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The CDL Driver Guide to Not Getting Cheated by Trucking Companies

Written by Lanefinder
August 01, 2022

Trucking job ads are not always known for being honest and truthful.

Drivers that don’t have a job they’re happy at often want to switch jobs or leave the profession altogether. In fact, we recently found out that 75% of drivers were looking to switch jobs within the next year.

But even though so many drivers want to switch jobs, there’s no guarantee that their next job is going to be any better than the job they’re at.

Switch jobs too often and you get flagged as a job hopper, becoming temporarily unemployable by most companies. It can (and does) happen.

Add onto that the risk of losing benefits and accumulated time off and you can see why many drivers are hesitant to move on to greener pastures.

Switching jobs always carries a risk of landing the driver in a worse spot than where they started.

Why? Because there’s nobody on the driver’s side guaranteeing that their needs are met.

So what’s the solution? How do you really make sure you get paid what you’re promised? Let’s find out.

Tip #1: Get in touch with the reality of trucking pay

The promise of higher income is the overwhelming attraction to the trucking profession.

Most people go to trucking for the pay, but the real pay is almost always worse than advertised.

Aspiring truck drivers see the advertised rates and think that trucking will be their salvation – a ticket to earn more than any other available blue collar work option.

The American Trucking Association (ATA) claims $60,000 a year as the average long haul salary for experienced ( 2 years of experience or more ) drivers.

The reality as reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics is a figure lower than that, at $41,000 annually for experienced drivers.

Imagine an office worker signing up for a $60,000 / year job only to pass orientation, get hired, and receive $35,000. It’s pretty much unheard of anywhere other than trucking, so why do drivers keep putting up with it?

Again, it’s because there’s nothing holding the carriers accountable.

The pay truck drivers receive is often incentive and performance based. But despite that, truck drivers are still limited by laws and regulations that constrain their legal working hours and productivity.

As a result, the ideal salary as advertised is rarely achievable under real world circumstances.

Why do I mention this? Because knowing the real figures can help you avoid carriers that are blatantly promising too much.

With trucking jobs, there’s always a fine print in how you make your money and how you get paid. Just because a job claims you’ll make $3,000 a week, doesn’t mean you need to drop everything you’re doing and go work for them.

Do your due diligence before you decide to work for anybody new. That means asking them exactly how they plan on paying you, what bonuses you can expect, home time flexibility, and any other questions that are important to you. Make sure your gut and brain are in alignment when making a career move.

Tip 2: Find your jobs on transparent job boards

Dishonest jobs drive people out of the profession well before they can become productive members of the trucking workforce.

There are some job boards out there that make matters worse by having little to no quality control for what’s allowed to be posted.

What you’ll find is that many job boards contain job ads that yell about themselves, but provide very little concrete information that a driver needs to actually make a smart choice.

Honesty is foundational to dignity and respect. We're determined to make this industry more transparent by insisting on truthfulness from carriers and holding liars accountable.

On Lanefinder, a company needs to provide us with a lot of detailed information before their jobs can be posted on our job platform.

For you as a driver, this means that you can make smarter decisions and answer more of your important questions before taking the next step.

And though we can’t verify all of the claims now, we’re working towards it - with the vision being for all drivers to feel secure when applying to the jobs they like.

Of course, we can’t do this without the drivers, so we encourage our community to let us know about dishonest job ads so we can take the appropriate action.

Tip 3: Look at the big picture, not just the pay

When we ran our latest driver survey, we found out that many drivers prefer stability over chasing an ever higher paycheck.

Many drivers are simply disillusioned with what trucking companies promise and know that chasing those “high paying” jobs is a pointless endeavor.

What makes a company great isn’t just pay, but a combination of factors:

  • How they treat their drivers
  • Their track record and history
  • The benefits and security they provide

These are some other factors that all play an important role in making a job great.

A big part of feeling secure at your job is knowing that your employer is accountable for their claims. Knowing that the company you work for is honest and trustworthy. CDL drivers want their employers to have their back and feel taken care of in the ways that other professions take for granted.

Still, despite this - roughly 50% of all drivers we recently spoke to didn’t have any form of contract that defined their pay and other conditions.

Not having a contract is not automatically a bad thing. As we came to find out by engaging with our Facebook audience, many drivers were skeptical about contracts and felt more secure without one.

The issue then is clearly not whether or not a driver gets a contract but rather whose interests does the contract represent?

A good contract should protect both parties - ensuring fair treatment and pay for the driver and outlining the conditions and conduct expected by the carrier.

Tip 4: Become a Lanefinder Driver

The ideal solution to all of the problems above is to fix the working conditions of truck drivers - ensuring fair, guaranteed pay, benefits, and other perks that are commonplace in other industries.

Many companies are unable to do this on their own. A third party becomes beneficial in providing securities to both the driver and the carrier.

We’re currently launching a model of working as a driver that we call being a “Lanefinder Driver”.

What being a Lanefinder Driver really means is this:

  • You work as a W2 driver and get to choose any company from the 8,500+ on our job platform
  • We guarantee your benefits, pay, and employment security
  • Health benefits are guaranteed regardless of your health and medical history
  • You always keep your benefits between jobs
  • You’re covered by a Job-Ad Guarantee that allows you to keep you benefits when switching

All of this is guaranteed by us, while you are free to work and move freight for whichever company you choose.

Part of that means we make sure you won’t be cheated. It’s security and insurance against underhanded practices of all shapes and sizes.

If anything goes wrong, we step in as a neutral third party to settle any disputes and make sure your transition to your next job is as smooth as possible.

No job hopping, no losing your benefits, no losing your PTO. Freedom, security, and respect regardless of who you move freight for.

We provide all of this with no hidden costs or fees. No percentage taken off your pay, and nothing else.

We're now welcoming 500 CDL Drivers to experience this smart and secure way to work as a truck driver. If you join us in changing the industry for the better, make sure to sign up right away.

Sign up to become a Lanefinder Driver

Or call us at (855) 588-1952 during our working hours and we’ll take down your information over the phone!

If you want to know more about becoming a Lanefinder Driver, click here

Unbreaking Trucking

Inspiring insights for the ambitious driver.

Being able to overcome the challenges of the trucking industry is the key to your professional well-being as a CDL driver.

Staying on top of your game will help you make smarter choices, land better jobs, and have a clearer picture of where your career is heading.

We’re here to help you do just that.

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