Small Trucking Company Vs. Large Trucking Company: Which Should I Work For?

May 1, 2023

Perhaps, you are presently at a point where you need to make a decision between working in a small trucking company or a large one. You are left wondering which one is the more suitable for you and which you can get the best from.

There are upsides as well as there are downsides to both. What is most important, however, is which of the two options best matches your personal preference and your long-term projections on the job.

This article should give you an insight into what to expect in each case. And at the end of it, you should find it as a guide to help you make the best decision for you.

First, let’s take a quick look at what a small trucking company is and all that it potentially involves.

Considering Working For a Small Trucking Company?

There are several benefits involved with working for small trucking companies, as small doesn’t always mean bad. Going through some of the following benefits could help you decide if you want to settle in one.

Pros of working with a Small Trucking Company

trucks in a row next to each other
  • A small trucking company usually has a smaller fleet of trucks—say five or fewer. They are mostly also a start-up company that is relatively new in the business. Therefore, this means that the fleet of trucks to be driven is somewhat new too. Driving newer trucks could imply that there will be fewer issues with them to deal with when driving. This will likely leave the trucker a generally good experience on the job.
  • Another thing to consider is how that small trucking companies have a much smaller staff working in the organization. This could easily translate to a generally improved working relationship amongst staff members. The impact of a vibrant working relationship not only reflects on the staff, it equally tells potentially on the efficiency and growth of the company. Increased efficiency and development of the company can, in turn, translate into higher pay for truckers in the future.
  • In addition, the welfare of truckers by company management is taken care of at the most basic and personal level in a small trucking company. It is easier for drivers to make their concerns and welfare known to the management, who can deal with them much quicker and faster. This also means that drivers working in small trucking companies have more flexibility with time management. Truckers may have some time to get into other businesses on the side and/or acquire additional skills or certifications to help them grow further in their career. In emergencies, say a family member is sick, it is also possible to give more attention to such when working for a small company.
  • Finally, for a small trucking company, it is possible to get better compensation packages. This is because a small trucking company usually pays less for business overhead operational costs. When such a company can leverage other important factors to become more profitable, this can translate into higher and more competitive compensation packages for the truckers.

Cons of working with a Small Trucking Company

However, it is not always a bed of roses when it involves working for a small trucking company. Some of such demerits have been highlighted below.

  • Small trucking companies are more exposed to risks of business failure when compared to their larger counterparts. A small company is less likely to weather the storm successfully when there are major shocks in the overall economy. This implies potential job losses for drivers in such companies.
  • Small trucking companies sometimes exert excessive workloads on their drivers, especially when there is a higher demand for services, and the management has yet to employ more truckers. This could lead to a feeling of being overwhelmed by the drivers. This could also lead to reduced efficiency of the workers.

Should You Work With a Large Trucking Company?

At first thought, it would immediately look apparent that larger companies are an obvious go-to when making such decisions. After all, most people like to pride themselves in working in bigger organizations. Nevertheless, large trucking companies also have their merits and demerits.

a group of large trucks in a row

Pros of working with a large trucking company

  • Easily, a large company means more people are involved, and resources and tools are available. This can be an excellent advantage if you prefer working in a more structured environment. Most times, such organizations have been structured to upscale the efficiency of their workers, making them feel less of any undue pressure.
  • Furthermore, most big trucking companies have attractive and well-planned out healthcare and savings plans for their staff. These usually come in the form of insurance, emergency bailouts, and allowances that a trucker may find helpful in the course of their career. This is something not too common in smaller companies. Such robust plans promote the overall well-being of the workers.
  • It is also noteworthy that many big trucking companies have devised programs to help their truckers develop in their career. These trucking companies offer training and career advancement programs that improve the skills of a trucker and make them worthy of higher remuneration. The programs are either created in-house or outsourced to third-party development organizations for better results.
  • Since large trucking companies are well structured and have come to be that way over time, it is also expected that payments of salaries are more consistent with them. Most times, even in the face of harsh economic realities, big companies usually have well-set-up plans on how to be sustainable throughout the unfavorable period, which usually already includes prompt payment of workers. So a trucker would have very little to worry about in this instance.
  • It is also much easier for a large company to weather the storm of such difficult economic conditions than their smaller counterparts. There is, therefore, a highly reduced risk of job loss for an average trucker- a major plus for large trucking companies.
  • Like icing on the cake, many large trucking companies have facilities for recreation like a gym, pool, restaurants, and bars. A good number of them also boast of their own repair facilities. This often takes the burden of repairing trucks off the driver, as may be found in many small companies.

Cons of working with a large trucking company

Some disadvantages of working in a large trucking company include the following.

  • Truckers’ personal issues and complaints may not be dealt with as quickly as in a smaller company. Sometimes, the structure involved in reporting such issues is very cumbersome. This causes many concerned workers to shy away from the process entirely.
  • It is also common to find workers treated as numbers in a larger company rather than as persons. The structure in place often leads to close monitoring by the superiors, who are mostly interested in getting the job done. Superiors can often be seen as putting too much pressure on the drivers to get results. Such extreme supervision may also imply that a driver has less time to himself for other personal businesses.

The Verdict

Every trucking company, big or small, is unique in its own right. It is possible to find some small companies taking up some of the merits of a large company and vice versa. It is, therefore, important to do more specific and personal research on the company you want to work with before getting hired. This will help make a better decision on what action to take.

Whether you find yourself in a small trucking company or a large one, the peculiarities of the company will go a long way in affecting the level of satisfaction you feel and the accomplishment you get from your new job.

About the author

I’m Luis Uribe, author of this website. I am the owner and head publisher for Trucker Daily and a freight brokerage Total Connection Logistics. I have been in and around the trucking industry for over 15 years. It is my mission with Trucker daily to equip truck drivers, with the latest in industry updates, news, and helpful tips to help further your trucking career and life. Whether you are a truck driving veteran, or beginner, you will find information on this site to save you a lot of time in your driving journey.

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