How Does Where You Live Affect Your Pay?

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Mr. Groves's Comment
member avatar

Do OTR drivers make considerably more money by living in areas that are more costly to live? Is your income reflected by the city/state your company is headquartered in all else the same? I'm considering moving from Sacramento to one of those heartland states as Oklahoma, Missouri or Indiana where real estate prices and rent are much cheaper after the winter is over. Can a truck driver for a mega-carrier even in Indiana expect to make a lot less than a driver working for a mega-carrier if he lives in California?

In other words, is a company truck driver living in Indiana going to work as equally as long and hard to save up enough money to buy a new house there as he would to save up enough money to buy a new house in Sacramento if he were living there?

A new-construction 3-br home, SFU, can be had as low as $89,000 in northern Indiana. That amount of money might get you a new single-wide on two-axles in Sacramento County that you would still have to pay a mobile home park rent for the lot.

Is my local real estate buying power going to be much better as a driver living in a lower-cost state like Oklahoma, Missouri or Indiana over a high-price place like California, New York or Massachusetts?

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

After reading this post it most definitely is Todd. Todd had posted something extremely similar.

To answer the question, your pay will be the same regardless of where you live. Most people who live out of the truck (don't maintain an apartment or house) tend to use a state without income tax such as Florida or Nevada. You will not make any additional pay for living in a expensive area (california) compared to a relatively cheap place (Missouri), it will be the same.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

You'll get paid based on how productive you are. Your residential address is irrelevant as far as having any effect on your pay. Drivers with the stamina and the wits to make things happen in their favor out here do really well. Drivers who are not very productive and burn up there hours without getting much accomplished get more frustration than money.

millionmiler24 (CRST Amba's Comment
member avatar

I think Iโ€™ll play this the same way Turtle did except take it to the next level:

Do OTR drivers make cOnsiDerably more money by living in areas that are more costly to live? Is your income reflecteD by tHe city/state yOur company is headquartered in aLl else the saME? I'm conSidering moving from SacramenTo to one of tHosE hearTland sTaTes as Oklahoma, MissouRi Or Indiana where reaL estate prices and rent are much cheaper after the winter is over. Can a truck driver for a mega-carrier even in Indiana expect to make a Lot less than a driver working for a mega-carrier if he lives in California?

In other words, is a company truck driver living in Indiana going to work as equally as long and hard to save up enough money to buy a new house there as he would to save up enough money to buy a new house in Sacramento if he were living there?

A new-construction 3-br home, SFU, can be had as low as $89,000 in northern Indiana. That amount of money might get you a new single-wide on two-axles in Sacramento County that you would still have to pay a mobile home park rent for the lot.

Is my local real estate buying power going to be much better as a driver living in a lower-cost state like Oklahoma, Missouri or Indiana over a high-price place like California, New York or Massachusetts?

Uhh....yea I think this is Todd also. ๐Ÿ˜€ Lets see if yโ€™all can see his hidden message that I uncovered. Still though full credit goes to Turtle for givin me the idea so I can try to enhance it. ๐Ÿ˜€

Rainy 's Comment
member avatar

I understand why he is asking, almost all of his questions about pensions, unions, etc relate to government employment. As a federal employee your wages are adjusted for cost of living. So although someone in WV and NJ may have the same base pay, the cost of living allowance is adjusted for the NJ resident to make more. Hawaii is so expensive they get a 25% adjustment.

No, in OTR you make the same which is why some people in the Northeast or high cost areas think trucking is not worth the money unless they live on the truck. Someone from MS will think Prime's $700 per week training is great and more than they usually make while someone from NJ will think it is below what they need.

In my are you need about $60k to feel comfortable and the taxes are so bad that take home sucks. Most single people have roommates and married couples have both spouses working.

Budgeting tips for CDL Training

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Mr. Groves's Comment
member avatar

After reading this post it most definitely is Todd. Todd had posted something extremely similar.

To answer the question, your pay will be the same regardless of where you live. Most people who live out of the truck (don't maintain an apartment or house) tend to use a state without income tax such as Florida or Nevada. You will not make any additional pay for living in a expensive area (california) compared to a relatively cheap place (Missouri), it will be the same.

I don't know who "Todd" is but I like Old School's answer. I will not then worry too much about where I live as a driver. I will have to see how cheap a 1-br apartment can be had in Nevada or Florida to get the income tax benefit if the rent is not too high in those states. Before real estate values go too far up even in cheap states like Oklahoma or Georgia, I would like to secure a new-construction home paid in cash free and clear as soon as enough money can be saved up for that purpose. No 30-year mortgages or interest rates for me!! Even as a long-term Over The Road driver, I would always want to maintain a fixed residence even If I only average two home-time days per month. I have too many personal household belongings to dump anyway. Brett recommends that new drivers maintain fixed housing for at least a year into their career to ensure they are comfortably settled in.

Over The Road:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Mr. Groves's Comment
member avatar

I think Iโ€™ll play this the same way Turtle did except take it to the next level:

double-quotes-start.png

Do OTR drivers make cOnsiDerably more money by living in areas that are more costly to live? Is your income reflecteD by tHe city/state yOur company is headquartered in aLl else the saME? I'm conSidering moving from SacramenTo to one of tHosE hearTland sTaTes as Oklahoma, MissouRi Or Indiana where reaL estate prices and rent are much cheaper after the winter is over. Can a truck driver for a mega-carrier even in Indiana expect to make a Lot less than a driver working for a mega-carrier if he lives in California?

In other words, is a company truck driver living in Indiana going to work as equally as long and hard to save up enough money to buy a new house there as he would to save up enough money to buy a new house in Sacramento if he were living there?

A new-construction 3-br home, SFU, can be had as low as $89,000 in northern Indiana. That amount of money might get you a new single-wide on two-axles in Sacramento County that you would still have to pay a mobile home park rent for the lot.

Is my local real estate buying power going to be much better as a driver living in a lower-cost state like Oklahoma, Missouri or Indiana over a high-price place like California, New York or Massachusetts?

double-quotes-end.png

Uhh....yea I think this is Todd also. ๐Ÿ˜€ Lets see if yโ€™all can see his hidden message that I uncovered. Still though full credit goes to Turtle for givin me the idea so I can try to enhance it. ๐Ÿ˜€

EXTRA

State income tax in Indiana is 3.23 % but a 1-br apartment can be had there for as low as $475/mo. all utilities paid. That's $5,700/year to a landlord for a place I might only occupy two days a month. A three-br house can be rented there in Indiana for as low as $450/mo. no utilities paid. The thing that really kills us all everywhere is federal income tax.

For $50K year gross, Indiana state income tax is: $1,615.00. Combined shelter and state tax costs annually: $7,313.00. Should I just put everything of mine in a big rented storage unit and stay at a Motel 6 for my precious few home-time days? Would I be better off just putting 50% down on a new-construction 3-br home in a "cheap state" once I've accumulated enough money and have the necessary credit rating and have established myself in a driving career and pay that property off as soon as possible while renting two of the rooms out to people?

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
I would like to secure a new-construction home paid in cash free and clear as soon as enough money can be saved up for that purpose

First of all, how on Earth do you intend to save up that kind of cash? That's rhetorical.

Secondly, why would you want to use your cash to pay for a house when interest rates are the lowest in the history of humankind? If the bank wants to give you the privilege of hanging onto your own cash for a measly 4.x% over 30 years well I say God bless em and thank you very much!!!

To be honest, people who don't understand how to grow their wealth always think that being in debt is some kind of evil curse. Understanding how to use debt properly is one of the most powerful wealth building tools imaginable. Using other people's money to buy big things can be a fantastic strategy.

Mr. Groves's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

I would like to secure a new-construction home paid in cash free and clear as soon as enough money can be saved up for that purpose

double-quotes-end.png

First of all, how on Earth do you intend to save up that kind of cash? That's rhetorical.

Secondly, why would you want to use your cash to pay for a house when interest rates are the lowest in the history of humankind? If the bank wants to give you the privilege of hanging onto your own cash for a measly 4.x% over 30 years well I say God bless em and thank you very much!!!

To be honest, people who don't understand how to grow their wealth always think that being in debt is some kind of evil curse. Understanding how to use debt properly is one of the most powerful wealth building tools imaginable. Using other people's money to buy big things can be a fantastic strategy.

Gee, Brett, I did not think 30-year mortgage rates were that LOW! You're right! I'll have to rethink my real estate investment strategies. I probably should hold down a job as OTR driving for at least a solid year or maybe two years with good merit before taking that real estate plunge. My fear is that property values that seem cheap now in the Rust Belt or Bible Belt states might double or triple over the next couple of years and it will be too late to get while the getting is good. I'm well in to High Road Training now but I'll have to stop and take a look at Budgeting tips for CDL Training as Rainy posted above. I could take out a 30-year mortgage and then pay it off as soon as it is comfortable for me to do so too. I don't know if there is a severe penalty for paying off a home prematurely. I will need to study a good book for first-time home buyers carefully and see what the best strategy is.

The thing is let's say I put in two years as an OTR driver and then finance a home. Bad things can still happen. I could get canned two months later and them I'm stuck with a home I could maybe not be able to keep up payments on living on unemployment that won't last forever. Perhaps I could keep up the bank payments with two room tenants but then there's property taxes and homeowner's insurance. New-construction homes appeal to me because of the building contractor warranties and they should not need expensive repairs for a long time. To some people, having a house free and clear seems safer if they can afford to do that over long-term financing while trying to work to support it.

There are probably a lot of new truckers and some veteran drivers banking every dime with aspirations to someday live the American Dream. For me, a cozy little 3-br home with my own new Toyota Tundra SR5 in the garage and a pair of black German shepherds in the backyard while I still live and breathe in this world.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Gee, Brett, I did not think 30-year mortgage rates were that LOW!

What rock have you been hiding under? Interest rates have been so close to nonexistent in recent history, that many real estate investors have been taking advantage of the "cheap money" while it was available.

If you have not been able to save money in the past, what makes you think all of a sudden a new trucking career will change that dynamic? Most trucking careers are very short lived. What is it that convinces you of your staying power in a dynamic and challenging environment like trucking?

You seem to think people get rich by their choice of career. There is nothing more wrong when attempting to develop wealth. Discipline, strategy, and following through with a well thought out long term plan is the foundation for building wealth. A janitor can do this as well as a banker. It has little to do with your level of income, and much more to do with how you allocate that income.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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