How To Become a Truck Driver: Your Step-By-Step Guide to Becoming a Trucker (Hardcover)
Let's talk about the money, most truck drivers can expect to earn $30,000-$40,000 in their 1st year. I know some drivers who work as Solo drivers and decide to give up their apartments so they can stay in the truck all year long and save money. They still take days off from time to time, and stay with friends, family or rent a hotel for a few days so they can take a break. Once you have 6 months experience you may be able to find a job that pays more money. I've seen motivated drivers earning in the $60,000 range in their 1st year. The money is there to earn if you look for it. Too many drivers get complacent and they stay with the same company in the same position making low wages for years and years. Sometimes all you need to do to increase your income is switch positions within the company. If the company you work for doesn't offer anything that will take you to the next level then find another company that will. I know a Walmart driver who earns $100,000 year and he's home every night and weekend.
Companies pay you in cents per mile (CPM) so the more mileage you drive the more you earn The bottom line is company drivers can make anywhere from $30,000 to around $100,000 per year. Stay away from company lease options, 99% of the time only the company does well with this type of position. They will make their lease program sound perfect, touting how you will be your own boss and make lots of money. Drivers often find themselves making just enough to cover the WEEKLY truck lease payment. If you want to truly be your own boss as a owner operator of your own truck then save up the money to buy a used truck cash or you may be able to find a 3rd party (not company sponsored) lease program. I have seen a couple of decent 3rd party lease programs, these will allow you to contract with any company you want. So if you're not making enough money with one company then you can easily switch to another. Owner operators can make anywhere from $50,000 - $250,000 per year.
About the Expert
I have been driving a truck full time for over 4 years at the time of this publishing. I have been a company driver for 3 of those years and an owner/operator for a bit over one.
In the 4+ years that I've been driving I have spent one year driving most of the lower 48 states. I haven't made it up to North Carolina, and a few other states in the northeast but all of the others I have. For the last two years I have been truck driving with my team from Los Angeles to the Kansas City area and back. We did that twice a week. After doing that for about a year I was able to get a driving position working nights and being home every day. I did that for almost year.
I left there because the company did a pathetic job of maintaining their equipment. I was afraid of getting stopped by law enforcement. So I left them and got my own truck to take care of. Now I am contracted with a carrier to move their freight and it works out a lot better.
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