How to make more money in trucking
Seven tips for maximizing the earning power of your Class A CDL
Professional truck drivers are in high demand these days, but figuring out how much you can earn as a truck driver can be complicated. While some trucking jobs pay by the hour, many pay by the number of miles you drive each week. And what you earn per mile can vary based on where you live, what you haul, and what type of license you have.
If you’re new to trucking and wondering how to maximize your earning potential, here are seven tips for making more money in trucking:
- Go for a Class A CDL. If you want to drive professionally, you’ll need to get a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Driving jobs require either a Class A or a Class B CDL depending on the type of vehicle you’re driving and whether or not you are crossing state lines. Learn the difference between a Class A and Class B CDL in this video.
- Go for long-haul or regional driving jobs. These jobs will keep you out on the road several days at a time, but you’ll often be able to earn more money than you would with a home-daily or local truck route. At Halvor Lines, for example, drivers in the top 25% of our fleet averaged more than $92,000 last year.
- Take advantage of trucking company bonus programs. Halvor Lines and many other trucking companies offer bonus payments for clean safety records, fuel conservation, miles run around the holidays and more. When you’re evaluating trucking companies, ask about bonus programs and find out how much they pay out each year. At Halvor Lines, we paid out more than $1.8 million in bonuses in 2022.
- Be flexible about the type of freight you’ll haul. If you can find a company with a diversified customer base, you’re less likely to sit idle. For example, Halvor Lines hauls freight in four types of trailers – dry van, decked van, flatbed and refrigerated. When one type of freight slows down, there is often freight available in the other divisions. Stay flexible on what you’re willing to haul, and we can keep you moving.
- Haul specialized freight. Some freight requires additional training or special skills to transport. In most cases, truck drivers who specialize can earn more money. At Halvor Lines, drivers who haul power sports equipment for our deck van division earn more per mile because of the additional skills needed for the job. Our power sports division is always growing, so if you’re looking to earn more and like a little adventure, this video will give you an idea of what it takes to deliver power sports equipment.
- Become an owner operator through a lease purchase program. Many truck drivers shift their careers into high gear by purchasing a truck and going into business for themselves. The most affordable way to do that is often through a lease purchase program offered by a reputable trucking company. Halvor Lines is currently offering a lease purchase program to a limited number of qualifying drivers. If you’re interested, contact one of our recruiters today.
- Train the next generation of truck drivers. If you’re an experienced driver with a good safety record, and someone who gets on well with others, consider becoming a driver trainer.
Halvor Lines driver trainers earn an extra 27 cents a mile for every dispatched mile they are with a trainee. In addition to higher pay, it’s an opportunity to develop your teaching and mentoring skills and share your expertise with others. Experienced drivers who work with us for three months and meet our hiring requirements are eligible to become trainers.
Those are just seven ways you can make more money as a truck driver – if you’re interested in learning more about any of these, let’s connect. And wherever the road takes you, stay safe out there!
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“Here I’m not a number. They make me feel like family. I can walk into somebody’s office and they say ‘hey Dawn, how are you doing? How’s your day going?”