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Three Ways Switching to Trucking Can Double Your Income
Trucking can be a lucrative field to get into, if you know where to look. That’s right, not all truck driving jobs are created equal. Some pay far more than others. Of course, that higher salary almost always comes as a tradeoff, either for losing time at home or for doing a more hazardous type of driving. If long hours spent alone don’t bother you and you don’t having a problem braving those dangerous conditions, then switching to trucking as a profession could enable you to out-earn your current boss.
Consider Over-The-Road drivers. Over-The-Road, or OTR, truck drivers make some of the best money in the industry. These are the drivers who are in the front seat of the commercial trucks responsible for carrying goods from place to place. They supply local businesses with the stock they need to keep on running. That means without OTR drivers, grocery stores and boutique shops alike would be without product in a very short time. As an OTR driver, being able to guarantee that your deliveries are made on schedule and that you observe all applicable road and safety rules in every region you drive through can earn you a generous salary. Walmart is a prominent example, commonly paying their OTR drivers upwards of $70,000 per year.
Another way to boost earnings as a CDL driver is by obtaining your Hazardous Materials Endorsement. A HazMat endorsement allows you to haul a range of additional freight including but not limited to, explosives, radioactive materials, etc. Most companies have either a separate payscale or bonus system in place for those who are willing to undertake HazMat hauls.Unlike CDL licenses, however, HazMat endorsements are handled on a federal level, by the TSA. This means that the process for receiving the endorsement can be a bit laborious. One of the first requirements is obtaining a CDL, after which you must take a test, and undergo something the TSA calls a threat assessment. This is a process meant to ensure that anyone who is given the responsibility of hauling these hazardous material is a good fit for the job. It involves a background check as well as additional testing/interviews. Once this endorsement is received, you’ll also have to learn the intricacies of driving the special type of truck used for HazMat if you aren’t already familiar with it. This lengthy vetting process is one of the reasons you are able to make more money hauling hazardous materials, in addition to the expectation set by many trucking companies that after each haul it is your responsibility to ensure that the materials are not only delivered safely but that the truck is professionally cleaned to prevent any trace of the materials you haul being left behind and contaminating the next haul.
The “last frontier” of trucking has been popularized by shows like Ice Road Truckers. This type of driving is essentially the same as the OTR driving described above, with the exception of the driving environment itself. Hazardous route drivers’ deal with some of the most dangerous and unpredictable routes available. For example, some “Ice Roads” are actually nothing more than frozen lakes or ice hardened patches of land that can only be driven on during certain times of year. Because of the high risk and strict time constraints, a two or three month season for Ice Road Truckers can net around $80,000 in pay. High risk, high reward.
Make no mistake, it is possible to earn good money trucking without putting yourself in danger or living out of your rig. For the biggest paychecks though, you’ll be required to make sacrifices. For some people, spending 300-plus days per year on the road, or a few short months in near-constant peril, is more than worth the pay-out. If this sounds like you, switching to truck driving could enable you to double or even triple your income, giving you the means to live a unique lifestyle. If this sounds like the career for you, visit Drive Armellini.