How to Make More Money as a Truck Driver

How to Make More Money as a Truck Driver

If you’re a truck driver, you know earning a good living with truck driving jobs can be tough, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. Besides choosing the right trucking company, there are several other ways to maximize your earnings in the trucking industry. 

Here are some tips for making more money as a truck driver. 

Choose the Right State 

Truck drivers in some states make thousands of dollars more annually than drivers in other states. A truck driver’s national average base salary is $71,446, according to While the average annual truck driver wage in Nebraska is 16% more than the national average, a truck driver in Indiana makes 5% less than the national average. 

It’s worth noting that selecting and moving to a new state can be challenging. It’s critical to research your prospective state comprehensively before making a move. You want to acquaint yourself with the state’s culture, the best city to live and work in, and the cost of living.

Fortunately, you can apply for truck driver jobs in your prospective state without leaving your current residence, thanks to the internet. However, it wouldn’t be a good idea to move to a new state before you secure a job. 

Be Conscious of the Market Needs

The state of the market can significantly impact your truckloads’ pay performance. The market is dynamic, so staying updated on the trucking industry’s needs and trends is critical. When you understand the market, you can easily adjust your services to adapt to the prevailing trends. 

Offering what the market wants will make you more competitive, boosting your bottom line. Check what other truck drivers and companies are doing and figure out competitive ways to stay ahead. You should also be conscious of your shortcomings and find ways to overcome them. 

Another excellent way to understand the industry’s latest developments and trends is to attend industry-related business and trade events. 

Increase Your Sales

Is there a better way to make more money in the trucking industry than by increasing your truckloads? Here are a few tips to help you increase your truck loads and generate more revenue as a truck driver:

Choose the Right Loads

Finding the right loads can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. An effective way to do it is to develop a working knowledge of freight lanes for the kind of cargo you transport. This tactic will help minimize your empty miles and boost your revenue. 

Schedule Loads in Advance

It is critical to plan your loads and ensure they fit perfectly into your working schedule. Be mindful of areas that often experience congestion and unfavorable weather. 

The areas can result in delays, forcing a change in pickups availability and interrupting subsequent shipments on your schedule. You want every load to move according to plan without additional miles, delays, or detrimental route deviations. 

Work with Reliable Brokers

You can also boost your revenue by choosing straightforward brokers. To find a reliable freight broker, you can research using Google, trade journals, and other online platforms.

Pick the Best Paying Freight Types

With adequate driving experience, the right equipment, and the right certifications, you can focus on specialized cargos with the highest-paying rates. Below are some of the most lucrative freight types and truck driving jobs: 

  • Private fleets: Companies with their fleet of trucks have some of the highest-paying rates. For example, a company truck driver at Walmart earns between $70,000 and $85,000 per year; however, their expectations are higher than for most companies. Your driving history and criminal record must be clean. 
  • Ice road truck driving jobs: You can earn between $20,000 and $75,000 as an ice load truck driver for a few months. However, you should be ready for the challenges that come with this job, including poor road conditions, extreme temperatures, and harsh winter storms. 
  • Liquid-hauling truck driving: You can make decent money transporting hazardous products like gasoline and other explosive liquid materials. Hauling hazmat materials usually pays well above the average truck driving wage. You may require a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) card to qualify for such jobs. 
  • Oversized loads: You can make more money than the national average truck driver wage by working for companies that specialize in hauling oversized loads. 
  • Mining truck driver jobs: Some mining companies with those monstrous dump trucks offer decent wages to their drivers.
  • Specialty car haulers: Some carriers specialize in hauling high-end and vintage cars using enclosed trailers. These carriers pay good salaries to their drivers, thanks to the high level of expertise needed for the job. 

Consider Being an Owner-Operator

Becoming an owner-operator truck driver allows you to be your own boss. Owner-operators own and operate the trucks they drive. Making money as an owner-operator is one of the most effective ways to survive in the competitive trucking industry. 

Although growing your driving career as an owner-operator comes with some challenges, the rewards are immense. Since you own the truck, you are responsible for every expense incurred, including fuel, insurance, and maintenance. 

Nonetheless, owner-operator truckers earn much more than their company-employed counterparts. On average, you can make $141,000 annually as an owner-operator. However, you should be careful not to spend all your earnings on operating costs. 

Successful owner-operators have a comprehensive business plan, so you should start by creating one. 

Bottom Line

Truck driving can be a rewarding career. Many truck driving jobs have a decent base salary, job security, and flexible work schedules. If you feel you are not making enough from your truck driving career, there are several ways to increase your annual earnings. 

You can start by researching various states and choosing one that offers the best truck driver wages. Understanding the market needs and increasing your truck loads can also help you maximize your earnings.

You must also understand that some freight types offer higher driver rates than others. Another excellent way to make more money as a truck driver is to become an owner-operator and be in full control of your business. Service One Transporation can help you find high-paying trucking jobs in multiple states.

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