What are the Best Truck Driving Jobs for Big Paychecks

Everybody wants to make the most money, that’s a given. In the trucking industry, the way to make more moola is to find better paying trucking jobs. The best truck driving jobs are the ones that pay well over the long run. For example, you can find seasonal hauls for package delivery companies like UPS or FedEx long distance runs. However, these are typically a couple of weeks out of the year and dependent on the local trucker market. So where do you go to get the most money consistently as a trucker?

Calling Company Drivers

If you want to drive for a trucking company, to earn the most money go for a nationally recognized carrier. Here are the most popular:

  • JB Hunt Transport Services
  • Conway
  • Swift Transportation
  • Schneider National
  • Old Dominion Freight Line
  • Werner Enterprises
  • US Xpress
  • Estes Express Line
  • Prime
  • R & L Carriers
  • CR England
  • CRST International
  • Crete Carrier

And the list could go on. To help you find the absolute best trucking companies to work for, check out the list of Top 50 Trucking Companies compiled annually by JOC. A huge perk for working for national trucking companies is you can rake in the benefits ranging from health insurance coverage to retirement plans as an employee. These benefits including sign-on bonuses and free truck driver training will add up and should be considered part of your income when calculating the best paying companies.

LTL versus OTR

The next thing to look at is the type of hauls you are taking. If you are doing less than truckload (LTL) trucking jobs then you’ll make a lot less money compared to over the road (OTR) trucking jobs. The primary reason is that the more miles you log for a load, the more money you can make. Short drives equal short paychecks. If you want to make the most money as an OTR trucker consider becoming a team driver.

Team trucking jobs pay far more than even OTR trucking loads. This is because your truck never stops rolling. When you have two drivers in the cab, one can take their off duty hours of service while the other is behind the wheel. You get an 8-hour jump on solo drivers every single day you are on a team. Additionally, if you choose to drive with your partner or spouse the two of you can greatly increase your household income by working together.

Specialized Trucking Jobs

Now onto those trucking jobs most people think of when you hear about the best paying loads. For starters there’s ice road trucking. Thanks to the popularity of “Ice Road Truckers” we now here a lot more about these types of trucking jobs. As an ice road trucker you aren’t able to drive the roads but for six weeks to three months out of the year depending on the weather. However in that amount of time you can earn $80,000 or more with experience. This allows you to take off the rest of the year with ease, or to choose a second trucking job that pays just as good to fill the time.

Another specialty position is that of a cattle hauler. If you see a big rig with an oversized metal frame on the front end and a cattle trailer in tow, you’d better get out of the way. Those grates are great for pushing deer, elk, moose and other pedestrians out of the way so the cattle hauler can keep on moving. The hours are super long and you can’t stop when hauling for the sake of the livestock. This often means driving illegally in comparison to other truckers due to the insane hours these drivers put in. As an aside there are hours of service stipulations for farm-type haulers that allow for more flexibility due to the job type. For your hard work you can earn dollars per mile, instead of cents per mile that standard truckers earn.

Other contenders for great paying trucking jobs include:

  • Car haulers
  • Oversized loads
  • Specialty haulers
  • Hazmat drivers
  • Tanker haulers
  • Gas and propane haulers
  • Truckers working for mines

How to Get Hired for Specialized Trucking Jobs

OK so you are interested in getting a specialized trucking job so you can earn more. Where do you start? First think about what kind of experience you have outside of trucking. Did you work on a farm with livestock? Cattle hauling might work for you. Do you enjoy high pressure situations? Most of these jobs are boiler room positions. After you choose a haul type or speciality do your research to see if you need any additional CDL endorsements. For example, a tanker hauler has to have a tanker endorsement, while a propane hauler has to have a tanker and a hazardous material endorsement.