Truck driving is an outstanding career choice that offers individuals a lot. Not only does the average truck driver now make around $43,000 per year, they also enjoy excellent benefits like health insurance and retirement plans. Besides that, there are lifestyle benefits that truckers appreciate, including being out on the open road instead of stuck inside an office and not having to work with a lot of other people.
Not only is truck driving a great career, it offers room within itself to make you more money. The more you work, learn, and grow, the more financial opportunities you’ll have.
According to Chayka Truck Driving School in Los Angeles, here are some ways that truck drivers make more money.
Run Hard the First Year
“The very best advice on how to make money as a truck driver is to run hard your first year,” says Vartan Avakian, owner of Chayka. It’s not easy—especially for new drivers who aren’t used to being away from home for long periods of time—but if you can do it, you’ll be able to pick and choose different jobs your next year. The harder you work, the more seniority you’ll have, and the more opportunities you’ll get. Don’t be part of the high turnover rate. Just stick it out, work hard, and stay ahead of the game.
Love Your Dispatcher
This one may be hard, since so many drivers and dispatchers butt heads. Whether or not your dispatcher is above you or not (and that will depend on your company), work together as a team, and you’ll see that being in their favor has benefits. “Not only will it make your work smoother, you’ll be more likely to get the job when a new load comes up,” says Avakian. More loads, more money.
When you do an excellent job and prove yourself to be a safe, reliable, responsible, and efficient truck driver on your own, it opens up opportunities for jobs such as driving trainers, dispatchers, and management. These jobs often offer a bigger salary than drivers, as they require more responsibility. You could even go on to own and operate your own trucking company.
Earn CDL Endorsements
As you’re earning your Class A, Class B, or Class C CDL, you can also earn endorsements which allow you to operate certain types of vehicles and transport certain types of goods. These endorsements cover more than what your CDL covers. The more endorsements you earn and hold, the bigger your chances are to make more money and set yourself up for future success as a truck driver. “The more endorsements you have, the better you look to employers and companies,” says Avakian.
Savvy truck drivers whose deliveries go well get the most jobs. And in this day and age, there is a lot of technology that will help your jobs go much more smoothly. For example, devices like sophisticated GPS systems will help you get to your destination more easily. Electronic logbooks will archive records carefully and properly. When you fully understand how to use these new devices, you will look better to your employer and will gain more work. If cash is tight, you can always use a truck factoring company to pay for new tech or anything else.
As you can see, there are a lot of ways to work your way up and make more money as a truck driver. It’s all about doing a great job and being motivated. If you choose this lucrative career, good luck!