My Big Fat Confused Tanker Driving Idea And Financial Debate

Topic 5407 | Page 1

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Zen Joker's Comment
member avatar

Hi Folks,

I've read Brett's comments about the strain trucking has on families. I am talking to my wife about the possibility of driving tanker for Schneider out of Green Bay (assuming they would let my wife drive me 2.5 hours there from Eagle River for my 6 day per month home time. Right now I have a job working form home making around $48k but the insurance sucks and the earnings in combination with the lack of affordable insurance are quickly becoming inadequate.


1) Schneider advertises (up to $84k a year for the tanker division). I don't buy that, but is $55-65k after a couple years a realistic expectation?

2) Does anyone out there have a younger child and spouse at home? How does that work being gone 3.5 weeks out of the month?

Sorry to keep kicking my career change dilemmas around in here periodically, but I don't want to sacrifice the time with my family if I can't break the $60k mark at some point in a couple years. Trying to figure out if this is something I should really consider. Diesel is in my veins and burning, but it has to make sense for my family too.

Any input is appreciated as always..thank you kindly


Jimbo's Comment
member avatar

Zen...tough decisions. The pay is one thing but the family is the main thing. I guess it comes to what's best for your family and yourself. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. If you're wife is ok with it and you can provide a better life for the family...then go for it. If she's not...maybe the trade off isn't worth it.

I've waited until my kids are out, the wife is ok with the idea...actually liking it...and its not as much of a money decision as it would have been when I was younger.

I say do the pro's and con's list and see where you end up. Good luck..

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Ergh, why do I have to be the one who always gives the bad news! rofl-1.gif

Zen, I'm just going to be honest with you man. I think you have it better right now than you will have it if you go in trucking.

Every company exaggerates their annual driver salary. As you guessed already, you won't make anywhere near that amount. Most likely, your first year in trucking you're going to be losing out on at least 10 grand. I've never heard of a rookie making 38 per year and if you're going to be home often then you definitely won't touch that. So expect to make slightly less.

My first year I made 32,000 at .28cpm ending the year at .31cpm.

I'm close to finishing up my second year and I'm paid .445cpm and I'm looking at the upper 40's to low 50's range. Except you won't get paid that much and I don't go home every three weeks. Get where I'm going with this?

Yes, in a couple years with the right job you can make that much. But by then you would have lost a bunch of money by downgrading your pay for several years.

You also work from home. Lucky! You're so used to having a family life right now but when you leave, all the responsibility will go to your wife. The bills, cleaning the toilet, inflating the tires on the car.

You're shifting a ton of weight from your shoulders to hers.

You'll make less money and will take a while to start making what you're making now.

You won't be home often.

I don't see the benefit.

I have a wife at home but no child, too young I am. Your spouse has to be tougher than you to have a happy marriage. It's tough on you, but even tougher on her because she's got to so your chores now, take care of the kids, maybe work, and combined with everything else she's always been doing. It's tough and in time you'll be tired of being gone for even a week. Three weeks isn't easy, nor is a month, I don't see this as being the best time for trucking for you.

Hope this gives you something to think about. Just being honest, your situation sounds really nice right now I wouldn't want to give it up personally.


Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

Zen Joker's Comment
member avatar

Guys this is EXACTLY the feedback I needed. I do appreciate both your comments. Maybe in 15-20 years when the kid(s) are grown and our finances are under better control, maybe that is when I need to give trucking the nod. It's so damn hard though watching every truck go through town. There is even a guy on the next block who is home every 4 weeks for his home time and parks his Cascadia 100 feet from my house. It's the like the truck is yelling screw you!! You have a Lonnnng time to wait.

Don't get me wrong, if I lost my job for any reason, I would immediately enroll in CDL school as my plan B but right now I need to stay put where I am at. I just needed to hear it from some guys that are doing it right now. Jimbo the cons probably outweigh the pros so thank you for that insight Sir. Daniel, you are not allowed to retire until after 2035ish as that is likely when I will be going trucking and I want to buy you a coffee at a truck stop as I (like many other members here) enjoy reading your diaries, insights, and great replies to threads.

Thanks folks, I will continue to lurk the forum and live vicariously through you all! dancing.gif


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.
guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

Working from home is great. Assuming its a computer based business or something that can be done anywhere fairly easy. As Daniel said it will take a few years to start making the good money. I am sure you have thought about this but see if you can try to cut expenses further.

Not sure if you are a 1 income family but if you are then that might be a place to start. In todays economy its super hard to only have one person working. I understands the reasons behind it but still its hard.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Sorry to keep kicking my career change dilemmas around in here periodically

Don't be sorry....that's exactly what we're here for - to help people understand the trucking industry and make the right decisions for themselves. Conversations like this will help a lot of people evaluate their circumstances better so we're glad you're coming by and asking questions. Never hesitate to ask us anything. We all need help once in a while from people who have been there and know more about something than we do. This forum is a nice opportunity to for experienced drivers to use our knowledge and experience and give back some of the help we've asked for ourselves over the years.


Phil C.'s Comment
member avatar

Sounds like you could also ask the guy with the truck near you about his situation, how much he makes, how long and etc. Might take some of the shiny newness off idk.


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