Semi-truck drivers are known by many descriptions – heavy truck drivers or tractor-trailer drivers. It is a trying profession and one that requires a lot of stamina. Hauling 10 to 12 tons over several thousand miles is no walk in the park. As with any business, a semi-truck driver salary is directly proportional to your experience, the different types of cargo hauled and the location most frequently traveled. As an example, a driver who has frequented the Alaska route holds an edge.
The Hard Facts On Average
- Student drivers – $41000
- CDL (commercial driver’s license) truck drivers – $66000
- Over-the-road CDL truck drivers – $82000
- Team truck drivers (when two drivers run the same rig; there’s no downtime)- $71000
How To Enhance A Semi Truck Driver Salary
One of the best ways is to obtain Commercial Drivers license endorsements These endorsements allow you to move certain grades of cargo, or, drive specialized trucks. They make you eligible for a certain allowance owing to your professionally advanced status. Of course, you would have to go for a different written and road driving tests outside the usual CDL examination. The endorsements are:
- H –Hazardous materials
- N –Tank vehicles
- P –carrying passengers over a specified number
- S –School bus
- T – Towing a double or triple trailer
- X –A combination of Hazmat and tank vehicles
Some carriers incentivize drivers by offering bonuses to their CDL drivers. The following are some such cases that could fetch you that little extra.
- Safe drivers who move goods without any hassle. Accident-free long hauls without accidents.
- The Company saves money when fuel consumption drops. Fuel efficiency gets you extra bucks.
- In times of driver shortages, CDL drivers are offered a ‘sign-in’ bonus for joining up.
- If you make the monthly mileage limit, carriers can be generous
- When facing driver shortages, a reward is offered for your referral.
- Carriers can be generous to the driver whose vehicle passes the Department of Transport periodical inspections where they check the condition of the vehicle, whether operated efficiently as also drivers who exhibit qualities of safety and responsibility.
Switch Driving Roles
Solo OTR (over-the-road) drivers are a clear majority of semi-truck drivers, and understandably so as they gross $40000 to $45000 in their first year alone. Add bonuses and other eligibilities, and it’s a pretty decent deal.
Team OTR drivers denote two drivers working the same rig. The truck is moving non-stop as they spell each other. They gross around $50000 to $75000 each.
Truck drivers who operate for only one company or so-called dedicated drivers are as good permanent employees. They make $45000 to $65000.
Truck driver trainers teach new CDL drivers from their vast experience and take home $60000 to $80000.
What Does The Future Hold For A Semi Truck Driver Salary?
Moving goods is directly related to consumer spending. That is a sign of a prospering economy. So trucking is there to stay for now. And its celebration time for truckers. For a nation to move, its goods to have. For now, one has to admit, the average take-home packet for the more enterprising semi-truck driver can be substantial.