It's a Team's Life

Finding Your Fleet (Part I)

By Millennials in Trucking
Posted Sep 8th 2023 11:00AM

A recent post shared by a fellow expediter made some great points when it came to finding a small fleet to work for. We’ve decided to highlight her post and add to it from a former driver and now owner’s, perspective. We're going to work through her post, point by point.

“When looking for a driving job - look at the different fleets (there are more than 3 or 4) and see what they each offer. Don’t just look at the one that has shower trucks… Look at how reliable they are; Do they pay every week? Do they give bonuses? Do they allow pets? Are there pet deposits or escrows? Do they have target amounts per month, per mile, etc.? Do they want you to only get maintenance at certain locations or can you get it done immediately?”

Choosing your fleet because they have eye catching ads or shower trucks might not make them the jewel out here – there are a lot of things to consider. Inquiring about pay and bonuses is important because newer fleets might not have bonuses whereas older fleets might have all of their equipment paid off and therefore might be able to afford larger pay percentages and/or bonuses. So not every fleet offers bonuses, just like not every fleet has an escrow or security deposits just because you have a pet. Some fleets require escrows without pets. There are also fleets who run equipment with very strict rules; using very specific shops because the equipment lacks service centers. Now, sometimes this isn’t intentional – dealers and/or fleets are constantly testing new equipment and the newer the equipment, the smaller the service center coverage you may have. Other times, it could be a smaller fleet who prefer to use small shops because they don’t have fleet accounts with the larger service centers to be able to get price breaks. See where your values are best met.

“When looking at the fleets you find that interest you; talk on the phone with a list of your questions you want to ask. Ask to talk to some of their drivers. Ask to see their contract. Write down what they tell you.”


Before we joined expediting, we spoke to the owner multiple times – sometimes just to clarify everything we asked, and we asked a LOT of questions. Writing down your questions so you don’t forget anything once you get on the phone with an owner can be a huge help, especially when you’re a team. Majority of fleets have a contract in place – asking to see it before qualifying with a carrier and moving too far forward can save you both a lot of time. Now, speaking to current drivers is great, but speaking to former drivers is even more important. Verify what you were told with current drivers, see why the former drivers left the fleet, and take both with a grain of salt, because at the end of the day - no fleet, nor driver, is perfect. Lastly, ask the owner to text or email a summary of your discussion with what their fleet offers, and follow your gut.

“Ad’s for drivers - if a fleet advertises a set amount you will earn a week, I would only believe that if it’s a dedicated run. Just because an ad says ‘shower trucks available’ doesn’t mean you will get one. Some fleets offer shower units as something you work up to. Non force dispatch is exactly that, but that doesn’t mean you can take a month off and not expect the owner to call and ask you whats up? If a fleet has 5% of their fleet doing YouTube, Tik Tok, etc. saying ‘Come see us and join our fleet’ it doesn’t mean that just because they have a presence on social media, they are the best. It means that is what they do to get the word out that they have openings for teams.”

Some job listings can be very misleading, especially in our industry. Units fitted with bathrooms are some of the most expensive upgrades our sleepers can get, so they are usually given to top earning teams, or the teams with the most seniority. Now if a job listing is guaranteeing you a certain pay weekly, they should either have a minimum weekly guarantee or you will be running a dedicated route. So, she’s right. Outside of those two circumstances, there is no guarantee of pay out here, because you are in control of your fate. How much money you make will depend on how you work, the loads you do or don’t take, the qualifications you have, and/or the kind of equipment the fleet operates. Not all fleets have refrigerated units or newer units that can even qualify to run controlled freight. Not all fleets will mentor you or give you the resources and knowledge to help make you successful, and these basic needs can make or break you in expedite. Every fleet advertises differently so again, don’t look for the most expensive or most eye-catching ads - stick with your gut.

“Every trucking company has their good and bad qualities... you talk to any one of their drivers, you will hear ‘they are great’ and ‘they are horrible’. It’s like that with any job, in any industry. It’s the individuals experience; how they act, how they treat others, and how well they do their job - that is the difference between “we love this company” or “we hate it.”


When speaking to drivers and/or owners, take everything with a grain of salt. Your experience can be very different. The driver you speak with might have trashed a truck but they only told you the owner deducted a cleaning fee out of their last settlement. On the flip side, the owner might tell you they offer bonuses, but when you speak to one of their drivers, you might find that the owner will find any reason not to pay it out, or they have to chase after it with multiple phone calls and emails. You will likely find a driver that has been disqualified from driving for a specific expedite company, but they won’t tell you that they were reported countless times for not wearing their uniforms at customers, or have multiple OOS violations. Sometimes, we can work and live with integrity and don’t receive it back. However, don’t let the bad owners ruin your outlook on the industry and if you find yourself in a rotten egg of a fleet, start asking around and find a fleet that will value you, and show you integrity still exists.

Don't forget that you can reach out to us with any questions, or if there's something we've covered that you would like us to expand on, let us know. You can even stay anonymous.


 Run Hard - Dream Big,

- M.I.T.