’m just going to repeat what I said earlier. Even if you’re totally happy with your current job, put forth some effort to see if you could be happier somewhere else. I’m not just saying that either, I’m still doing it.

I just told you how pleased I am with my current job, but remember, I also thought my previous job was the cat’s meow. If I go back to sticking my head in the sand, then I shouldn’t be surprised when I miss another golden opportunity. Right now, it seems unlikely that I will ever find a better trucking job, but then again, that’s the kind of stinkin’ thinkin’ I had before I found the best job I’ve ever had!

On the other hand, if you’re currently unhappy with your pay, the home time, the respect you’re getting, or anything else, then what the heck are sticking around for? Start looking for that new job today!

Let me reiterate once more in case you didn’t catch it the first 18 times

Job complacency is a mistake! You’ll never know if there is a better trucking job out there if you aren’t actively looking. This is why I still get an email from Indeed.com every few days… because you just never know. I encourage you to do the same.

Yes, I realize I’m harping on this. It just kills me to think of the complacent version of yourself 11 years down the road realizing how much home time and/or pay you missed. But even if you’ve got the best job you’ll ever have, at least you’ll never have to look back and wonder if you reached your full potential.

Because trust me, that can only make you feel like a craptastic crappy crapfest of a loser. 

Podcast Show Notes

In today’s main topic we talk about how you know when you should switch trucking jobs. But first, lots of news involving COVID, new elog information for both the US and Canada, and lots of changes coming in 2021 due to a new presidential administration, including a scary one involving sleep apnea testing.

Also, truckers stick it to California, Walmart and driverless trucks, the big UPS sell-out, new vision and testing standards for CDL holders, and of course, the obligatory truck recalls.

In the listener feedback segment we’ll hear about hatred of elogs, a driving school and training story, COVID vaccinations, and I get called out by a 15-year-old. We’ll also hear about a great BBQ joint in the Trucker Grub segment.

Listen to the podcast version or read the full article and the podcast show notes on AboutTruckDriving.com or search for Trucker Dump in your favorite podcast app.

Be sure to check out the 25% off ebook combo pack for Trucking Life and How to Find a Great Truck Driving Job while you’re there.

This episode of Trucker Dump is sponsored by:

  • Volvo Trucks – Check out the new D13TC engine in the Volvo VNL series.
  • Pilot Flying J app – Check out all the awesome features of the Pilot Flying J app.

Links mentioned in the news segment:

Stop the presses! It’s a new phase for Overdrive from OverdriveOnline.com

Daimler recalling certain Freightliner Cascadia models from OverdriveOnline.com

Volvo recall for potential brakes issue affects over 6,300 trucks from OverdriveOnline.com

One Quarter Of Inspected Trucks Placed OOS During Roadcheck Inspection Blitz from TheTruckersReport.com

In blockbuster deal, UPS selling off UPS Freight to TFI for $800M from OverdriveOnline.com

2021 Mid-America Trucking Show to be rescheduled due to COVID from OverdriveOnline.com

Truckers now included in third group recommended for COVID vaccine from OverdriveOnline.com

FMCSA extends CDL, med cert COVID waivers through February from OverdriveOnline.com

Biden announces ‘regulatory freeze’ to review last-minute Trump policies from OverdriveOnline.com

Biden has signed 42 executive actions since taking office. Here’s what each does from CNN.com

No, Biden Didn’t Say ‘You Can’t Legislate by Executive Order Unless You’re a Dictator’ from Snopes.com

How Joe Biden’s executive orders compare with those of other presidents from qz.com

FMCSA proposes new split sleeper pilot program from OverdriveOnline.com

Here Are All The DOT Officials Appointed By President Biden So Far from TheTruckersReport.com

Pete Buttigieg on Wikipedia

Former head of NYC taxi commission named FMCSA deputy administrator from OverdriveOnline.com

Trucking trends to watch in 2021: Revival of mandates for speed limiters, new insurance limits; plus freight, rates, highway bill and more from OverdriveOnline.com

New study using ‘STOP-Bang’ protocol finds half of truck drivers could need sleep apnea evaluation from OverdriveOnline.com

Looking forward to a trucking rebound in 2021 leading to ‘very good’ 2022 from FleetOwner.com

Log annotations to avoid hours of service violations — and more from FMCSA Q&A from OverdriveOnline.com

FMCSA eyes update to ‘yard move’ guidance from OverdriveOnline.com

Trucking’s exemption from Calif. break laws upheld from OverdriveOnline.com

CDL Mills Rejoice: New Truckers Can Be Tested By The Their Own Trainers from TheTruckersReport.com

FMCSA proposes new vision standard for truck drivers from OverdriveOnline.com

What you should know about the looming Canadian ELD mandate from OverdriveOnline.com

Walmart Removes “Safety Pilot” From Now Fully Driverless Truck from TheTruckersReport.com

Here are the drivers on FMCSA’s new advisory panel from OverdriveOnline.com

Love’s plans to open 50 new travel stops in 2021 from OverdriveOnline.com

TA adds mobile fuel pumping features to app from OverdriveOnline.com

Trucker Grub segment:

Ole Rudy’s BBQ

I-75 Exit 201 in Jackson, GA

Links mentioned in the main topic:

TD149: Job Hopping In Trucking

TD97: A Trucker’s Worst Nemisis – Complacency

TD104: Complacency Strikes

Indeed.com

Monster.com

AllTruckJobs.com

CDLjobs.com

TheTruckersReport.com

Truck Driver Power app

Links mentioned in the listener feedback segment:

TD56: Funkin’ Truckin’

TD58: How Much Is Too Much?

TD59: A Trucker’s Home

TD62: Elogs: A Second Look

TD150: Trucking News Galore!

Review of the Garmin dēzl™ OTR1000 truck GPS

Show info:

You can email your comments, suggestions, questions, or insults to TruckerDump@gmail.com

Join the Trucker Dump Facebook Group

Join the Trucker Dump Slack Group by emailing me at TruckerDump@gmail.com

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Download the intro/outro songs for free! courtesy of Walking On Einstein

About the Author
I'm a 22-year truck driver with an interest in tech stuff. I do the Trucker Dump podcast and blog, which is all about life as a trucker. I have also written two trucking books, "Trucking Life" and "How to Find a Great Truck Driving Job."

One comment on “TD152: When Should You Look For A New Trucking Job?

  1. ram says:

    wow! that’s a amazing post, really like information and suggestion in the post but i want to add something that running and Truck business hassle-free we must have Trucking software, which makes this business smooth and less hectic.
    This would be helpful for both driver as well as owner .

    I really want to thank the author for this article.

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