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Raising the Standards of the Trucking Industry

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Truck Driving Jobs for $100,000 Per Year


If you are considering a career in professional truck driving, you have undoubtedly come across ads and articles stating that you can make as much as $100,000 per year. Although this can be true, let’s put this bitter sweet statement into perspective.

These are the kinds of claims that cause students and new drivers to jump on board with a carrier without giving it the thought that needs to be applied before joining. This is also another reason why so many newcomers to trucking fail. There are simply too many statements like this one floating around all over the internet. Many times, by those who have never even driven a big rig.

There are those making good money with a truck driving career. But what is good money? The facts are, experienced truck drivers average between $30,000 and $35,000 per year as a company driver ( and that’s with a decent company).  New, inexperienced company drivers are averaging $20,000 -$25,000 per year,        ( based on 48 weeks @.21-.27 cpm @ 2000/ mpw.)

Owner Operators can gross $100,000 per year and then some, but keep in mind that this is gross income. After tax write offs, personal taxes, expenses, etc., the final income (net) can easily be cut in half if not more. Now, that is still a net income of around $50,000 per year, but keep in mind that many owner operators continue to clear nearly the same as experienced company drivers.

Just understand that not all Owner Operators are making this alluring $100-200k per year (Although with good business practice it is possible). Successful Owner Op’s have spent years of hard work, educating themselves on business finance and management, and have “paid their dues” so to speak, in order to rake in this sum of gross income. It does not happen over night for the majority of drivers.

Leasing programs through trucking companies are the best way for a new driver to “purchase” a truck in order to become an “owner operator.” It is also the best way for a new driver to fail. Studies show that drivers that “buy” a truck through one of these leasing “scams” experience an 87% failure rate. Let’s talk about the truth when it comes to these leasing programs. Studies show that the carrier will decrease the driver’s mileage to prevent them from being able to make the payment . . . studies show that companies will add on so many deductions that they were actually receiving 90% of the driver’s income!

Now is not the time to become an owner operator. Fuel is too expensive, maintenance is still too high and there is still an influx of too many drivers and not enough freight. When you find these articles and ads claiming you can earn $100,000 per year driving a truck, just be careful. There are simply too many avenues that can take you down the wrong road.

Allen Smith

© 2008 – 2011, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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By: Allen Smith

Allen Smith is a 37 year veteran who started at an early age in a household goods family moving business. He began driving straight trucks in 1977 and moved to the big rigs in 1982. His experience within the industry includes; owner operator, company driver, operations manager, and owner of a long distance HHG moving business, taking many of the long haul moves himself when needed. Allen Smith, a truck driver advocate who is driven by the desire to help others succeed within an industry where injustice, unrewarded sacrifice, and lack of respect and recognition exists. Allen and his wife Donna are hosts of Truth About Trucking ”Live” on Blog Talk Radio. Other websites include AskTheTrucker, TruckingSocialMedia, NorthAmericanTruckingALerts, TruthAboutTrucking, and many Social Media websites. In 2011 Allen and Donna hosted the first Truck Driver Social Media Convention, designed to create unity and solutions for the trucking industry. This is now being extended through the North American Trucking Alerts network as those within the industry join forces for the betterment of the industry. Allen strongly supports other industry advocates who are also stepping up to the plate to help those who share honesty, guidance and direction. He believes that all those involved in trucking need to be accountable for their part within the industry, including drivers, carriers, brokers, shippers, receivers, etc… The list of supporters and likeminded people grow daily, networking together and sharing thoughts and ideas for the betterment of trucking. He has coined the popular phrase "Raising the standards of the trucking industry"

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8 Responses to Truck Driving Jobs for $100,000 Per Year. - Post a Comment

  1. GiantKiller

    So then…. what are the best paying jobs?? I hear all of the talk about money but no one has the skinny on which companies, freight would be most profitable to an experienced driver.

    YEAH-I’m looking for a job *L*

  2. Gary

    Allen has a great list of the best truck driving jobs and trucking companies – The Best Truck Driving Jobs-A State by State Guide. It’s been a valuable help to me.

  3. Allen Smith

    Thanks Gary…..Hello GiantKiller: what state do you live in and are you looking for OTR or anything you can find?? Let me know and I’ll see if I can come up with any suggestions for you…


  4. […] According to a recent news report, enrollment is up for truck driving schools and they claim that a new, entry level truck driver can make $40,000 in their first year.  According to the article: “The downside to driving a truck isn’t the pay — entry level salaries of nearly $40,000 are common.” Read the full article from the Star-Telegram . . .  Then read a REALISTIC ARTICLE […]

  5. charleston1234

    I just love the ad about this job
    i just wish it was in
    my home town because i know people who would like to driver for this truck company but it don’t pay a lot high i leave college for 2 years i want to go in the truck business i will have my business degree so i’m ready for the road.

  6. big al

    i started driving big trucks 32 yrs ago at 18cents a mile.
    today im at 40 cents a mile,equates to $52000.00 a year.cost of everything has gone up higher then our pay increases . we actually had more buying power with the income from 30 yrs ago then today.
    to make a hundred grand a year these companies have to pay out 80cents a mile.thgats no bull either…

  7. john

    you guys should go see at the company I do security for in Ontario,ca its called komtract logistics
    I hear all the o/o do really well

  8. Kevin

    There are good jobs out there if you look… and get a little lucky.
    I am a company driver for an outfit that pulls dedicated freight for a large chain of department stores. I made just over 70 K last year and was home everyday. (Other than a couple of nights I spent in a truck stop waiting out snowstorms) I work about 5.5 days a week with a typical shift of 12 hours or so – some 14 and some 10.
    I started with CRST. It was a terrible job, but I got some valuable experience. I then went to work for JB Hunt hauling containers out of the Chicago rail yards. I made a little over 50K doing that for a year. Long days and tough driving but more experience. I then lucked into my current job and love it. Great equipment and working conditions. I say luck, but you will likely need an almost spotless DAC and clean criminal history, no DUI for sure and no recent misdemeanor convictions… no chance with a felony on your record.
    Guys with these jobs are going to keep quiet about them. You won’t hear anybody working for the company I work for bragging about the job and the money at your local truckstop. If you want to find a professional company to work for look for the uniformed drivers. The company drivers making the money look and act like pros. I would guess that many of them hold a college degree. ( I am a former science teacher.) You don’t need a degree to get one of these jobs but it certainly won’t hurt. I pull a trailer that is a billboard for the department store I am delivering to. They won’t put up with aggressive drivers or drivers that are prone to giving 4-wheelers the finger. Good luck there is decent money to be made if you keep your nose clean and stay out of the ditch.

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