I am not a driver but when I put these pages together my 2 daughters were driving and my son is an owner operator (in the U.S.). I found the school and company information available for    Canadian drivers was very limited. However the information you will find in these pages is applicable to  both Canadian and U.S. Drivers.

Scarlet's Checklist 
Here is a list that my oldest girl and I prepared before she chose a company.All of these items may not be important to you, so make your list according to your concerns.

How long can I expect to be in training ? (usually 3 weeks to 3 months)  longer is better even though you may be anxious to get on your own.

How much do you pay while with a trainer ?
(some pay a flat weeky rate others pay so many cents a mile)

Ask for a trainer that has been driving at least 2 years preferably more ( 5 is good )Your trainer should be in the passenger seat (not in the bunk) until you feel comfortable and safe. If you are having a serious problem or a safety concern with your trainer REQUEST a different one.  

What is the starting pay rate (cents per mile) ?
Are there scheduled increases ?
Do you pay safety bonus ?
Do you pay Performance bonus ?
Do you pay fuel bonus ?
I have an inverter in my truck (what is procedure and policy ? ie: size -  wiring or plug in.
Do you have a rider policy
? Do I pay for this ?
Do you have a pet policy ?
Benefit Package
what is included ?
and what is my portion to pay ?
when does it take effect ?

How is truck maintenance scheduled ?
( specific times - when I am off or while I am waiting ?)
If I have a breakdown on the road what is your policy ?


What percentage of out of route is allowed?
Average miles per week you can expect (and that they expect)
Are you paid for extra drops and pickups  and how much per ? (the first one is usually not paid)
Do you pay detention ? (after how long)  and how much ?
Do you pay layovers ? (after how long) and how much ?
How long is orientation? (is it paid and how much? )
Is lodging paid during orientation ? (meals)
What is your pay policy ? (weekly biweeky- direct deposit-cutoffs -holdbacks -)
What rate do you pay load- unload? (Do you use lumpers ?)
What percent is drop and hook ?
Can you take the truck home ?
Do you slipseat ?
Do you pay truck washes ?(and what is the procedure)
What is your home time policy  ? 5-7-10-14 or more out before days off ?and how many days off for each 7 out ? (try to pin them down to be specific)
Do you have safety meetings that must be attended ? (if so how often ? as you are normally not paid for this time and if you live a long way from the terminal it can cut into your home time)
Do you supp\y a CB or do I have to get my own ?
Do your fuel cards allow me to stop wherever I need gas or do I have to go certain places

Department of Labor Job Description

Jackie's Plan   

1.She checked out companies by going to truckstops and talking to company
drivers and checking the equipment they were driving also.. and by 
calling Better Business Bureaus

2.She called the companies that were of interest to her and asked
which schools they hired from(and did they offer tuition reimbursement)

3.She went to the schools and talked to the students and instructors and
got a brochure and outline of their program (her feeling was the longer the better) ....because there is a lot to learn

4.She chose her school( ROADMASTER IN FLORIDA )and made
her loan arrangements and called the companies that she was interested in and
told them when her graduation date would be.

A few things we have learned since then should also be considered..................
5. Check the carriers safety ratings


6.  When you finish the school before you hire on with the company
of yourchoice prepare a list of things that are
important to you and get those questions answered.........

7. If you have a criminal record of any kind check with the companies
to see if you are hireable before paying for a school. 

   (this info I learned at the Drivers Roundtable) 
If the crime was a minor one an expungement might be possible
or a Ministers permit
....You can learn more about the Ministers Permit on site

And  when they turn you solo if you don't feel ready TELL THEM.

Jackie went to Covenant when she finished school

  ....she didn't like the company all that well but
they were very thorough in there training
( close to 3 months )


Copyright© Sparrow 2017
This document may not be duplicated, redistibuted or otherwise appropriated.