Have you been thinking about becoming a truck driver?
Whether you’re interested in the high earning potential or you want to experience the beauty of our country’s landscape (while getting paid), we have 13 reasons why you should consider getting your CDL (Commercial Driver’s License).
1. Earn a 6-Figure Income
You’d be hard-pressed to find another career out there that allows you to make so much money without a college degree (more on that in the next section).
While we have drivers who make as little as $50,000 per year (not exactly chump change!), many of our drivers earn over $100,000 per year. A couple of our highest-earning owner operators even make as much as $150,000 per year.
If you’re willing to run for two weeks at a time before coming home for a long weekend, it’s very feasible to make a 6-figure income.
Our big earners love going out for long periods of time, and they are also owner operators. This means you own your own truck, which allows you to make more on the load.
The downside to being an owner operator is that you are responsible for your truck’s maintenance costs, but we set up a maintenance account for our owner operators to help prepare for those expenses.
We also pay for trailer repairs, which is something a lot of other trucking companies don’t do.
All in all, becoming a truck driver is one of the few ways to earn a 6-figure income without needing years and years of education.
2. No College Degree Necessary
In the United States today, 60% of college graduates have student loans. According to Student Debt Relief, the average debt per graduate is over $37,000 (as of 2016).
That’s a lot of money to owe before you ever even start making any!
As a truck driver, you don’t need higher education. You actually don’t even need a high school diploma. All you need to get on the road and start making money is a
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) explains that in order to get your CDL, all you need to do is:
- Pass a skills test
- Pass a knowledge test
There are additional certifications you can get, which include endorsements for:
- Driving a truck with double or triple trailers
- Driving a truck with a tank
- Driving a truck with hazardous materials (Hazmat)
We have a select few drivers who have their Hazmat certification, which allows them to haul loads that pay significantly more.
Getting your CDL is as simple as a 4-8 weeks of training and training fees of just a few thousand dollars.
3. Be Your Own Boss
As an owner operator, you have the opportunity to be your own boss. When you own your truck, you own your own business.
Alan Geiss, a lease-purchase owner operator here with Freight X, has created his own LLC, “God’s Way Logistics, LLC.”
It can be liberating to know you’ve created something that you can build and pass down to your children.
As an owner operator, you have a say in the types of loads you want to run, where you want to go, how long you want to be on the road, and so on.
You still get access to all the back-office support – just like company drivers – but you run your own show.
That being said, that also means you have more responsibility. As a business owner, you want to make sure your company is insured, and you want to be prepared in case your assets – or your truck – breaks down.
You are responsible for maintenance costs as well as potential accidents, no matter how severe.
You will make a lot more money, which puts you in the position to save and put money in special emergency accounts. Our team here at Freight X assists you through that planning process.
4. Job Security
As long as people need things, truck driving jobs aren’t going anywhere.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of tractor-trailer truck drivers is expected to grow by 6% over the next 7 years.
The American Trucking Association goes even further, explaining that there’s actually a massive driver shortage. The ATA says that currently, the trucking industry as a whole is about 48,000 drivers short of what is needed (latest numbers as of 2015). That number is expected to grow to nearly 175,000 by 2024.
A few reasons for the massive truck driver shortage include:
- The average age of truck drivers is 49 – many are retiring, and no one new is coming up to fill their place
- There is a very low percentage of women truck drivers – women account for only 5.8% of all truck drivers
- Motor carriers are very selective with the drivers they hire due to safety and professionalism priorities
This brings up an important point – just because there’s a shortage doesn’t mean there aren’t truck drivers without jobs. There’s a demand for drivers with excellent driving histories, driving experience, and other important factors.
As of 2012, 88% of all trucking companies said that most driver applications were simply not qualified for the job.
That being said, truck driving jobs aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, the trucking industry needs to hire an average of 89,000 new drivers per year to keep on track with the loss of older drivers and industry growth.
If you want to become a great truck driver, it’s easy to say you’ll be in high demand.
5. It’s a Great Option for Veterans
Truck driving is actually a huge opportunity for veterans.
Many insurance companies have special programs to get veterans back in the workforce (ours included). Veterans with CDLs are given credit for the time they spent driving in the military and for so graciously serving our country.
We love hiring veterans, because they are reliable, respectful, and they are truly some of the best drivers and employees we’ve ever had.
Our company values the training and positive attitude instilled in our military.
6. Travel the Country
There’s something so American about being on the open road and experiencing the beauty of our country. Many of our drivers have a collection of trinkets showing all of the states they’ve been to.
It’s eye-opening to see how diverse our country’s landscape is, from the mountains to the prairies – sing it with me – to the oceans white with foam!
There aren’t a lot of careers that allow you to sit back, relax, and take in the beauty of nature.
While the great pay might be the reason you join the trucking industry, many of our drivers say that it’s the ability to see our country that makes them want to stay.
7. Retire at a Young Age
Because there’s such an opportunity for making a great salary, it’s very feasible to be able to retire at a young age as a truck driver.
The more you work, the more you earn, so you do have to be motivated in order for this to be a realistic plan.
However, we’ve known drivers who were able to make over $1 million in less than 10 years. If you can force yourself to live on a meager salary for those 10 years, and you save everything you can, retiring early is a real possibility.
Most careers don’t have this kind of option, but because you have the ability to work as much or as little as you want, hard work really can pay off in a big way.
8. Travel (and Get Paid) With Your Spouse
Team driving as a husband and wife is certainly not unheard of!
You get to travel the country together while making double the income. As a team, you can travel more miles, and you can also demand a higher rate per mile.
Team driving is also a great way to minimize some of the cons that come with truck driving, such as loneliness, depression, or boredom.
Couples who fit the following guidelines generally make a great truck driving team:
- Don’t have enough saved up for retirement
- Don’t have kids
- Don’t own a house
- Aren’t tied to any one place to live
- Want to travel with your spouse but don’t have the money to do so
While these aren’t requirements by any means, these are some points that husband/wife teams sometimes adhere to.
Heck, if you love your spouse and want to make great money while traveling together, truck driving can be a perfect fit!
9. Training Is Low-Cost and Fast
You do need your CDL, but the good news is that it costs very little, and you can get it very quickly.
There are a lot of truck driving “schools” out there that can help you get your CDL in as little as a month or two.
While you don’t technically have to go to one of these schools, we recommend looking into it to make sure you’re prepared for the necessary exams.
Often times, your local community college is a good place to start, as they often have truck driving training at a very affordable cost.
10. You Love Trucks
Do you have a love of trucks? It might sound cliché, but why not have a job where you’re around trucks all day?
We love our drivers who geek out over the latest and greatest models, and it’s just a fun environment when you’re around people who love what you love.
Trucking is really a family, and at Freight X, we love talking trucks! We have over 75 drivers currently, and it’s always a fun time when we can share a love for something as simple as a truck.
11. Benefits Are Offered
Depending on what truck driving position you’re interested in, there might be benefits available.
Potential truck driving benefits include:
- Workman’s Compensation Insurance
- Medical Insurance
- Vision and Dental Insurance
- Paid vacation time
- Paid resets on the road
- Break-down pay
- Company swag
It’s always nice to earn a great living and get additional benefits on top of that.
At Freight X, we’re proud to offer all kinds of great benefits for our valued drivers!
12. You Have Truck Driving Options
Not all truck driving positions are the same, which means you do have options when it comes to working as a truck driver.
There are company drivers, who get paid by the hour. If you don’t want any financial risks, being a company driver is a safe and secure career to have. We love our company drivers!
There are also owner operators, who get a percentage split on all the loads they haul. They have the opportunity to be their own boss, but there is some risk. For example, if their truck breaks down, they’re responsible for repairing it. However, they do earn more money per load than company drivers.
This isn’t a one-size-fits-all industry. There’s room for everyone!
13. No One Day Is the Same
Unless you’ve worked out a deal where you’re running the same loads – and you like it that way – no one day in the trucking industry is the same.
It’s always something different. You’re traveling somewhere new, hauling something interesting, meeting new people… the trucking industry is constantly changing.
We love that no one day is the same, because it keeps things fresh and the work day never lags.
When all is said and done, the trucking industry is full of wonderful benefits to its drivers.
We’d love to chat about why driving for Freight X is better than any other company. Simply click the link below to learn more about being a Freight X driver.