From food, clothing, cars, livestock, fuel, furniture, and so much more, trucks carry the items Americans use and consume every day. If you’re thinking, should I be a truck driver? yes, you should be because long-haul truck drivers deliver products none of us can live without.
Did you know that nearly 70 percent of all the freight tonnage moved in the U.S. is shipped on trucks? Or that those truckers move 9.2 billion tons of freight every year, according to the American Trucking Associations.
The ATA says the trucking industry provides one out of every 16 American jobs for a grand total of 7.3 million. See our list below to learn how a truck driver’s life is suitable for your lifestyle
1. Income Potential
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median income for truck drivers in 2018 was $43,680 per year. At TanTara, the average van driver earns $58,000/year and the average flatbed driver earns $72,000/year—both a significantly higher amount.
In the trucking industry, a new driver, in the first year, typically earns about $35,000. However, signing bonuses—some up to $5,000—as well as bonuses for safety and retention can increase that salary amount. As for an owner/operator, you can average about $184,803 per year.
Because you don’t need a degree to be a truck driver, you can also factor in the cost of tuition you’d save from having to pay for a two-year or four-year degree. Training for trucking is often provided by the company that hires you. If you truck in your own state, you can begin as young as 18 years old. If you wish to drive across state lines, you need to be 21. While your friends are racking up college debt, you’ll be getting free training and earning an excellent income.
2. Veteran’s Apprenticeship Program
Founded by a veteran, TanTara Transportation has always respected the discipline and work ethic of military men and women. In fact, about 30 percent of our workforce are veterans. We offer a veteran’s apprenticeship program to make Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) training even easier and more affordable.
We’ll work with the Veterans Administration to determine what benefits you’re eligible to receive. Through the GI Bill, many people can receive up to $1,400 a month plus earn a paycheck from TanTara. We appreciate your service to our country, and we know you’ll appreciate our generous veteran’s apprenticeship program.
If you love to travel, truck driving is the perfect occupation for you. Many truckers say there’s no better way to see the country than behind the wheel of their big rig. If the idea of a desk job leaves you cold, sign up for an adventure to see the United States. How many jobs allow you to look out a window and see the Grand Teton National Park, Lake Tahoe, Florida Keys, Golden Gate Bridge, Rocky Mountains, Grand Canyon, Texas Hill Country, Joshua Tree National Park, Brooklyn Bridge, Mount Rainier, or any of our other stunning American landscapes? Oh, and did we mention all the views are free? We believe a lot of our nation’s highways and byways are incredibly beautiful. For many truckers, each night, you’ll stop in a new part of the country. Each morning, you’ll depart from a different section of the United States. No two days are alike, and you have a front row seat to take in the beauty and diversity of this great nation of ours. See the country from the comfort of a truck and get paid for it. Become a truck driver today.
Truck drivers have a unique type of job and that commonality sets you apart. Many truckers describe their job as a “lifestyle.” No one truly understands what you experience every day on the job quite like another truck driver. Much like a military unit, truck drivers form a tight and strong camaraderie with one another which is why we believe military training is the perfect background for a truck driver.
5. Job Security
With the current shortage of truck drivers across the nation, those who do well in trucking may enjoy unprecedented job security. Why? The ATA says this truck driver shortage could climb to 175,000 jobs in the next decade. Some trucking companies have a 100 percent turnover rate. The Bureau of Labor Statisticspredicts that heavy-duty truck driving jobs may grow by six percent in the next ten years.
6. Easy Access to Training
Classes to earn a Class A CDL are available across the nation through trucking companies, community colleges, and commercial programs. Often the full training can be completed in as little as four weeks and some programs help with tuition assistance and job placement after graduation. Trucking school fees range between $3,000 and $7,000 depending on what license class you seek and which endorsements you want. If you’re looking for a job, you’re spoiled for choice in Iowa with over ten different truck driving schools across the state.
If you don’t wish to pay for training, realize that many trucking firms provide paid training after they hire you, sometimes in exchange for a fixed work commitment. Approval for driving programs is based on your driving and work history, as well as a background criminal check. Because the need for truck drivers is so great, your chances of being approved for training are very high.
A steady paycheck is wonderful, but benefits add so much more to the trucking career package. Health insurance, retirement plans, and performance pay are just a few of the examples many trucking companies provide for their employees. At TanTara, our valued drivers receive:
- Paid holidays
- Paid vacation
- Health, dental, and life insurance
- 401 (k) with company match
- Earned bi-annual pay raises
If you enjoy punching a clock, attending long meetings, sitting behind a desk, answering emails, and dealing with office politics, trucking isn’t for you. But, if you like flexible schedules, meeting new people, seeing new things every day, and being your own boss, then trucking is the job for you.
As a long-haul trucker, you’ll see the road—as well as beautiful sunrises and sunsets—from inside modern trucks designed for your comfort and ease. While you do have to follow “hours of service” rules, you’re also in a position to set your own schedule.
9. Career Change
Perhaps you’ve been laid off from your current job. Maybe your children are grown and you’d like to try something different. Perhaps you’re just ready for a change. Whatever your reasoning, truck driving is a wonderful career.
11. Open Road
As a trucker, you’re a hero of the highway, a road warrior, looking out at the expanse of highway between you and your final destination. Long haul trucking is a passion for some people.