In the world of truck driving, there are many opportunities for higher earnings, but you just have to know where to look. This list will help you find ways and offer advice as you continue on your road to maximizing your earnings.
1. CDL Training
The first thing you should do when trying to gain a higher-paying position within the Trucking industry is to become CDL licensed. Those who go through the steps of getting their CDL license can make up to $80,000 a year. The salary is way less for those who don’t possess a CDL.
When beginning the process of getting your CDL, make sure you look at the school and what they have to offer upon graduation and if they offer any job placement options. The first step to big earnings is your license, but what other things can be done to increase your income?
2. CDL Endorsements
So what do we mean by endorsements? Endorsements allow you to have more experience and give you a broader selection of job opportunities. Adding some endorsements such as Hazardous materials, tanker, and double and triple trailer will offer you a possible income increase in many states.
If you explore an endorsement of hazardous materials, you should also know that there are different classes requiring different qualifications in order to haul different loads.
3. Gain Experience
By gaining experience as a driver, you give yourself more driving opportunities and more possibilities for possible CDL endorsements. It’s all about the time you put into it. With every year you’re driving, you increase your earnings just by driving!
The longer you drive and the more experience you get under your belt, the more you will earn. As you know in all things in life, the more skills you have for more things, the more earning opportunities you will have.
4. Know Your Technology
Another great way to improve your earnings is by learning the technology. We are in a world where technology will always grow and change and by staying on top of the technology you will be able to utilize this information and earn more. Some options when looking into the technology available out there for truckers right now are dedicated smart trucking load boards. There are also electronic logbooks and options available as technology grows.
Another way to increase your earnings through technology is by taking on more technical routes. These routes require a more experienced driver. Routes such as coal mine truckers, HAZMAT drivers, and oversize load drivers. All of these require a more skilled driver and a more technologically savvy driver.
5. Protect Your Reputation
As mentioned earlier, experience is very important when trying to earn more as a trucker, but your reputation is just as important. Showing a clean record, good time management, and an excellent safety record is of utmost importance as you try to grow your reputation. More companies will be more likely to hire and retain your services if you can show a long-standing dedication to your outstanding performance.
With a greater reputation, you will have more companies willing and ready to work with you and give you those higher rates you really want. Maintaining positive relationships with employers and companies will help with your reputation as well. With many things, when you impress someone, they will give you more chances for earning through word of mouth advertising.
6. Do Your Research
As with everything in life, you need to do your research to find the best possible opportunity for your earning capabilities. For example, when looking into which jobs to take and which ones pay more, look at paying per mile versus paying per hour. Knowing what you want ahead of time will allow you to negotiate better pay options when offered certain routes.
Also, researching the industries you want to drive for and work with will let you know your earning potential for them. The larger campaniles which have higher employee rates will typically pay you a higher rate as a driver.
Don’t forget about the option of becoming your own boss by being an owner-operator. When you start your career as an owner-operator you are able to earn more. But, you will need to make sure that you properly budget your finances and prioritize insurance, maintenance, and fuel when looking at your earnings.
The main difference between being the owner-operator and working for a company is that you will be responsible for gas and maintenance on your own rig versus those expenses being covered by an employer.
7. Build a Team
A great way to increase your earnings is to build a team. Many companies are very eager to hire team drivers because with two drivers you are able to cover twice as much road. When looking for a driver, make sure it is someone you can get along with for hours on end as you will be sharing your space in the cabin for long periods of time.
With the increased driving time, you will have increased earnings. Think about it in terms of hours; if you are sleeping you aren’t driving, right? But if you have a team member, one can sleep while the other drives, making it a much faster process.
8. Plan Ahead
When you are given a new job, make sure you plan the best routes. This will allow you to make your route be the most efficient and most productive, making sure you meet any deadlines that may be given to you. Planning will also allow you to choose some of the better-paying loads based on what you know of the routes.
9. Find the Right Company
Finding the right company to work with is one of the more important things you can do. You will find most companies offer competitive rates, but there are some that offer better rates than others. This tip can also go along with doing some research because in order to make sure you’ve picked the best company you will need to do a little research.
There are various online platforms that you can check to find out how much a company will pay and even how they treat their drivers. Even if you’ve gotten your CDL through a company-funded school which offers you a position upon graduation, still do your research into finding the right company. Speaking to a driver recruiter is also a good idea when trying to find the company that will be right for you.
10. Become a Trainer
Finally, when trying to increase your earnings, give thought to becoming a trainer. There may be times when you aren’t on the road or times when you can’t drive and those times would be perfect to look into becoming a trainer to a student driver.
You can train as an instructor in a classroom setting or as an in-cab instructor. Many companies will offer bonuses when a student driver passes a test, gains their CDL, and becomes employed.
As you can see, the ability to earn more is entirely within reach. All you have to do is put in the work, be as good as you can with it, and the rest will fall into place. The earning possibilities are pretty limitless. It’s just a matter of how much time and effort you are willing to put into your career.