Trucking is a great equalizer. Regardless of your age, education, or economic background, trucking allows you to make some serious cash.
I’m talking $100,000 + yearly. However, it’s not like every truck driver is making that type of money. There are steps & precautions you need to take to get to that position – or you’ll be stuck on the road for long hours, making little to no money.
Keep reading, as I’m going to give you the roadmap to make a $100,000 driving truck, even if you don’t have your CDL yet.
TRUCKING IS NOT FOR THE WEAK HEARTED
DISCLAIMER: Before I breakdown the road to $100,000/year I need to set the record straight.
Driving truck is hard work. It’s not just about being on the road, going from point A to B leisurely. It requires a certain type of person, who is determined, focused and understands to make money in trucking you’ll have to do the hard work.
Is it worth it? Yes. Is it easy? No.
With that out of the way let’s begin…
NOT ALL TRUCKING COMPANIES ARE CREATED EQUAL
There are some great trucking companies to choose from, but there are others to avoid. However, I want to focus on the size of the company as that can tell you a lot about the opportunity for growth. The best indication is how many trucks does the company have. You want to avoid working for a mega carrier or the extremely small carrier. You want to be somewhere in the middle, trucking companies that have anywhere from 70 to 500 trucks.
That’s a sweet spot to be in.
Anything above that, you’re not going to get that personal touch. It’s not going to be like family, and a family environment means that they are more likely to have your best interest in mind. Anything larger than 500 trucks means you’re going to turn into a truck number.
Anything smaller than 50 trucks, can be a red flag that they haven’t been able to grow. And if they’re not growing, you’re not going to grow. You want to choose a competitive trucking company that wants to grow and has the means to grow.
That’s where you want to be, and the beauty and power right now, with the driver shortage that’s out there, you get to choose where you want to go.
RED FLAGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
There are some red flags that you need to consider before committing to a trucking company. First, you want to do your homework. You want to make sure that the trucking company you may be looking to train with to get your CDL is legit. A good indicator is that they’ve been in business for a long time.
Most trucking companies that are offering your CDL or class one, providing your education and training are most likely going to be mega carriers. Which makes sense, as they’re the ones that can afford to get you in a training program and have a driver trainer assigned to you. But do your homework.
There’s a couple of more questions you want to ask yourself.
First, are they reputable?
How long have they been in business?
How does their program look like?
How long does it take to complete the program, and are you required to pay it back?
All these things you want to consider those before you jp into joining a trucking company.
BE SELECTIVE WITH WHAT YOU HAUL
Now you can pick what you want to haul.
If you’re hauling dry-van it’s going to be cheaper. If you’re a hauling a reefer, that’s going to be a little bit more money. If you’re hauling flatbed or open deck, there’s going to be a little bit more money. If you’re hauling something even more specialized, that’s going to be even better because it takes a serious set of skills to do so.
So, I would say if you really want to get to that point where you’re making $100,000 or $150,000 just being company driver (I’ll get into owner-operators next) you need to transition into specialized freight.
BONUS – TRANSITION TO OWNING YOUR TRUCK
If you want to really take it to the next level you need to move into ownership, which is owning the truck you drive. You can do this by buying your own truck outright, or with a lease-purchase. Ownership will skyrocket your trucking income.
Becoming a truck driver is a fantastic opportunity, where you can start making $100,000/year regardless of your age, education or economic situation. But you need to be aware of what it takes to be successful and start earning that 6-figure income.
Not all trucking companies are created equal, so you need to find the right company that is not too big nor too small. The right trucking company is going to be the one ready to invest in your future.
Keep an eye out for the red flags we discussed and do your homework.
Be selective with what you haul, like trucking companies, not all hauls are created equal. The right specialization will get you into the 6-figures, easy.
Ownership will take your trucking career to new heights. When you’re ready invest in yourself by purchasing the right truck.
Amrit is the founder of GetTruckDrivers.com and a Trucking Consultant who has helped North America’s largest trucking businesses to grow exponentially. His area of expertise lies in driver recruitment and customer acquisition for ethical fleet owners.