How to Make Good Money as a Truck Driver

Learn how long it takes to make good money as a truck driver in North America and how you can increase your income with Truckbook.

How to Make Good Money as a Truck Driver

It usually takes a few years for truck drivers to make good money, and often this means becoming a coach or team driver. Drivers who transition from company drivers to owner-operators can earn more than six figures annually. Generally, truck drivers are paid a flat rate for each mile they travel, not for the time they work. That fee varies depending on the driver's experience, the region they are driving in, and the company they are driving for.

Smaller trucking companies tend to offer higher starting rates than larger companies; typically between 28 and 60 cents per mile. To maximize earnings, new drivers should seek out these smaller companies. To become a professional truck driver, it is important to get the best possible training and obtain a Commercial Driver's License (CDL). Payment per mile is the most common pay scale in the trucking industry because it encourages drivers to drive as much as possible (since they get paid for every mile) while still providing a good take-home salary. For those who enjoy cold weather and adventure, ice trucking can be a seasonal job that pays more than any other.

There are only a few things that are not covered by the company, such as downtime at home DCs, fueling, 26% washing, and cleaning the truck (which is necessary due to sliding seats). Currently, the highest paying truck driving jobs with dedicated routes are located in San Francisco, California. Drivers of ice road trucks, oversized cargo trucks, and hazardous materials are paid higher due to the level of skill and specialization required to operate these vehicles. Most trucking companies have variable salary scales that increase after one year or six months; usually with an increase of 2 cents per mile.

To maximize earnings, use a dedicated smart truck load table that helps calculate the load-to-truck ratio of a place, shipper, freight forwarder or shipping company. Due to the high demand for truck drivers, small and large companies are willing to offer incentives and bonuses to attract drivers. As it sounds, hazardous materials truck drivers carry hazardous materials such as hazardous or toxic liquids. The good news is that new truck drivers will find competitive salaries and great incentives due to the current high demand.

To make life easier on the road, use a nifty and convenient trucking app like Truckbook to do the legwork on your behalf. Texas is one of the highest paying states for truck drivers based on wages reported by Indeed users. In general, experienced truck drivers tend to make more money than new drivers who are just starting out. What you earn on the road depends on many factors; this comprehensive guide looks at what you can do as a truck driver in North America and how you can increase your income.

To become a specialized truck driver, special training and additional CDL endorsements are required.