Truck driver salary varies from different factors: truck drivers’ experience, reputation, knowledge and much more. In 2010 according to Bureau of Labor, the average truck driver income was $39,400 annually; nowadays it is a bit increased.
Being a truck driver allows you to have good benefits as health and dental insurance for you and your family but also means that you have to be away from your family for a long period of time. In USA and Canada, there are 15.5 million tracks in total and 70% of all goods in the USA are transported by trucks.
Trucking is one important segment of USA economy it generates $300 billion per year which means that driving a truck is a great career to get involve. It is estimated that without trucks for 21 days America will stop.
The point here is the truck drivers will be always required to transport goods from place to place so in this article I will point few tips how to increase your truck driver salary.
1. Get different CDL Endorsements
Do you pass your CDL exam? Now you need to get endorsements to increase your experience and to widen your job opportunities.
With adding extra permissions on your CDL you will be allowed to drive specific trucks that your CDL by itself is not covering and also will be able to transport different types of goods.
Improving your skills will affect on your truck driver salary. Another thing is that you will be required to have great knowledge about highway safety regulations about your vehicle and your load too.
Having endorsements will give you an opportunity to choose between loads that are paid more.
- Double and Triple Trailer Endorsement will allow you to drive multiple trailers because with your general CDL you can only drive single trailer truck. Can you imagine how this endorsement will affect on your truck driver salary?
- Air brake endorsement – will allow you to drive vehicles with air brakes. This is very important part because you will learn how to check the truck air brakes and how to repair some damage if occurs. This air brake endorsement is required to increase the safety on the roads with preparing the truck driver to maintain the good condition of the air brakes.
- Tanker vehicle endorsement will allow you to transport liquid loads. It will teach you how to load, how to check for leaks, in general, will prepare you for everything you need to transport this specific freight.
- Interstate CDL Endorsement – allows you to pass the state border and drive between different states. Being able to transport goods without limitation will increase your truck driver salary. But remember if you are a rookie truck driver you need to have at least 21 years to take this test.
- Hazardous Materials or known as HAZMAT endorsement will allow you to transport hazardous materials. With passing this endorsement you will get HAZMAT certification that will open more job opportunities and will increase the range of your truck driver salary.
These are few endorsements of the huge list but every one of them will help you to choose between loads that are paid more and to have dissent truck driver salary.
2. Gain Experience and increase your truck driver salary
Experience is one of the most important parameters for every job but for truck driver salary experience have special importance.
Since truck drivers need to have great knowledge in many fields and that knowledge can sometimes be learned only by experience you need to be patient before you earn bigger bucks.
In trucking industry first 2 years are mostly for learning and gaining field experience and to be honest it can be complicated and difficult.
But… tight your teeth and survive it to the end, trust me it will pay off everything you went through.
Put it in this way: every truck driver that now has huge driving experience ones were in your shoes and now they have good security and well-paid job.
- Drivers with 5 to 8 years earn around $50,000 to $70,000 per year and included benefits (medical and dental) and additional bonuses. Experience truck driver salary is $19 to $50 + per hour or $0.30 to $0.45 per mile.
- Rookies need experience on the road to achieve that level and in a way, it is understandable that they need to put full effort to get higher truck driver salary. Rookie truck driver salary is $17 to $19 per hour or $0.27 to $0.29 per mile.
3. Gain Reputation
In every trucking company the biggest concern is the safety regulations and safety company ranking.
If your performance as a truck driver is clean you will be able to have more job opening and choose between the companies that will offer more money.
Your driving reputation is your representative in front of the companies. You can have bright and shiny representative or dark and cloudy.
If you were the company that has need of truck drivers would you hire yourself?
Start from that point of view when you are starting the engine and you are transporting a load.
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Every trucking company wants to protect their own reputation with hiring truck drivers that are willing to protect the load that they are caring and not just to transport also to cover every safety regulation.
4. Improve your IT knowledge
Since we are living in a modern era where everything is regulated by computers and modern devices is it always good to keep up and learn more about.
At the first time, truck drivers were using paper logbooks for tracking the daily obligations and tasks.
Now the FMCSA requires every truck driver to use Electronic Log Book to record the driving behaviors.
This new system will save the truck driver time and will ensure that those records are properly archived without losing paper sheets.
Also without papers that need to be field truck drivers will be more focus on driving.