If you've made the commitment to make a career change, you might have decided to pursue your CDL and explore the local truck driving jobs. There are many different types of driving jobs out there, so evaluating the job options and finding the right position for you can be difficult. Here's a look at a few things that you might want to consider as you start comparing your job opportunities.
Consider The Pay Structure
Truck driving jobs are paid in many different ways. You may be paid solely per mile driven, or you could be paid per load delivered. In other cases, you could receive both per-mile and per-load pay combined.
You'll also notice different per-load rates for pick-up and drop loads as compared to live loads, which are the loads in which you park at the dock and the trailer is loaded after you've arrived. Compare the rates for each to ensure that you're choosing a job that's going to have competitive pay.
Look At Down-Time Pay
One of the struggles for truck drivers is the fact that most drivers don't get paid when they are not hauling loads. Since most of the pay is dependent on miles and trailers hauled, this leaves drivers without loads unpaid.
The good news is that, if you are considering driving jobs that offer exclusive contracts, you can sometimes negotiate to get paid a flat rate when you are not hauling loads. Typically, these are negotiated as a flat rate per day for those days when there are no loads accessible.
Ask About Break-Down And Detention Pay
Another key consideration about truck driving jobs and their pay structure is what happens when you've broken down or are sitting waiting to either pick up or drop a load. This time spent sitting can be stressful because you aren't earning money when you are waiting.
Ask your potential employers about an hourly pay rate for those times when you are broken down and awaiting repairs or waiting for a load or drop-off at the customer site. The more of these eventualities you address now, the easier it will be for you to find a job where you won't have to be worried about slow days or downtime.
These are some of the most important factors to consider when you are evaluating driving jobs. The more you understand, the easier it is to negotiate a job that's going to work for you over time.