Top 5 Secrets to Successful CDL Job Search

Michael Ottman As a sales and marketing professional with many years in the trucking industry, I have witnessed professional truckers who have spent many years in good paying CDL truck driver jobs. Only to watch them stretch to maintain a continuous and effective job search. Primarily, these pour souls are always searching for the world’s best truck driving jobs.

In this article, we will share a limited number priceless job search secrets and strategies. If implemented correctly, you will put yourself in a position to land your dream truck driving job and negotiate the best possible compensation plan for you and your family at the same time.

Before we begin, keep in mind that the probability of these priceless job search techniques ever being uttered from the mouths of trucking company hiring managers or truck driver job recruiters are slim at best. Why? The primary function of a trucking company hiring manager is to staff its local truck driving jobs at the lowest possible cost to it’s bottom line and to maximize its profits.

The primary goal of a truck driver job recruiter is to collect commissions for getting you hired on to one of his clients. Their concern for your compensation package is not on the top of their priority list.

All too often a trucker will leave behind a good CDL truck driving job at a company with a solid business model and a good record of taking care of their drivers. Only to realize that they could have avoided making an incredibly bad career move, had they only thought it through more carefully. If there is one common mistake that I have seen dedicated, hard working truck drivers make through the years, it is poor career decisions.

Hopefully our top 5 secrets to a successful truck driving job search will help you avoid a poor career move in the near future. They include:

1. The key to a successful truck driving job search is to plan your work and work your plan.

The first step in any considerable life changing move is to be realistic with your expectations and create a list of objectives and strategies to achieve your short and long term goals.

Many professionals in search of the best truck driving jobs fail to set realistic job search career goals. If you were an Olympic archery expert would you not agree with me that you would be highly focused on your target during your event. Of course you would. Setting career goal strategy has two major benefits. First, it helps you develop laser focus in establishing career priorities. Second, it will dramatically improve your self esteem for this highly stressful process.

2. Prepare a list of short and long term career goals.

Before you start your career search process, spend some serious time laying out on paper 1,3 and 5 year goals. Is you long term goal to become and independent owner operator, or are you more likely to work for a trucking company? There are positives and negatives with each opportunity. Most employers consider an employment package to include approximately 70% salary and 30% benefits. This may be more suited for someone with a young family with a wife who has decided stay at home with the children. Whereas and owner operator may make more money, they usually have to acquire benefits on their own which can be an enormous expense.

Bottom line: As an employee of a trucking company, you’re more likely to be offered a compensation package that includes salary and a benefits package.

3. Inadequate pre-employment research is the primary reason

why professional truck drivers is unhappy 1-2 years following a job change from one company to another. The last thing you or your family wants to do is to accept a new truck driver job position by hastily jumping to a company that offers you $.50 more per hour or $.05 more a mile. Far too many times good truck drivers make a quick move from an established company that has treated you well to a company that offered you the sky for a small, short term economic gain. This can ruin your mine emotionally and inflict real havoc on your family.

Bottom Line: It is imperative that you take this process seriously and spend the necessary time researching all truck driver job opportunities.

4. Evaluate your current job satisfaction.

Keep a written journal of your daily reactions to your job situation for at least 30 days. Along the way look for recurring themes or events that bring pleasure to your mind and soul. This will help you focus in on which aspects of your current truck driving job deliver the most positive and negative job satisfaction.

Bottom Line: You must determine whether or not your primary positive and negative responses related to the duties related to your job, the company culture or the individuals with whom you work everyday. This will go along way in helping you pinpoint key job satisfaction areas for your next truck driving job career move.

5. Contract with a professional trucking jobs recruiter.

Listen carefully. A successful truck driving job search is a full time job and unless you can be in two places at one time, this is the best investment you can make. In most cases, with an 80,000 job shortfall, a successful recruiter would gladly take a phone call from an educated, professional owner operator looking at make a career move. A reputable recruiter will have established relationships with the key decision makers you are looking to connect with and in most cases their fees are paid for by the trucking companies. They will make sure your resume is professionally prepared and provide you with a customized cover letter. The additional services of resume/cover writing and interview preparation are skills you should definitely consider investing in.

Key Point: Contact at least 2 or 3 professional trucking industry recruiters and meet with them to discuss your results from the previous step.

Always remember this, trucking company human resource personnel do not have your best interests in mind. All companies have one primary objective. Obtain the best talent available for the least amount of money. In today’s economic climate, as long as that industry’s job market is tight, the hiring managers have the upper hand. However, with the trucking industry’s current truck driver shortage, a professional OTR independent owner operator has more room to negotiate the best compensation package available.

If you found this article of interest, you may want to check out the follow up to this article Truck Driver Jobs – Job Interview Tips. If you want to know the top 8 trucking companies featuring the best CDL truck driving jobs in America, we list them for you at

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Why Do Automobile Drivers Purposely Torment Truck Drivers?

Tim-RoweSome of the challenges and attitudes a truck driver deals with constantly all day long physically and emotionally drains the driver and makes it seem as if he did pull the load with his own power.

The drivers slow down on purpose to cause the big truck to have to hit the brakes for no reason. Some drivers who purposely torment the big rig driver are stopped at a traffic light too long, a big truck is approaching slower to avoid coming to a complete stop, when the traffic light changes and the motorist starts and then stops or hits his brakes, causing the big truck to make a hard stop, and the motorist smiles as he/she drives away.

Drivers are traveling at the speed limit and as they start up a hill and suddenly they slow down causing the big truck to lose his forward momentum.

If the driver that jumps in front of the tractor trailer and slows down would just think for a moment, he/she is not only slowing down the tractor trailer but the vehicles behind the big truck as well.

The driver who conducts himself in such a manner and causes the problems and drives off, now the truck driver has to regain his speed and the traffic behind the truck gets upset with the truck driver and they have no idea what just happened in front.

If the driver that does this would think just a little bit more, how would he like to be the driver behind the tractor trailer who now has to go even slower while the tractor trailer regains its speed?

Drivers are aware that they are slowing traffic down, when the big truck finally gets space to change lanes to pass the much slower car, the car now speeds up above the speed limit to prevent the truck from passing. Drivers entering the Interstate enter traffic as if they are turning onto another side street.

These motorists also display the same attitude as the other drivers who press the brake when they should be pressing the gas. Drivers who are getting onto the highway or the interstate with a cell phone pressed to their left ear holding a conversation if these drivers continue this type of conduct behind the wheel of any vehicle entering the expressway could cause a serious accident. Most of the time, in my experience, the driver who does this only looks back at the oncoming traffic seconds before they actually are about to get into traffic.

The unsafe driver of the oncoming vehicle was not aware that the truck driver or any other driver has slowed up to allow them the room they should need to enter traffic safely because they are so tied up with the phone.

The majority of the drivers this happens to slows down and enters the lane behind the big rig and then speeds up to frown at the truck driver for not allowing them to carry on their conversation and flow right into traffic.

Many of these drivers shoot the truck driver the BIRD or do something else to aggravate the truck driver. But who was at fault?

Most of the time the oncoming driver misses his/her opening to flow into traffic and ends up driving on the shoulder a little ways and always gets angry.

If the truck driver or other motorist holds their speed and a crash does happen who is at fault?

Drivers who will not move over and allow the oncoming traffic to enter safely never consider if the big truck has to come to a complete stop and start over again just to enter the interstate how will the oncoming traffic react while they wait for the big truck to build his/her speed up?

The point here is the truck driver is a trained professional, he/she will do their best to watch out for your safety and we need your help to make this happen. Every single driver that I know considers that the person in the other 4-wheeler may be in some way related to them or a close friend and they don’t want to injure a family member.

My point with the article is this when you happen to have a run in with a big truck or the big truck is tail gating not showing any professionalism, before you get angry with the truck driver consider any or all of the above he/she may have just had to deal with a moment ago. And that dealing with an 80,000# unit is considered as a heavy weight and childish behavior should be avoided at all times. Before you decide to torment a big rig on a hill by slowing it down you are also affecting the traffic behind the truck driver.

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Married to a Trucker

Married to a trucker.Any trucker will tell you that keeping a successful marriage is continuously a challenge. Yet, the profession does not have one of the highest divorce rates when put into perspective. So, obviously it is doable! However, challenges and obstacles abound such as what to do when your spouse’s car breaks down, the laundry machine decides to stop working one day, or the teacher has called both parents to the school in regards to a child’s recent behavior. Some problems may seem impossible to resolve at the moment, but become easier with time and don’t always have to be devastating.

Here are a few suggestions to help get both the trucker and his/her spouse committed to the profession in a way that still makes their marriages strong

Suggestions For A Stronger Marriage.

The first step to any strong marriage is to keep communication flowing. Some spouses feel betrayed that their partner has chosen such a difficult profession requiring so much time away from home, but keep in mind that both partners feel at a loss in the end. Keeping a strong sense of communication with regular phone calls is very important to keep the marriage alive and strong.

One should also avoid the urge to judge the other person. It takes a lot of compassion to realize that both partners are undergoing a significant amount of pain as a result of the separation phases. Asking questions about where the relationship seems to be going, or whether “you still love me the same way” can only lead to no good more feelings of pain and hurt.

It is far more productive to make the very most out of the time that you can spend together. As soon as you have the opportunity to be together, cherish every minute of it and put also those long miles behind each of you. Better yet, why not invite your wife to do a run with you from time to time. It can be very adventurous to spend time together exploring the old countryside and allow you to spend even more private time together. Your wife will also have a better idea of what life is like out on the road, giving her greater peace of mind for your future trips.