Hiring a Truck Driver, The Process | Episode 51

Hiring a truck driver is probably one of the trickiest things about owning a trucking company. The right decision will be one of the best things you have ever done, but the wrong decision could make for one of your biggest nightmares. I start off the episode talking about a nightmare situation for a company that did things the wrong way. You can find out more details about the story by checking out the article that is in a past blog post of mine, click here to go to the post. You want to do everything you can to hire right. I’m going to give a bunch of pointers throughout this episode to help make the process run as smoothly as possible. The screening part of the process is very involved and will be covered in detail in episode 53.

What To Expect From Episode 51

As the title of this podcast indicates, hiring is a process and one you don’t want to skip steps or take shortcuts on. I’m going to cover 6 steps:

  1. Where to find drivers
  2. Screening drivers
    1. Develop your minimum hiring requirements
    2. Post a relevant ad
    3. Conduct a thorough interview
    4. Obtain a PSP (Pre-employment Screening Program) Report
    5. Search the FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse portal
    6. Screen them with your insurance agent
    7. Get a copy of their MVR (Motor Vehicle Record)
    8. OPTIONAL-Do a background check
  3. Negotiating
  4. Extending an offer
  5. Paperwork
  6. First Day

Where To Find Drivers

The more you know about someone the better because there are fewer surprises. Some ways you can find drivers and some tips are:

  1. Someone you know personally. (I won’t hire someone I know unless I am very, very confident they’ll work out)
  2. Someone known by someone you trust.
  3. A referral from someone you don’t know well or don’t trust is no better than hiring someone off the street.
  4. Posting an ad
    1. Local listing, i.e. Craig’s List
    2. Facebook
    3. Indeed
    4. Think about where you went to look for your last job
  5. Use a recruiter

Screening Drivers

This is probably the most important step so it warrants its own episode. We’re going to cover it in detail during episode 53.

Negotiating

Always go for a win-win. You are going for a long-term relationship here.

What should you negotiate:

  1. Pay
  2. Benefits
  3. Amount of home time.

Extending an Offer

Always extend your offer in writing. That way there is less chance that there will be a misunderstanding between what each party understood the terms to be. Click here to get an example of the offer letter I use. All the areas that need to be changed or have data added are highlighted in yellow.

Paperwork

There is a lot of paperwork that needs to be completed during the hiring process. It is part of building your Driver Qualification File. The audit folder system that we use at Motor Carrier HQ includes all the required DOT forms and makes the paperwork part of hiring as simple as possible. You can learn more about the system or purchase it by clicking here. It includes:

  1. Application for employment
  2. Inquiries of DOT-regulated employers for last 3 years
  3. Driving record
  4. Copy of CDL (if applicable)
  5. Medical examiner’s certificate
  6. Medical examiner’s national registry verification
  7. Pre-employment clearinghouse query
  8. Pre-employment Screening Program report (Recommended, but not required)
  9. Pre-employment drug test chain of custody form
  10. Pre-employment drug test results
  11. Driver’s previous 7 days of hours-of-service (HOS) records (If applicable)
  12. IRS Form W-4, you can find it by clicking here.
  13. Form I-9, you can find it by clicking here.
  14. Pay documents required by your payroll system/company. i.e. direct deposit form.

First Day on the Job

There are a lot of things that need to happen before your new driver is ready to head out on the road for the first time. You want to make sure everything is covered before heading out to reduce frustrations. You can download our checklist that will help you make sure you don’t miss anything by clicking here.

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