What’s it like to drive a big rig across North America? The answer is dramatically different in 2024 than it might have been even a decade ago. In the transportation field, change is the one constant, and opportunities are as limitless as the open-road horizon.
Challenger Motor Freight: A Leading Player
Millions of truckers have accelerated their careers and brightened their futures by signing on to North America’s best trucking companies. Challenger Motor Freight, one of the premier transportation companies, is an example. For nearly a half century, it’s been a significant presence on the highways of North America, and has grown to a fleet of over 1,200 trucks, 3,300 trailers and a team of 2,200 staff.
Recognitions and Awards
Not surprisingly, 2024 was another year of recognition and awards for the company, including: 2024 Best Fleets To Drive For, Canada’s Best Managed Companies, Trucking HR Canada Top Fleet Employers 2024, Trucking HR Canada Top Fleet Employer of Distinction, and Truckload Carriers Association Fleet Safety Award.
Life as a Challenger Motor Freight Team Member
What’s it like to be a part of the Challenger Motor Freight team? The best answers come from the Challenger professionals themselves. One recurring theme is the independence of the lifestyle, the opportunity to chart one’s own path — on the road and in life.
Embracing Independence and Diversity
“Every day is different here,” explains one Challenger driver. “Whether I’m going to a different location or I’m working in the office with the office staff, I’m always doing something different, which is a lot of fun. I usually work 13-hour days on average, and it doesn’t feel like it.
When I’m done driving I still have a bit of energy left. I like the care they take and the equipment that we have. I’m always in a newer truck. Right now I’m driving a brand new truck, and I absolutely love it. I watch my movies in my truck, I relax, I cook food in the truck too, so it’s just like being at home.”
Flexibility and Comfort on the Road
For those who haven’t been paying attention to the rapid evolution of the transportation industry, the flexibility provided by some of the best trucking companies is impressive. For example, Challenger allows drivers to bring their pets along, within reason of course. (Don’t expect your python or Gila monster to ride shotgun on a cross-country haul.)
“It’s kind of cool because you can have your little tracker buddy when you’re driving down the road,” says one driver, referring to his carry-on-luggage-size Schnauzer.
Exploring the Vast Landscapes
Part of the thrill of independence is enjoying the wide open spaces of North America. With Challenger, some drivers prefer local routes in the Greater Toronto Area and across southern Ontario. But for those who long for the open road, drivers have everything they need to see Canada, and see America. Today’s trucks feature spacious sleeping areas, obviating the need to check into the sketchy motel at the end of a dark road.
“Long hauling is wonderful,” shares a Challenger Motor Freight driver. “I really like that I’m traveling to different places and meeting a lot of different people. You see a lot of different things. When I went to Las Vegas, seeing the desert was really cool. Challenger gives you enough time to make that kind of trip possible.”
Modern Amenities for Comfort
Drivers enjoy high levels of comfort in a high-octane career. “All Challenger trucks are equipped with the Platinum package of Sirius XM, so you have everything from NHL to just pretty much everything,” reports another Challenger driver.
“It’s one of the top packages you can get, which is really nice when you’re on the road, so you don’t get bored of what you’re listening to. The new equipment’s got some cool features: I have heated seats, air conditioned seats.
We use e-logs here at Challenger, and they use a system called Isaac. It is one of the most advanced e-log systems out there right now, so I have a tablet in my truck that can come off of its station and I can actually use it anywhere around the truck. It has built-in navigation, so I have GPS and direct communication to our office. Overall it’s a really great system.”
Professionalism and Training in Trucking
Trucking is a high-end professional career these days. The best transportation companies are state-of-the-art in every way. Training and credentialing are part of that process. Trucking companies make sure that new recruits are up to speed and ready for the job. At Challenger, they call it the finishing program.
“This is where they want to make sure drivers are 100 percent confident before they get the keys to their truck and go out on their own,” explains a young driver. “Depending on the experience of a driver, this could be from one to two weeks to up to eight weeks of training.
When I did the finishing program I had issues reading a map and learning how to do my mapping, so they gave me a little extra time to focus on that before they put me out on my own. They wanted to make sure that I was confident in what I was doing before I got out there.”
Adds a Challenger manager: “We set up every driver with the proper tools, the proper training and the proper environment to succeed.”
If you are new to trucking and would like to try out logistics, worry not because we’ve got you covered. In our guide to mastering the logistics game, you will learn what is skill required for this job position, how you can get into the industry, and how to stay updated with the latest trends. Read on to find out!