Trucking Company Bait and Switch (What to Do When the Company “Offers” to Lease You a Truck)

The following happened to a friend of mine:

He was hired by a trucking company (I won’t name which one), and that company flew him to another state. He reported to the terminal for orientation and training. When orientation was finished, his manager said, “We don’t have a company tractor for you today,” and then asked, “Would you like to lease one?”

Of course, my friend said, “No.”

Note: For enlightenment about this, see our blog about why you don’t want to lease a tractor from your company, titled

“Bad Trucking Idea #2: Lease Here/Work Here”.

He was asked this question every morning for 2 weeks.

The company had paid his airfare. The company was paying for his motel room (including a continental breakfast and free dinner). The company was paying $35/day per diem (5 days a week). But, they never seemed to have company tractors.

For the first week, every morning he’d get up, enjoy the continental breakfast, get in the shuttle van, get driven to the terminal, and be greeted with, “We don’t have a company tractor for you today. Would you like to lease one?” Then he’d hang out for a couple of hours, go back to the motel, have the free dinner, and go to bed.

My friend was learning the hard truth—that some trucking companies are more interested in getting drivers to lease a tractor than finding work for those drivers.

A week after all this started, he happened to look over the terminal’s fence and noticed that a different trucking company had a terminal right next door. He hopped the fence and asked to speak to a recruiter at the competitor’s office. When he explained what was going on, the recruiter laughed and said that he heard the same story twice a week. The recruiter hired him on the spot.

For the second week (while he was still living at the first company’s motel), every morning he’d get up, enjoy the continental breakfast, get in the shuttle van, get driven to the terminal, and get the same response: “We don’t have a company tractor for you today. Would you like to lease one?” Then he’d hop the fence to the second company’s terminal, go through a day of orientation, go back to the motel, have the free dinner, and go to bed.

At the end of the second week, the second company had a company tractor for him.

When you start orientation, there is an entry made in your Drive-A-Check (DAC) report. So, now my friend had two entries for orientation in the same month, which looks bad. Other than that, it worked out great for him.

When he tells that story, all the other drivers say, “Oh. Yeah. That company. They do that all the time.” My friend never asked any drivers for help when picking a place to work. You can see that doing so would have been a good idea.

The moral of this story is:

“As long as you don’t crash the truck, there is always another driving company.”

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