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How to Hire Truck Drivers

Trucking is a big business in the United States. In 2020, there were over 1.7 million truck drivers employed in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That number is only expected to grow in the coming years as the demand for goods shipped by truck continues to increase. 

With interest in trucking at an all-time high, you may consider starting your own trucking company. Or, if you already have a trucking company, you may be looking to expand your fleet. Either way, you’re going to need to hire truck drivers. 

Hiring truck drivers may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Following these simple tips, you can know how to hire truck drivers for your business. 

Figure Out What Kind of Driver You Need 

Before you search for a truck driver, it’s crucial to figure out what kind of driver you need. Not all truck drivers are created equal, and many truck driving jobs require different skills. For instance, you may need a driver who is comfortable hauling hazardous materials. Or, you may need a driver with experience driving in inclement weather conditions. 

Here are some of the different kinds of drivers you may need. 

Hazardous Materials Drivers 

A hazardous materials driver is someone who transports dangerous goods or materials that could potentially harm people, property, or the environment. These materials include chemicals, explosives, flammable liquids, and radioactive materials. Hazardous materials drivers must undergo specialized training to transport these materials safely. 

Tanker Drivers 

A tanker truck driver transports liquids and gasses in tanks attached to the back of their truck. These liquids can include things like milk, gasoline, and chemicals. 

They also must follow strict safety protocols and regulations when loading, unloading, and transporting their cargo. Given the potentially hazardous nature of their cargo, tanker drivers play a vital role in keeping our roads and communities safe. 

Flatbed Drivers 

A flatbed truck driver transports goods that get placed on a flatbed trailer. These goods include building materials, heavy machinery, and lumber. What’s unique about flatbed truck drivers is that they are often responsible for loading and unloading their cargo. It means they must be comfortable using a crane or other heavy machinery. 

Ice Road Truckers 

Ice road truckers are specialized truck drivers who transport goods over frozen lakes and rivers. These roads are often only open for a few months out of the year, so ice road truckers must be comfortable driving in extreme weather conditions. 

Long Haul Drivers 

Long haul truck drivers are responsible for transporting goods over long distances. As a result, these drivers are often away from home for weeks or even months. As such, they must be comfortable being away from home for extended periods. 

Car Haulers 

Car haulers transport vehicles from one location to another. These drivers must have experience driving a large truck and trailer combination. They must also be comfortable loading and unloading vehicles. 

Double Check Any Insurance Requirements 

Trucking is risky, so you’ll need to ensure that your drivers are insured correctly. First, check with your insurance company to see what their requirements are. You’ll also need to make sure that your drivers know the insurance requirements. They should know how much coverage they need and what type of insurance is required. 

Get the Right Paperwork in Order 

Before you can start hiring truck drivers, you’ll need to get the appropriate paperwork in order. It includes things like applications, resumes, and references. You’ll also need to ensure that you have all the necessary forms and documents. These include driver’s licenses, birth certificates, social security cards, and insurance cards. 

Once you have all of the necessary paperwork, you can start the process of hiring truck drivers. 

Understand the Laws Where You’re Operating 

Understanding the laws and regulations in the states where you’ll be operating is essential. Trucking is a highly regulated industry, and each state has its laws. For instance, some states have laws prohibiting trucks from driving on certain roads or highways. Other states have laws that dictate how long a driver can be behind the wheel. 

Familiarizing yourself with the laws in the states you’ll be operating is essential. Having as much information on these regulations will help you avoid any potential problems down the road. In addition to following the laws, you’ll have to ensure that your drivers use the appropriate driver’s licenses. Here are some of the different types of licenses that your drivers may need. 

Class A License 

A Class A license is required to drive any vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 or more pounds. These include vehicles like tractor-trailers, tanker trucks, and flatbed trucks. 

Class B License 

A Class B license is required to drive any vehicle without a trailer, including vehicles like dump trucks and box trucks. 

Class C License 

A Class C license is required to drive any vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver. These types of vehicles like buses and vans. 

Now that you understand the different types of licenses your drivers will need, you can start hiring them. 

When you’re ready to start hiring truck drivers, there are a few things you’ll need to do. 

Create Job Postings 

The first step is creating a job posting that accurately reflects the position you’re looking to fill. Programmatic job advertising can help you find the candidates you’re looking for and improve the quality of candidates you attract. 

Be sure to include information about the type of license required, the geographical area you’ll be operating in, and the necessary qualifications. You can post these job postings on job boards, newspapers, or company websites or consider Talroo’s job advertising platform. You can also reach out to trucking schools and ask if they have any graduates looking for a job. 

Many trucking schools have programs that place their graduates with companies. These schools can be a great way to find qualified drivers. 

Screen Potential Candidates 

Once you’ve received applications, you’ll need to screen potential candidates. 

The screening process will vary depending on the position you’re looking to fill. For instance, if you’re looking for a long-haul truck driver, you’ll want to ensure the candidate has experience driving long distances. You’ll also want to run background and criminal history checks on all potential candidates. 

It’s important to remember that the screening process is just one part of the hiring process. You’ll also need to interview candidates to understand their qualifications better. 

Conduct Interviews 

After you’ve screened potential candidates, it’s time to conduct interviews. The interview is your chance to get to know the candidate and to ask questions about their qualifications. Ask about their experience, availability, and willingness to work long hours. It would be best if you also asked about their driving record and criminal history. 

After the interview, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision about whether or not to hire the candidate. You can even do this programmatically to ensure that you can employ multiple drivers that meet your expectations and will be a good fit for your business. 

Make an Offer 

Once you’ve decided to hire a candidate, it’s time to make an offer. Be sure to include information about the salary, the benefits, and the expectations for the position. These are usually pretty straightforward; however, some drivers may try to negotiate their salary. 

If you’re able to, be flexible with the salary. After all, you want to ensure you’re hiring the best possible driver for the job. Sometimes that could mean paying a little bit more than you initially planned. 

Onboard Drivers 

After the driver accepts your offer and signs the contract, it’s time to onboard them. Again, this process will vary depending on the size of your company. 

If you have a small company, you may need to train the driver yourself. However, if you have a large company, you may have a training program that you can use. Either way, it’s essential to ensure the driver understands the expectations for the job and is comfortable with them. You don’t want them to feel like they’re over their head or not prepared for the job. 

Some of the things to include in your onboarding process include: 

  • A tour of the facility 
  • An introduction to the other employees 
  • A review of the company policies 
  • Training on the equipment 

After you’ve onboarded the driver, they’ll be ready to start working. Be sure to keep in communication with them and provide feedback on their performance so they can continue to improve. 

Key Takeaways 

Hiring truck drivers can be challenging, but finding qualified drivers who are a good fit for your company is essential. 

By following the steps outlined in this article on how to hire truck drivers, you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect candidates for the job. Then, when you take the time to find the correct drivers, you’ll be rewarded with a safe and efficient operation that will help your business succeed.