This year, farmers may need a boost to their bottom line, one they may not find inside their farm gates. However, finding an extra job that allows for the flexibility needed to run a farming operation is hard to come by. But one Nebraska company offers an opportunity to make extra money during downtime on the farm.
“Everybody is always looking to supplement their income,” says Mandee Lade, driver recruiter for Chief Carriers. “With the industry being so tough lately, with the flooding and bad storms, farmers are just struggling. Chief thought it would be a good idea to offer something that could supplement their income.”
Lade says farmers should consider becoming a part-time or what Chief Carrier calls a “casual” driver.
During winter, while life on the farm slows down, Chief is still hauling freight across the Midwest.
“We are transporting products from our Nebraska plant to our plant in Indiana, and we need drivers,” Lade explains. Chief Industries Inc. is a family-owned group of companies with products used in agriculture, commercial construction, structural steel, factory-built housing, and ethanol production businesses, as well as in the transportation industry.
“The nice thing about a farmer is he or she is already out working in the elements and understands how to move large equipment,” she says. Farmers choose the days and miles they want to haul. “We are very flexible on work schedule,” Lade says. And the company understands the farming calendar.
“If by the end of February and March they need to take off to get ready for planting, that is fine,” she explains. “But there may be weather that prevents them from getting into the field. During that lag time is when they can be making money running short loads here in Nebraska.”
But this is a year-round position, so there also are opportunities to work during the summer and fall months.
Lade says Chief Carriers' driving program benefits retired farmers, active farmers or even farm kids home from college.
The application process is simple. Farmers only need to apply online once.
Drivers must be at least 23 years old with no DUI, DWI or drug convictions in the past five years. Drivers need Class A over-the-road experience of at least one year. Lade says that while flatbed experience is preferred, the company will train the right candidate. Grand Island, Neb., is the home base for the start of truck hauls.
One benefit to the job is after driving 1,000 hours, a farmer can opt to contribute to the company’s 401(k) plan.
Chief Carriers says this program is a win-win for both the company and farmers. “Being a driver with us allows for them to make money while allowing Chief Carriers to hire knowledgeable, experienced individuals to help fill in for our full-time employees who are taking vacation or need time off,” she says. “We take a lot of pride in being a company that focuses on family, working hard and making an honest living, much like our farmers.”
For more information on casual driving for Chief Carriers, call 866-483-5318 or visit chiefcarriers.com.