Choosing a trucking company is not something you should take lightly. Trucking is a way of life, and the company that you select can make or break the experience. We recently saw an article titled 100 Questions All Truck Drivers Should Ask Their Driver Recruiter on otrdriving.com. We thought it was great advice and decided that we could make it even easier on potential recruits to answer those questions up front, and online. We reveal it all, no holds barred.
We are aware that 100 questions means a lot of reading, so we've kept the answers brief and broken the questions down into sub-sections. If you click the sections below you will be brought right to that section of the page. To view the answers to the questions, click on the question itself and it will reveal the answer as a dropdown.
100 Questions New Recruits Should Ask... Answered!
We’re licensed for all 48, but we run primarily in the West, South, Northwest, and Southwest Central regions, as well as the Mid-Atlantic and a little East, but not as far as New York City or the East Coast.
Long Haul: 12-1400; Intermediate: 600-800; Regional: 400-600 miles
Miles are calculated on short miles.
No! In fact, we actively tell drivers not to unload the freight. We pay for lumper services.
The average stop takes 2 hours to offload.
Company drivers are subject to forced dispatch but not owner-operators.
It’s okay to refuse a load, but we try to put the driver in the area they most prefer.
Yes, normally they can stay within an area, but that can limit their miles.
Company trucks have an idle program.
We use Peoplenet for tractors and Blue Tree for trailer tracking.
We use e-logs.
We use PeopleNet. We work hard to provide training to our drivers on using the system effectively. Look up some of our trainings on YouTube!
Kenworths, with a few Freightliners, Volvos, and Peterbilts.
The average age of company trucks is 2 years.
The average age of trailers is 2 years.
Yes, all company trucks have APUs.
Yes, all company trucks have inverters.
The wattage limit is 1500.
Drivers are assigned to a truck—no slip seating.
Drivers will not lose their truck with time off, even extended time off.
We prefer trucks to be housed at our shop but will allow drivers to take them home based on the situation.
If a driver takes a truck home under a load, then trailer accommodations are the driver’s responsibility.
Drivers can utilize a secure lot at our terminal, customer, or other lots that are secure to store their trailer on home time.
All company trucks have refrigerators.
All company trucks are double bunks.
Our orientation process is 2 days.
New hires are paid $100.00 per day for orientation.
We will make arrangements for travel to orientation if needed.
Normally we’ll hire locally, but if not, we will grab a ride with a truck heading to the terminal.
K & J pays for hotel rooms during orientation.
New hires are not responsible for the expense if they don’t stay.
New hires are typically dispatched by the end of the second day of orientation.
Pets and passengers aren’t typically allowed, but can be if needed.
Drivers will get into their truck at terminal, unless hired for owner-operator who may keep their truck at another location.
We offer mileage and salary pay to drivers. We pay on a weekly basis through direct deposit.
Our starting rate, with experience, is $0.46, plus stop pay, detention, and bonuses. Our company drivers average between $60,000 and $68,000 a year.
Raises are based on a semiannual review.
Company drivers have health insurance, including an HSA option, dental, and vision. They also receive 401k, flex, vacation pay, disability, accident insurance, and cancer insurance. Drivers who work for an owner operator can normally expect to have health insurance, vision, dental, disability, accident and vacation benefits available.
A company driver must be employed for 60 days before becoming eligible for benefits.
A fuel bonus is offered via idle bonus program and pay rate.
A safety bonus is paid quarterly, based on quarterly results.
A performance bonus is included in idle bonus.
We do not offer a sign-on bonus.
We do not offer a longevity bonus. Pay is increased based on years of service as well as truck options and area of operation preferences.
Yes, we have a referral program.
We do not offer transition pay.
Yes, we offer orientation pay. (See Question 46)
Yes, we offer a lease purchase program.
You must be a driver at our company for at least six months with satisfactory performance. If you are brand new to trucking, we recommend waiting a full year.
Hiring qualifications remain the same for drivers or potential leased operators.
You must complete six months of satisfactory service including no accidents or minor accidents, on-time delivery, good communication with dispatch and shop, and a minimum of 10,000 miles per month.
Equipment available for lease is company-owned and typically is a Kenworth T680.
New drivers take on used equipment the company has in the fleet.
The lease runs 2-3 years depending on the truck, mileage, etc.
Typical payment is $600.00 per week, or $2,600.00 per month.
Owner-operators are still required to make lease payments when off the truck.
Depending on the year and mileage of the truck, there is typically a balloon payment at the end of the lease, if the owner wants to purchase the truck. If the driver intends to upgrade the truck or stay in the lease program, the balloon is either extended to a different date or rolled into the next truck. The lessee always gets the equity they’ve acquired while leasing a truck from the company.
A driver who becomes an owner-operator is responsible for all costs of operating the truck. Lumpers are reimbursed with a receipt. We have several discount programs for fuel, insurance, maintenance, etc. that we pass along to the leased operator.
Our lease requires Physical Damage and Bobtail coverage.
Operators are always welcome to find their own insurance, but it can also be secured through the company’s group policy.
We set up a maintenance account at $25.00 per week for a leased truck.
If an operator is unable to finish the lease, the options are as follows: The lease requires the driver to continue making payments until the truck is released or sold. Or, if the operator returns to company driver status, all payments are waived. All accounts are settled 45 days after the lease ends, and if money is owed, it is returned to the operator.
Operators who use our in-house lease program are treated like all owners and drivers. We do not practice special treatment.
All operators are paid percent of load—no empty miles are paid.
The operator receives 100 percent of tractor fuel surcharge.
All line haul freight is paid by percent: the operator gets 100 percent of stop pay and tractor fuel surcharge and detention is paid on percent to operator, all amounts listed on settlement.
Operators are responsible for maintaining their tractor to meet federal DOT requirements.
The company is happy to keep track of maintenance on all operator trucks, and willing to schedule maintenance on leased trucks if requested.
Repairs can be done at the operator’s choice of shop, however, the company shop has a reduced labor rate and discounted parts. If the truck is involved in an accident, the company requests the repairs be done locally at a reputable shop.
Operators are paid weekly.
The company provides all trailers, no rental is charged to the operator, and all expenses are paid by the company for operation of the trailer.
We do not have an in-house tax service, but will offer several suggestions and help with tax planning if requested by the operator.
We are unable to quantify weekly expenses as all operators run their business differently.
Operators can purchase fuel at any stop—the company provides lists of discounts daily to all operators.
The company keeps all maintenance records, and they are available for a potential operator to review prior to leasing a truck.
The lease document is available to all drivers who currently work at K&J or are considering the lease program in the future.
The biggest drawback for some drivers is our six-month waiting period. However, we feel it’s necessary for a new driver to get to know our program prior to entering into a lease. Our lease program has been very successful over the past 25 years with very few issues.
Yes, current operators in our lease program are available for questions. For the name and number of a current leasing driver, email us!
An operator can customize a leased truck as long as they understand the guidelines set forth in the lease. Operators cannot use maintenance escrow for customization of the truck.