There are quite a few advantages of signing on with a small trucking company, but there can be disadvantages as well. A small trucking company is very different from a large carrier, so it is important to understand exactly what you are getting into before you sign on the dotted line. If you decide that a small trucking company makes sense for you, it can be difficult to find open positions, but can help. Here is everything you need to know.

What It Means to Work for a Small Trucking Company

Small Trucking Companies HiringAlthough every company is unique, large trucking companies tend to have their operations down to a science. There are policies and procedures for everything from the hiring process to making suggestions to requesting time off. This can be a good thing if you thrive on structure, but it can also make you feel lost in the corporate machine.

In a small trucking company, everything tends to feel a bit more personal. You will probably be on a first-name basis with the owners and managers. You will likely be able to give feedback directly, and to explain your case for a raise or a vacation. If you like to feel like an integral part of the operation, a small trucking company may be for you.

The flip side is that small companies tend to hire as few employees as possible. This can make it tough to find an opening and, once you are hired, it may be difficult to take time off. You might feel the pressure that is common among small companies, where there is either too much work or not enough, and you might be called upon to perform duties outside your normal scope.

Fortunately, at most small trucking companies, you will know where you stand. If the work dries up, it is usually easy to see the writing on the wall and start looking for another position. In a large company, you may have no idea that layoffs are coming before they start.

Protecting Yourself in a Small Trucking Company Job

If you want to work for a small trucking company, it is vital to do your homework. Research each company you are considering to ensure that it is legitimate and financially healthy. Set your boundaries early and stick to them rather than taking on more work than you can handle and making yourself sick or depressed.

8 Outstanding Small Trucking Companies

While the decision of which small trucking company to choose is highly personal, here are eight of the outstanding small trucking companies in the United States:

Bestway Systems: For those who are unsure about going with a tiny independent office, but want to avoid the corporate feel of the massive trucking companies, Bestway Systems is an excellent mid-range choice. A dry van carrier covering the Eastern half of the United States, Bestway Systems offers options. You can choose to exclusively drive, or to also unload for additional pay. You will be home most weekends and log an average of 8,000 to 10,000 miles per month in a late-model automatic or manual truck.

GetGo Transportation: GetGo Transportation covers much of the Eastern half of the country, as well as Texas. All drivers are home every weekend unless they specifically instruct dispatch otherwise. This small company has a family environment, nice benefits, and excellent mileage pay.

Cedar Grove Transportation Services: Cedar Grove is a regional family business with a strong dedication to recruiting and mentoring excellent drivers. You are guaranteed home time at least every weekend, and the company will help you develop and succeed on your career path, whether you want to become an owner-operator or move into management.

Q Carriers: Q Carriers has a regional fleet in the Midwest, and drivers are home at least one day per week. The company offers late-model trucks, most with automatic transmissions, sign-on bonuses, competitive pay, and a complete benefits package.

R.E. West Transportation: Based in Middle Tennessee, this small company features 127 tractor trailers and a variety of route types from which to choose. Whether you are an experienced driver or brand new to trucking, R.E. West is committed to helping you develop your career path. The company is highly family oriented and will work hard to support not only you, but your entire family.

Salem Carriers: Salem Carriers has served the Southeast and Texas for more than 50 years, and the company has never lost sight of its recipe for success. Every stakeholder, from individual drivers to the president of the company, has an open platform to discuss ideas. Drivers are home on weekends, and the company provides a nice benefits package.

Simon’s Trucking: Simon’s Trucking features only late-model, air ride-equipped tractors, vans, and refrigerated trailers. The company pays for every mile, whether empty or loaded, and has one of the best maintenance programs in the business. With excellent benefits and referral programs, and your choice of route options, Simon’s Trucking is worth a serious look.

Reliable Tank Line: A regional carrier operating from West Virginia to Georgia, Reliable Tank Line is an excellent choice for those interested in transporting petroleum products for a small trucking company. Employee empowerment, daily home time, a transparent escalating pay system, and a full benefits package make this a company worth considering.

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