10 Qualities to Look for When Hiring Truck Drivers

Strong Tie Insurance August 17, 2020 Commercial Truck Insurance Workers Compensation

With the rising demand for truck drivers, many companies feel like they’re scrambling to fill open positions. While it might feel good to get a licensed truck driver on the team, making the wrong choice can result in a higher truck insurance quote or additional workers compensation insurance fees.

Keep in mind that you don’t just need to fill open positions — you also need to find the best fit for your company.

Top Ten Qualities You Should Look for When Hiring Truck Drivers

Here are some of the qualities — in no particular order — to consider when adding truck drivers to your team. Evaluate your needs, keep your standards high, and make the right decision for your growing company. 

  • Appropriate Training

While truck drivers may not need specific diplomas or degrees, it’s important to find someone who has at least taken a professional training course.

These courses are taught by truckers who have years of experience in the industry. Just because someone can drive a car or has a CDL doesn’t mean they can necessarily handle life on the road.

If an applicant has a quality experience, they may not need a certificate from a reliable training school because their time on the road may have taught them enough to make them successful. Of course, a trucker needs more than just a few hours in a classroom.

  • Adaptability

Being on the road for the majority of the day exposes a trucker into all kinds of situations. Even drivers who plan ahead each day can run into something they didn’t expect.

From road closures to accidents to delays in loading and unloading, your company needs someone who can think on their feet in case the unexpected happens.

  • Commitment

Life as a truck driver isn’t for everyone. Long-haul drivers have very different social and family life than someone with a regular 9-5 job.

Short-haul drivers may need to work weekends or repeat the same routes over and over again. Some routes have unusual hours, hit stressful traffic, or run into unexpected delays. You don’t want to hire someone only to see them quit right away because they weren’t committed to the job.

Regardless of whether you’re hiring an employee or bringing a new owner-operator into the fold, you want drivers who are eager to take loads. Truckers who only take the perfect route or job can end up just getting in your business’ way.

  • Concentration

When you spend a lot of time behind the wheel, you need to be able to stay focused. One of the biggest causes of truck accidents come from distracted driving. Truckers who use their phones, attempt to eat meals or participate in other activities while driving can cause tons of trouble.

If someone driving for your company causes an accident, it can raise your semi truck insurance quote quite a bit.

  • Focus on Safety

Accidents on the road aren’t the only issues that can impact your semi truck insurance. General unsafe behaviors can cause problems.

Truckers who don’t pay attention to safety policies can get hurt by unloading the trailer, walking around the dock, or even exiting their trucks. If an employee gets injured on the job, that could impact your workers compensation insurance.

Look for drivers with clean driving records — a good history of safe driving is a good indication of someone you can trust. Even if the driver hasn’t been in multiple accidents, they may have moving violations. Unsafe habits like speeding can quickly turn into accidents that raise your truck insurance quotes.

  • Healthy Habits

Staying healthy while on the road can be a significant challenge for drivers. Some truckers spend almost the entire day behind the wheel which means they may not eat the healthiest diet and potentially don’t get much exercise during their off times.

Believe it or not, unhealthy habits can lead to sleepiness or faulty driving performance due to poor attention while being on the road.

Look for drivers who are practicing safe habits. While it may be possible to train truckers to improve their health, it’s much easier to start with someone who already has a strong foundation because accidents or injuries on the job will impact your semi truck insurance quotes or workers’ compensation insurance.

  • Communication Skills

Your drivers are often the first and only face your clients get to see. Therefore, if they can properly communicate with your clients, your dispatch team, and others in general, makes a big difference.

If your drivers are able to partake in conversation, pay common courtesies, and have a great attitude toward your clients, it can elevate the overall perception of your company.

  • Mechanical Knowledge

While you don’t necessarily need to hire a full-on diesel mechanic to drive for your company, you do want someone who is at least mechanically savvy.

This experience will help the driver perform pre-checks before hitting the road and notice small issues before they become significant problems — improving overall efficiency.

  • Physical Endurance

Even if your drivers aren’t responsible for loading or unloading your trucks, they still need an appropriate level of physical stamina. Being on the road for long hours, sleeping in a sleeper cab, and other aspects of the job can be difficult for out of shape drivers. Even getting in and out of the truck requires a certain amount of fitness.

  • Time-Management Skills

A trucker who knows how to manage their time is a huge asset. From planning the route and making adjustments each day to knowing when to make stops are crucial parts of their job. For example, having the forethought to plan when to make gas stops, you can save a ton of money.

Truckers with excellent time management skills are able to take more work, which means more money in your pockets and less downtime for your drivers.

Read also: How Trucks Built the American Economy

Great Drivers Save You Money

Ultimately, finding and hiring experienced and efficient drivers will help your company be more successful. More importantly, truckers who experienced fewer accidents and injuries can even help lower your semi truck insurance or workers compensation insurance rates.

Suppose you’re looking for other ways to save money, consider shopping around for a new commercial truck insurance quote. At Strong Tie Insurance, we pride ourselves in helping companies just like yours save more of your hard-earned money than our competition.

Just like hiring the right driver can make or break your company, partnering with the right semi truck insurance carrier makes a huge difference. Call us for your free truck insurance quote today.