When I got my CDL in 2018, I figured a commercial driving career would be much like my job as a heavy equipment operator: find a company and work there full time. And for a few years, I did hold full-time driving positions, first OTR, and then locally in the greater Phoenix area. When I got laid off in August, I wasn’t sure what to do next. Thankfully, I found F|Staff.

A Layoff Leads to F|Staff

I was lucky enough to work through all that 2020 shutdown, and when the layoff came, I wasn’t sure what to do next. I thought it would be hard to find a job. I had another carrier company in mind that I wanted to work for, hauling groceries locally, so I asked one of their drivers about employment opportunities. He told me that they only hired through CDS—a staffing agency—and that he uses the F|Staff app to connect with jobs.

At first, I was uncertain about going through a staffing agency, and even less sure of using an app. It felt risky; like I wouldn’t find permanent or reliable work. I’d always assumed that a staffing company was for temp-to-hire situations. But the F|Staff experience opened me up to a whole new world where I was able to take control of my commercial driving career.

The Work-Life Balance Challenge

As a working mother, my career has always been a balancing act. My husband and I were both commercial drivers, and we tried to juggle schedules so that one of us was always home with our daughter. As a full-time employee with a carrier company, there was always that guilt when I’d request a specific schedule or wanted days off. It was difficult balancing what my employer wanted with what my family needed.

After a week-long orientation and onboarding period with F|Staff, I took my first job, and it wasn’t with the company I’d first inquired about. In fact, it was with a company that I’d never even considered working with before.

A team of drivers and I had to shuttle to Tucson, where we were tasked with ferrying rental cars back up to Chandler. On the drive down, I told the others about how I came to work for F|Staff, and when one of them replied that he’d been contracting through CDS and F|Staff for three years, it shifted my perspective on staffing agencies. He said, “With F|Staff, I can work when I want, take days off when I want, and there’s no problem. My schedule is mine to make.”

And just like that, I realized that F|Staff would give me the independence I needed.

A New-Found Sense of Independence

After just a few months with F|Staff, I’ve already made great professional connections and I’m building strong relationships with the companies I’m working for. I have a couple of regularly scheduled loads that I know I can count on each week, and I’m able to fill the rest of my hours, or not!

And that’s the best part.

I no longer stress about scheduling days off, and I don’t have to miss important events with my daughter or husband. It’s the independence that I love the most about using F|Staff. I’m free to take the jobs that interest me and that fit my needs without getting pigeon-holed into an inflexible schedule.

The Jobs are Out There

When I got laid off, I was really worried about finding work. With F|Staff, I can see now that the jobs are out there… if you know where to look. I never even knew about some of these companies until I got into the app and saw all the opportunities. Now, I have my pick!

I check my F|Staff listings every day, and I put in for jobs that look interesting and that fit my schedule. I can keep track of everything—where I’m headed next, the company I’m working with, any rules I need to know—all through that one app.

I tend to choose jobs that give me more freedom, and I like to plan a couple of weeks out.  I have my regular route to Henderson that I take each weekend, and I have a few local routes that are becoming regular additions to my schedule. But I’m always looking for something new, too. Since I’m not forced to stay with the same job, I get to explore different companies without getting stuck. I take the loads I take because I enjoy them.

Paying it Forward

I’ve already had the chance to bring another driver into the F|Staff family. I was asked about potential opportunities while I was on a stop in Henderson. Of course, I told him all about F|Staff. A couple of weeks later, I ran into him again, and he said he was already into the onboarding process for his next commercial driving career.

When you apply to F|Staff, it’s so easy to get started. You won’t have to sit through any in-person orientation–everything is online and self-paced. And as long as you meet all the qualifications, you can get access to the app in just a few days.

Words of Advice

I’m not a big techie, so I wasn’t sure about using an app, but it’s so easy. Everything—from the onboarding through scheduling and getting paid—it’s all a smooth process. And there are real people behind the app, too. If you need help, the dispatch team is there, and they know you by name. Sometimes, they even call you with jobs they think you’d like before you even see them in the app. But everything gets set up through the app, so it’s easy to keep track.

If you’re looking for a way to grow in your career, and you want more independence and variety in your loads and routes, give F|Staff a try. You won’t regret it.

About Michelle Rocha

Michelle Rocha is a third-generation trucker, following in the footsteps of her grandfather, grandmother, and mother. Her brother also has a commercial driving career. When she’s not on the road, she loves to bake wedding cakes and pastries, ride her Harley, and sing Karaoke. She also loves spending as much time as she can with her husband and daughter.

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