As a driver, you probably enjoy being on the road more than the average citizen. However, most of us also value our time at home!
An unfortunate pattern that we've noticed is more and more companies hiring outside their lane patterns. We don't do this because we know that getting home regularly, while loaded if possible, is important.
That is why it's vital to thoroughly understand a company's lane patterns before signing on with them.
Unfortunately, many companies are willing to promise and never deliver. Before you commit you'll want to be sure to dig deeper. Here are a few tips we've picked up over the years.
Signs a Company Might Be Over-Promising
This may sound obvious, but if you're hoping for a certain lane pattern from a company, it's key to find out if they actually have any loads going to your destination. Companies have been known to promise they can get you home under load, but if they don't have any regular loads going that way, that's a huge red flag.
If a company has made a promise like that, it's key to clarify, and maybe even get it in writing. Accepting their word with no evidence that they travel that way is bad news.
Additionally, if a trucking company tells you they can get you home under load, it's important to understand that that doesn’t mean scheduled time off. It might just mean you get to be home for dinner or possibly a night at home, but if you are under load, staying home for a couple of days isn’t realistic.
Ask Your Recruiter These 3 Things About Lane Patterns Before Committing
1. What Expenses am I Responsible for?
If a company is allowing their drivers to run empty miles for home time, you need to find out what expenses the driver is responsible for paying, such as fuel, downtime, etc.
2. What Are Your Lane Patterns?
Knowing a company's traffic lanes is beneficial for several reasons, regardless of whether or not you want to make it home under load. If the lanes don't fit with what you're looking for, it's worth asking if they might be willing to accommodate. However, as we said before, make sure you can trust the company to follow through with what they're offering.
3. How Often are Certain Lane Patterns Available?
A company might have occasional loads going in the direction you're interested in, but that doesn't mean it's a regular pattern. Don't count on being able to get home every week, just because you see one or two loads headed that way.
Ultimately, when it comes to lane patterns, the most important thing you can do as a driver is ASK. Ask all your questions, even if it feels like too much. A recruiter who isn't willing to provide answers for you is probably not one you want to do business with.
It's not just about lane patterns, either! There are numerous questions you should ask your recruiter before signing on with a company. At K&J, we want to make sure you understand our values and goals before signing on with us. Get to know us a little bit through our drivers!