Truck driving used to be an incredibly rewarding career a couple of decades ago. But it’s fair to say that the industry has suffered a little since then since new rules about capping the amount of time they are allowed on the road came into play. And another issue is that some large companies – we’ll mention no names – have started paying their drivers lower rates.
However, it is still possible to earn a lot of money as a truck driver – as much as a six-figure salary. So, if driving is your thing and you want to make a career switch to a rewarding and money-making career, could trucking be the right choice for you? Follow these simple guidelines, and with a little luck, you should be able to earn a decent living.
While you can make a lot of money with a trucking career, you will work hard for it. Early morning starts will be essential to ensure you get on the road, and you’ll need to get used to planning routes, including looking for fuel stops and road construction blockages. There will be nights spent away from home, too, and driving 500 miles in a day is not uncommon.
According to the course description for CDL Training at NETTTS, a Class A CDL allows you to drive all three classes of commercial vehicle and is the one to go for if you intend to mix things up a little. However, a Class B CDL qualification tends to be cheaper, and if you are only driving a vehicle weighing over 26,000 pounds and towing vehicles 10,000 pounds or less, it might be a better option. There is also a Class C CDL qualification that is cheaper still, although only allows you to drive buses or coaches.
Leasing, buying, or company work
As a rule, there are three choices when it comes to trucking. You can lease a truck and set up as a solo driver – but be warned that it is usually the leasing company that will win financially, as they tend to charge extortionate rates. Buying a truck yourself is, in the long-term, a far better option regarding making money, but you do need a lot of capital and cash flow to ensure it is well-maintained throughout your career. Finally, working for a company is often the easiest way of hitting that six-figure sum as a trucker. However, some companies are better to work for than others – which is what we’ll look at next.
Best paying trucking companies
There are several great paying trucking jobs – Walmart, for example, are one of the highest paying, and you could hit six figures when you take your bonuses into account. Over the road drivers also tend to be better paid, but if you want to make some serious cash, you need a specialty. For example, if you are prepared to transport Hazmat materials, it can be incredibly lucrative. But for the best paying of all trucking jobs, you need to look into ice road trucking. It is possible to earn an entire year’s salary in just a couple of months if you are brave enough to take on the enormous challenges that ice truckers have to face.
So, do you think you have what it takes to earn megabucks as a trucker? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.