January 28th, 2013
There are many reasons that a truck driver may consider switching companies. Some long-haul drivers look for a different company to work for because they are not home as much as they would like to be and they miss seeing their family. Others may be unhappy with the amount they are being paid. The drivers may prefer a company that pays drivers by the load instead of paying them by the mile. Some drivers just don’t get along with the dispatchers and management at their current company,so they look for a different company to drive for.
While switching trucking companies may seem like the best way to handle these issues, drivers should remember that no company is perfect and the company they switch to is likely to have a new set of issues that may be just as bad. Sticking with the company you’re currently employed with has its benefits. Some companies reward drivers who have been employed with them for a long period of time with bonuses or other incentives. Staying with your current company means that you won’t have to deal with changing your retirement plan, health insurance and other benefit programs. One of the best reasons to stick with the company you’re working for is that you know what to expect. Working for another company may be better in some aspects, but it’s bound to be worse in others.
Switching to a different trucking company means that you’ll have to fill out all of the paperwork such as a w-9 form and health insurance paperwork. You may also need to set up direct deposit for your paycheck with the new company. There may be a waiting period between the time you are eligible for health insurance through your new employer and when your old company expires, so fill all of your prescriptions before your current insurance expires to avoid paying full price at the pharmacy. You will also need to roll over your retirement plan so that you don’t lose the money you have invested while you were with your previous employer. Ask for any vacation time you have scheduled as soon as possible after being hired so that your new employer can plan to have you out of the truck during that time. Some companies require their drivers to ask for time off in writing six months or more in advance, so schedule your vacation early if you need to have certain days off.
Switching trucking companies may be a good idea, but don’t expect the process to flow seamlessly. Having a little money in savings is a good idea so that your bills are covered if there is a problem with direct deposit for your first paycheck. Talk to other drivers who have worked for the company you want to switch to because they will provide you with a more accurate picture of the company than the recruiters will. Ask them questions about home time, pay rates, equipment and other factors that are important to you. Talking to your current employer is also a good idea. They may address your concerns by giving you a different route or allowing you to spend more time close to home. Good drivers are hard to find and your current company may value you enough to accommodate the changes you request. Weigh your options carefully before making the decision to drive for a different company.