Trucking & Auto Shipping Jobs

Interview: Working as a Trucker

The following interview is with Paul Peters, a driver who regularly ships vehicles.

How did you first become interested in a trucking job? My older brother got into trucking when I was about 19. He was 24 at the time, I think. He loved it, and when I was old enough, I got my CDL and began working at the same company. We’ve both been working there for 18+ years now.

Auto Transport Trailer Loaded with Cars Photo

What kind of cargo do you haul? I started out working with mostly dry goods, boxes of stuff like clothing and food. Because I have seniority, though, now I most pull harder stuff. I do cars a lot, because you really have to be a trusted driver to haul them.

How is auto shipping different from a regular trucking job? The job itself isn’t all that different. The trailer is a little more difficult to pull, though, and you have to be more careful about where you park since its always tempting for someone to try to steal them. I also had to do a company training day on loading and unloading vehicles, since that has to be done in a safe way.

What is the best thing about your job? Definitely all the people you meet on the road. I love trucking. I can see how it wouldn’t be so great for someone who has a family and kids at home. I never got married though, so I don’t mind being away from home for long times. When you’re out, you get to meet other truckers at rest stops and other places. Some people I see regularly, because everyone gets to know the best places to stop.

What is the worst thing about your job? That’s a hard one. I love my job. If I had to name something though, I guess it would be dealing with the paperwork. You have to keep really good records about your log hours because if you break any rules the company doesn’t pay you.

Interview: Auto Shipping Jobs

The following interview is with Kim, who works in human resources for an auto shipping company.

What does your job entail? I’m mostly in charge of working with the employees. I deal with worker’s comp issues, as well as oversee the payroll and record everyone’s hours. It’s a big job in this industry. I also do the hiring.

How often are you hiring? It is rare that we’re not hiring.

We don’t always have car shipping jobs open specifically, but there are always driving or mechanic jobs available.

What are you looking for in potential employees that apply? The first thing I do is check that they filled out everything on the application. I guess it doesn’t matter with some places, but here, recording EVERYTHING matters. If you can’t fill out an application properly, I’d be afraid that you wouldn’t fill out your logbook properly, and that’s a big problem.

Next, I verify that they have their Commercial Driver’s License and are old enough to work for us. I also check their experience and verify it by calling past employers. You wouldn’t believe how many people lie.

If they check out, I usually give them an interview. You don’t have to be the most experienced; you just have to be the most willing to work. Impress me in the interview, and I’ll give you a job.

Are there things you specifically require to work in auto shipping? Usually, new hires don’t automatically drive those trucks unless they have a lot of experience doing that in the past. We consider drivers for that job after 6 month with no problems.

How do you decide who gets promoted or who gets a pay raise? We work with a points system at this company. You get points when you do things like take an extra shift or go to company training days. We subtract points when you do things like come in for work late, mess up your log hours, or get to a site with the cargo late. When you hit -5, you’re terminated, but every three months we look at everyone’s points and people who are making significant improvements get raises.

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