Best States To Be A Dump Truck Driver?

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Douglas D.'s Comment
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In Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, a search on Indeed yields some favorable results. Many paving & construction companies are hiring tandem (10-wheel) dump truck drivers starting out at well over $20-25 hourly, and a good portion of them don’t necessarily require experience. In other states however, a lot of them start around at only $15 hourly, and many do want dump experience.

I’m currently in GA (not in the Atlanta area) earning $16.25 hourly and working 50-55 hrs weekly (sometimes closer to 65 if we work on the weekend), so I’m doing ok financially. But would it a good idea for me to move to one of those states and look for a job, assuming I can deal with the winters (and I get it, that’s a BIG assumption)? Or is there a catch as to why those states pay so much more? One reason could be the drivers take a couple of months off from work during the winter, which would mitigate the higher pay. But then again, not all the northern states seem to pay so well, just mainly these four. And while I’m not sure about PA and OH, the cost of living in WI is about the same as where I live now, and even a bit lower in IN. Any dump truck drivers from these states?

Lastly, I realize there are other driving jobs besides dump truck driving, that’s just mainly what I have experience in. And I like overtime (sometimes I can net more on $16.25 with OT than someone who earns $25 hourly but only works 40 hours a week).

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Anne A. (Momma Anne) & To's Comment
member avatar

In Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, a search on Indeed yields some favorable results. Many paving & construction companies are hiring tandem (10-wheel) dump truck drivers starting out at well over $20-25 hourly, and a good portion of them don’t necessarily require experience. In other states however, a lot of them start around at only $15 hourly, and many do want dump experience.

I’m currently in GA (not in the Atlanta area) earning $16.25 hourly and working 50-55 hrs weekly (sometimes closer to 65 if we work on the weekend), so I’m doing ok financially. But would it a good idea for me to move to one of those states and look for a job, assuming I can deal with the winters (and I get it, that’s a BIG assumption)? Or is there a catch as to why those states pay so much more? One reason could be the drivers take a couple of months off from work during the winter, which would mitigate the higher pay. But then again, not all the northern states seem to pay so well, just mainly these four. And while I’m not sure about PA and OH, the cost of living in WI is about the same as where I live now, and even a bit lower in IN. Any dump truck drivers from these states?

Lastly, I realize there are other driving jobs besides dump truck driving, that’s just mainly what I have experience in. And I like overtime (sometimes I can net more on $16.25 with OT than someone who earns $25 hourly but only works 40 hours a week).

MANY dump truck jobs in Ohio and PA. I don't know about PA, but the cost of living (especially in Ohio rural areas) is pretty decent. When we pulled asphalt in tanks, the dump guys were making really decent coin, I'll tell ya!

All we have for you, but 'close' to advice, anyway: The Shelly Company, in Toledo Ohio, is one huge place you may want to check into. Kokosing, with a few different locations in Ohio, is another.

I just got a PA company ad on my Fb feed, and darn if I don't remember. Sorry!

So, do you have your CDLB or A ?

Welcome to Trucking Truth! (Yep, we are Buckeyes!)

~ Anne & Tom ~

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.

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Douglas D.'s Comment
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I have my Classa A, but most of my exp (save a few months of hauling wood chips) have been in a truck requiring a Class B.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

What is motivating you to move?

When considering the cost of moving, lost wages and an unknown employer; not sure how it’s of any benefit for a few extra dollars an hour.

If anything Florida is a consideration because you’ll be working 12 months of the year.

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

My grandfather drove dump trucks in the the Chicago area he made good money back then ( retired in 88) but in the winter months he had to drive a cab or a snow plow since they all got laid off.

I would suggest looking into LTL companies, Old Dominion, Fed Ex Freight, Saia, Estes they all start around $25ish an hour and you'll work everyday all year.

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
Will's Comment
member avatar

I live in Northwest Ohio. Drove dump truck for a couple years. Pay was $23hr. Laid off about the middle of October to March or April depending on the weather. Check out Gerken Companies. They are pretty big in this part of the state

John M.'s Comment
member avatar

I’d guess that it pays better up there right now because it’s a little more seasonal due to the winters. I just ran across Hwy 22 in PA the other day and that road looked like a dump truck mecca but I doubt It looks like that in the winter, pretty hilly around there.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Being around many dump truck drivers is scary, then again there's big trucks that are the same. You can often times spot countless violations without even doing an in depth look. In my area many are paid per load. Doing 10 mph over isn't uncommon. I can't imagine having the mindset of driving unsafe to get back to the job site quicker to get loaded.

I agree with Bobcat that LTL may be good to look into, although the work is very different. Plus, as Gtown mentioned, if you factor in the expenses and stresses of the unknown is it worth moving for a couple extra bucks an hour? Many Driving Jobs are grossly underpaid in my opinion. Fortunately we're able to get overtime pay (at some companies) but to be making around the same hourly wage (at some companies) as somebody running a register to me isn't right. Please don't take this as a jab at anybody working that job, I just feel that there's more skill, risk and responsibility to be running a commercial vehicle which should warrant higher pay. if there truly was a driver shortage wages would be higher, otherwise they wouldn't be able to find anybody to put in their equipment.

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
Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar
Driving Jobs are grossly underpaid in my opinion.

Preach!

I've seen a container company here in Chicago that pays $17 per hour....

Bill M.'s Comment
member avatar

COL in PA is higher, a lot higher. Hence the diff in pay. Like others said, you'll be laid-off a few months out of the year so.

My brother-in-law does this and he loves it because he get a couple months break every year and unemployment while he is off.

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