With millions of people out of work and no future signs for economic growth, many are looking toward truck driving as a possible career. Truck driving schools and trucking companies continually advertise for the need in drivers and the promise of a new, exciting and high paying job.
The commercial CDL driver will average 100,000 miles per year, transporting a variety of goods across the country as they continue to be the backbone of the American economy. Should all the drivers in the U.S. come together for a major, long-term strike, the way of life for Americans would see a drastic change within a matter of weeks.
A strike of this nature could never take place and we should all be thankful, but for those who are considering truck driving as a new vocation, they should first understand that trucking is a lifestyle, not simply a job.
Truck driver wages have remained the same for decades with no adjustment for inflation or other such economic factors. In fact, drivers were actually earning more money in 1980 than they are today in 2013.
One factor that determines the wage for a particular group of workers is the classification of the employee per the United States Department of Labor. Although organizations such as the American Trucking Association (ATA), the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), truck driver training schools and countless motor carriers refer to the trucker as a “professional”, the DOL classifies them as “unskilled.”
It is this unskilled classification that results in the continual low pay for CMV operators. Newcomers to the “profession” will be lured in by cleverly designed recruiting ads, along with the promise of big money. However, a new company driver can expect to earn an annual average gross income of $27,000 with the experienced driver earning an average gross of $34,000 per year.
With the constant implementation of federal regulations being placed on drivers, many truck owner operators are abandoning the vocation due to the financial burden being placed on them via government policies. Many owner operators and independent contractors, once considered the Knights of the Road, are now earning as much as or less, than the company driver.
Truck drivers are true professionals who account for the safe transportation of nearly 70% of all the freight in the United States, generating over $255 billion in yearly revenue. Commercial motor carriers collects over $97 billion and private fleets earn well over $121 billion.
Yet, the nation’s truckers average an unskilled wage of.34 cents per mile and they have seen their earnings fall by 40% during the past 33 years.
© 2013 – 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.