It’s safe to say that what people assume the life of a truck driver is, is quite different from the reality of it. And as many truck drivers will tell you, you don’t truly understand until you’ve gotten behind the wheel yourself. Of course, there are the benefits that are less thought about, like not having to pay for gas to go to work, the ability to trade in business attire for your most comfortable clothes, and being able to listen to music, books, and podcasts on the job. But beyond that, if you’re looking to get a trucking job, or if you’re researching how to start a trucking company, you’ll be happy to know that there are many benefits for truck drivers. Here are six of them.
1) Great Travel & Scenery
The United States is brimming with scenic routes, and truck drivers get their fair share of picturesque sights. Of course, the type of views you’ll see depends on the route, but it’s safe to say that the all truck drivers get upfront seats to skylines, mountain ranges, landmarks, and attractions. At its core, truck drivers get to see the country in ways most people will never have the opportunity to. Take a look at this collection of Instagram photos taken by truck drivers all over America.
2) Great Pay
Truck drivers get paid handsomely, and it’s one of the major perks of the job. According to the American Trucking Association, the demand for truck driving jobs is on the decline. In 2015, there was a shortage of nearly 50,000 drivers. And with less competition for the job, many businesses are willing to pay extra to sweeten the deal. The median salary for private trucking companies is around $73,000, according to the ATA.
The median wage for all truck drivers, according to the Labor Department, is roughly $43,000. Of course, the salary varies from company to company. An estimate compiled by Indeed found that, based on data from 6.5 million employees and jobs posted within the last 24 months, the average truck driver salary is just over $64,000.
The salary also depends on the length of travel. Long-haul drivers tend to get paid more. Generally, it’s much easier to get promotional pay for trucking than in other industries, because trucking companies value commitment and long-term safe driving.
3) Pay Bonuses
Truck drivers enjoy a myriad of bonuses for different reasons. Some companies offer sign-on bonuses to their drivers, while others offer bonuses for longevity with the company or for maintaining a great safety record. And because drivers are tracked by mileage, many companies will offer their top-performing mileage drivers a bonus.
4) Higher Job Security
Unlike many other jobs in America, truck drivers can enjoy higher job security because their jobs cannot be outsourced. The transportation of goods from one place to the other is necessary, and there’s no other way to go about it in such a high volume. And because, as previously mentioned, the trucking industry is experiencing a shortage of drivers, once you’ve got your foot in the door, you’re in the safe zone. With a safe driving record and good road conduct, there’s no limit to the job security you can have.
5) More Benefits
Truck drivers typically get pretty solid benefits. Employers understand that truck driving is a demanding job, so in addition to higher than average starting salaries and bonuses, truck drivers typically enjoy more benefits as well. These benefits might include medical and dental, vacation and paid time off, and retirement options.
Certain companies even offer free training and tuition reimbursement. And as previously mentioned, trucking companies truly appreciate loyal, consistent drivers; the longer a driver remains with a company, the more access they’ll have to those benefits. Some companies also give their drivers incentives and discounts to gyms and other health-related programs to ensure they maintain their well-being while working for the company.
6) You’ll Always Have A Story To Tell
Behind the wheel is a great vantage point, and truck drivers see it all. Always having a story to tell is one of the benefits that aren’t usually listed in the job description, but after a few days on the job, you’ll probably get it. The Travel Channel’s expose on truck driver confessions is a great demonstration of what this means.
One truck driver described the oddest roadside signs he’s seen, his favorite places to stop on the road that aren’t truck stops (Bourbon Street in New Orleans), and the best truck stop spots (the Hopi Travel Plaza in Holbrook, AZ, which has spa suites with hot tubs). And then there’s always the on-road adventure you’ll experience and be eager to tell.