Paths To Making GOOD Money As A Truck Driver?

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Banks's Comment
member avatar
You have been making statements like this essentially calling me a liar for the entire time I have been visiting this site. I'm not sure why you refuse to believe linehaul drivers can regularly make 100k or more, but it has grown old.

I agree.

Don't know what the issue is, but Old School is constantly throwing slight jabs at LTL and it's very old.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Turtle's Comment
member avatar
you will always have the Line Haul guys claiming they know a friend of a friend who is making six figures as a Line Haul driver.

That's a little insulting, considering we have respected members right here in this forum who say they make that kind of money in linehaul. Do you have proof that they don't? Dumping on them to boost your own ego is very unbecoming. I've noticed this too.

Is it so hard for you to believe that there are companies and opportunities out there where a driver can make great money without having to dedicate their entire waking life to the job? Without having to sacrifice all family life? Without having to work hard, then work a little harder, then harder yet to reach those figures?

I know of many companies in my area alone that offer a similar pay to ambitious individuals. I looked into those companies. The money is there for those that put themselves in that position. It just so happens that I would not prefer the linehaul type of job, money or not. So I chose to go where I am now, and I expect to make upwards of 110k this year, and it's a gravy job. Admittedly, my company may fall into that niche category. But who are you to say that linehaul can't pull in those numbers too? Do you assume that nobody else knows how to put themselves in the right position? Didn't you yourself take the opportunity to leave Western and go to Knight for a dedicated position? A position that, by the way, falls into kind of a specialized category that helps to boost the pay.

That's not to discount what you say as being a proper attitude and approach to a career, any career. I've lived my entire working life doing those very things you preach. But it's not always about hard work. That won't always get you where you need to be. It's also about keeping your eyes open to possibilities and opportunities, and acting on those to put yourself in a better place. For some, linehaul is that place.

The question was, "What do they do differently."

For some, the answer is they improved their position, in addition to their performance.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

Line Haul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
I'm not sure why you refuse to believe linehaul drivers can regularly make 100k or more, but it has grown old.

I agree.

Don't know what the issue is, but Old School is constantly throwing slight jabs at LTL and it's very old.

Guys, you are taking something personal that is not intended at all. I know linehaul guys can and do make six figures. I apologize, but good grief, this is a person who isn't even a driver as far as I can tell. His question was a good one. He wanted to know "what drivers do differently" to make six figures. He needs to understand that there are things a driver can do differently to reach his potential. To tell him to do linehaul work doesn't even come close to answering his question.

Seriously, I am sorry if you guys take offense at my remarks. They are not intended to be offensive. I agree that linehaul pay is at the top levels of our industry. It's been that way for years. One of the oddest things about line haul to me has come about while I have been in the industry. Ten years ago it was unheard of (for the most part) for new drivers to get a shot at a linehaul position. Now it is not that unusual for them to be hiring rookies with no experience.

My experience so far has been that I usually hear linehaul guys who know someone who has broken into the six figure level. That is why I have worded it like I do. It is also true that I don't know a lot of linehaul drivers. So my exposure to their levels of pay is somewhat distorted by that limitation.

I would seriously like to see some of these "jabs" you guys refer to quoted as examples. I can honestly not think of any other than the fact that I hear them say they know someone who has made a hundred grand. If that hurts your feelings, I am genuinely sorry for it. That is only what I have experienced. I am very pleased that both of you are doing so well. It certainly shows how committed you are to your work and that you are both doing a great job at it.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

Line Haul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Well, now there's a third person taking offense. Turtle, my apology is extended to you also. I meant nothing to be offensive. I now see it clearly was. I am genuinely sorry for it.

The question was, "What do they do differently."

For some, the answer is they improved their position, in addition to their performance.

I can see that. Point well taken.

Yuuyo Y.'s Comment
member avatar

I work foodservice

Wouldn't recommend it if you don't know how to maneuver the truck!

Scratch2win's Comment
member avatar

Don't concentrate on what you can make. Focus on how much you can save.

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

There are many aspects to this issue of driver annual pay. Because of my background, I've seen many successful and many unsuccessful skilled workers. Experienced truck drivers are, in my opinion, highly skilled tradesmen.

Let's talk about drivers who choose to become "company drivers". These are employees of a specific trucking company. If we are in this category, how does our performance influence our pay? If the company is not making money, how can we be given raises or performance bonus's? So instead of spending our time griping about the company, how better would it be to concentrate on our individual job performance (as Old School constantly preaches) to help make sure that the company does well enough to give drivers incentive to stay with the company? What is good for the goose is good for the gander (in most cases but there may be exceptions)

The trucking industry is very unique. From my perspective, where else could a 68 year old man go to get a job with many possibilities? With my company, I get paid to see different areas of the country. My company seems to value older drivers like myself because we are more cautious and not so focused on driving beyond our limits. Am I ever going to make a 6 figure income? Never. But it's not all about the money. I'm in this because of the adventure, the pleasure and the challenge of driving a big rig.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

PJ's Comment
member avatar

I’ve read along and digested the posts. Everyone makes some good points in their own regard.

OS and others are very correct in this is one of the most complex and diverse fields in this country. Nothing and I mean absoutely nothing is one size fits all. There are different modalities and even more subsets of those modalities than one can imagine.

I think most doing linehaul will agree there are various aspects to that area. Just like every other. Flatbedding is not all the same and so on.

I think OS was trying to illustrate from his perspective on his account the differences. Which is a great example for the original question asked. One has to compare apples to apples.

Most company drivers never strive to understand the business side of this industry. It can be mind bogeling to say the least.

Every driver no matter where needs to learn the company inside and out. Many things OS stated he does is fine at Knight, but may not be acceptable at another company. If memory serves me correctly even Brett got fired one time for showing up early. Even though the basic premise of every single trucking company is the same… Pickup and deliver goods… They all vary in their individual practices of doing that. First and foremost a driver has to understand what is and is not acceptable.

Every single customer and load are different, in every aspect. For those drivers that frequent certain customers you have the ability to build relationships, which are golden to a driver.

My best advise is learn your company and customers to the best of your ability, learn how to manage your clock to its fullest and you will maximize your earnings at that company. As said keep your options open.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Papa Pig's Comment
member avatar

I have only done one type of trucking so can’t speak for the rest bit I agree with OS that it boils down to INITIATIVE. Basically you don’t have to be at the mercy of dispatch. Set yourself up to be successful and that takes care of a lot of it.

Btw I didn’t see any disrespect in his statements, though I can see how it would been misread . I took it as you don’t HAVE to be LTL to make 6 figures. Or do the specialized stuff. Run your truck and work smarter than your peers

Either way, much respect to everyone here. We are all brothers and sisters. Minus the coke driver that tried to block me in at my 2nd stop today . F that guy 🤷🏻‍♂️.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier
Sid V.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm going to take a stab at this and anger a bunch of people.

I see NO WAY a regular W2 employee can make over 100k truck driving for any company. Now, can it be done, in theory, sure. You stay out 350 days out of the year, never see anybody, become the most unhealthy person, and die in your truck. Maybe, there's a few people pulling it off, but

Even if you did earn 100k, since you get no write offs on your taxes so your going to be paying some 17 to 18k in taxes, and more for state. That's INSANE.

Turtle, i'm sorry to pick on you, but when i google how much walmart drivers make, it says an average of 87k. That combined with the fact that every walmart driver i've ever talked to has jumped on my back, forcing me to take their contact info to drive for walmart because they're short drivers. That doesn't make any sense. Your telling me a job that will make you a millionaire in 10 years is having a hard time finding drivers when mega carriers have thousands of new drivers a week go through their program? Also, where are all these trucker millionaires?, how come i've never met one?? I've NEVER even heard a truck driver say the word millionaire out of their mouth. And there are drivers that driver for walmart for 20, 30 years? There's got to be thousands of walmart driver multi millionaires? Where are they??? Are they on Walmart Island?

The only way i can see an LTL driver making that much is if they own their own truck, get paid on a 1099. What you guys are saying doesn't make mathematical sense on this earth.

Lets even say your making .70 a mile (which i've never heard of) at 2500 miles a week without going home, staying on the road ALL year long, that's $7000 a month, that's 84k a year. that's FAR from 6 figures.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier
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