truck driving jobs for veterans

The Benefits of Truck Driving Jobs for Military Veterans

Trucking jobs offer flexibility for veterans to spend time with family and explore the country. CDL jobs provide good salaries, job security, and career advancement. They also play a crucial role in our economy by transporting goods across the country.

Why Veterans Should Consider a Truck Driving Career

Military veterans have a natural edge when it comes to truck driving careers. The skills learned in the military, across various branches and roles, can be effortlessly applied to truck driving. With a successful military career, you most likely already have the traits that make for a great commercial truck driver. Don’t be surprised to realize how much potential you have in this line of work.

Work Environment

Truck driving careers offer a unique blend of independence and camaraderie. Drivers enjoy the freedom to choose their own hours and income while also being supported by their carrier and a tight-knit community of fellow drivers. With the potential for high earnings, a career in truck driving is an attractive option for veterans seeking a fulfilling and flexible career path.

Skills and Requirements

Truck driving demands a thorough understanding and adherence to rigid government safety regulations and company policies, which include mandatory rest periods and defensive driving practices. Adhering to these guidelines is essential for truck drivers to enjoy a long, prosperous career. Most veterans already possess the fundamental skills that trucking companies seek during intensive training and field experience, such as situational awareness, dependability, leadership, management, and teamwork. Furthermore, disciplined and committed military veterans won’t have any trouble acquiring specific driving skills through CDL training and driver orientation.

Waive the skills test!

Veterans with significant military driving experience may be eligible for a skills test waiver, and those with a CDL from their time in the military can start their driving career with a higher pay rate.

Job Security

Veterans seeking job security, a steady income, and retirement options should consider a truck driving career. Your talents are in high demand. It’s an excellent career transition option for retired veterans with the added benefit of company benefits.

The trucking industry needs skilled and dedicated drivers. Fortunately, military veterans possess the qualities and capabilities that make them ideal candidates for a successful career in truck driving. With the added benefits and support available to veterans, this path offers a promising and fulfilling option for those seeking a new direction.

ultimate guide to truck driver recruiting

Ultimate Guide to Truck Driver Recruiting

Current ways of recruiting truck drivers just don’t work anymore. That’s because recruiting isn’t a transaction. This ultimate guide helps carriers recruit for retention.

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Truckers Against Trafficking

What is Truckers Against Trafficking?

Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) was founded in 2009 and has since become a powerful force in the fight against human trafficking. Working alongside trucking industry associations, motor carriers, government transportation agencies, law enforcement agencies like the FBI, as well as truck stops and travel plazas, TAT has trained over 730,351 drivers and personnel to identify and report instances of human trafficking. Their efforts have resulted in over 2,250 calls to the national trafficking hotline by truck drivers, leading to the identification of 612 human trafficking cases and the rescue of 1,133 victims. By partnering with TAT, trucking and busing professionals become an invaluable asset in the fight against this atrocious crime, as they possess a unique vantage point to root out traffickers who exploit our transportation infrastructure for their own selfish purposes.

Truckers Against Trafficking has spread its wings and taught members of state trucking associations to be vigilant in identifying and reporting cases of human trafficking. Today, all 50 state associations have received training, making the powerful network of truckers, bus lines, and major airlines provide a watchful eye to ensure that human traffickers have nowhere to hide. Additionally, some bus lines and airlines now offer travel vouchers to survivors of human trafficking to ensure their safe return home. This growing network of eyes and ears makes our roads safer for everyone. TAT has formed partnerships with numerous companies in the transportation industry to raise awareness about the signs of human trafficking. By working together, these companies and TAT are making a tangible difference in the fight against this heinous crime.

There is a Hotline For Reporting Human Trafficking

Before the establishment of Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT), truckers only reported sporadic tips about human trafficking. However, with TAT’s efforts, there has been a significant increase in calls to the National Human Trafficking Hotline at (888) 373-7888, text 233733. In 2017, TAT reported that nearly half of the cases generated by truckers’ calls involved minors. TAT’s collaboration with the trucking industry and law enforcement agencies has made a difference in the fight against human trafficking.

Available Resources for Education/Training about Human Trafficking

Get free training materials from Truckers Against Trafficking, including a DVD, wallet cards, and window decals, to educate and train individuals and organizations on identifying and reporting human trafficking. Once trained, register with TAT and help fight against human trafficking. Contact for your materials today.

Other Ways to Help

Stay alert for suspicious activity and report any signs of trafficking. This includes young people around truck stops and code words like “lot lizard” or “Commercial Company.” Report any indicators, no matter how insignificant they may seem, to the tip lines. Educate yourself about the issue by ordering Renting Lacy: A Story of America’s Prostituted Children, a gripping account that exposes the dark underworld of the trafficking industry through the stories of those who live there. Available in paperback, e-book, and audio book formats, so you can listen on the road.

Together, we can make a difference in the fight against human trafficking. No industry is exempt, and it’s up to all of us to take action. We can’t rely solely on our police departments. It’s time for companies and individuals to step up and do their part. We all travel on our nation’s roads, and with that comes a responsibility to educate ourselves on this national epidemic. Let’s work together to put an end to it.


“How Truckers Can Stop Human Trafficking”, American Trucker, Nov.1, 2017.

“More States Signing on to Enlist Truckers Against Human Trafficking”, Trucking Truth, June 24, 2019.

company truck driverAs it stands right now, 91% of all truck drivers on the road are company drivers. Since these drivers make up such a huge part of the industry, it’s important to know the pros and the cons of being one. Here’s everything you need to know about being a company driver.  

What is a Company Driver?

A company driver is a truck driver who works under the authority of someone else, usually a trucking carrier or private company.  

How much do Company Drivers Make?

There’s no set salary for a company driver. It all depends on your experience, your location, and what you haul. That being said, there’s a rough estimate that the average company driver in the US makes around $65,000 a year. But don’t get too attached to that number, it can be higher or lower based on the factors mentioned above.  

Pros of Being a Company Driver

Great for Beginner Drivers

If you’re just starting out in trucking, it’s almost a certainty that you’ll be a company driver at first. These jobs are a great way to learn the ropes as a driver without having all the financial risk of being an owner operator.  

Benefits Packages

Health insurance isn’t cheap. As a company driver, you’ll more than likely be able to buy into a health insurance plan offered by your carrier. This means that you can rest easy knowing that you and your family are covered for medical expenses at a reasonable rate. 

Low Risk

As a company driver, there’s little financial risk involved. You don’t have to worry about costs, accounting, and the overall financial health of the carrier you work for. You show up, drive, and collect your paycheck.  

Your home time is yours as well. You’re not spending your free time worrying about cutting your costs or finding the best insurance policy. 

Cons of Being a Company Driver

Less Money… Usually

It’s not a secret that on average, owner operators will make more than company drivers. Instead of the carrier handing you your slice, the whole pie is handed from the customer directly to you.  

Take this con with a grain of salt though. While it’s possible to make a lot of money as an owner operator, you need business savvy as well.  

When you’re a company driver, you have little to worry about aside from getting your haul from point A to point B. As an owner operator, you’re not only doing that but running your own business as well. You need to think about all your costs, including insurance, healthcare, fuel, and more.  

There’s even the possibility that you could be doing everything right as an owner operator, but get blindsided by a hit to the freight market like we saw post-COVID. This is why many drivers spend their whole careers as company drivers. Less money, but less risk as well.  

Less Control

As a company driver, you have little control over what you haul or where you’ll go. Sure, you have options when you’re looking for a job, but once you start, you’re bound to what the boss man tells you.  

This control can sometimes go beyond telling you what to haul and when to haul it. Carriers can put driver-facing cameras inside your cab while you’re driving, put speed limiters on the truck’s engine, and have GPS systems that track every turn the truck makes.  

While some drivers won’t mind this oversight, others might and begin to think about their options setting out on their own as an owner operator.

The bottom line is that if you’re still relatively new to trucking, it’s best to stay as a company driver. Once you feel like you have enough experience under your belt and are financially ready to purchase a truck, then it’s time to consider making the switch.

If you’re looking for a new job as a company driver, consider making a free profile with Drive My Way. We match both CDL and non-CDL drivers with jobs that match their qualifications and lifestyle preferences. 

two men in a truck

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truck driving with your spouse

Truck driving is one of the few careers where you have the chance to work with your spouse. There are advantages and disadvantages to this option, and things you can do to make the experience more enjoyable. Here’s what you need to know before taking the plunge into truck driving with your spouse. 

Advantages of Truck Driving with your Spouse

More Money

One of the big advantages of driving together is that you have the chance to earn more money. With the current HOS regulations, a solo driver can only drive for 11 hours a day before they need to take a 10-hour break. When there are two drivers in the cab, one can sleep while the other drives. This means that team drivers can cover about double the amount of ground in the same amount of time as solo drivers.  

Time Together

Another obvious advantage of truck driving with your spouse is the time you get to spend together. Truck driving is a unique profession which takes you away from home for long periods of time. OTR drivers have it particularly tough as they may see their family for only a few days before getting back on the road for weeks at a time. Being able to drive with your spouse eliminates this issue. 

Less Need for Home Time

Home time is a crucial factor that drivers consider before accepting job offers, as many drivers are looking to balance their work and home life. If you’re truck driving with your spouse, this changes the equation entirely.  

You don’t have to take a local or regional job that may be lower paying in order to have more time with your spouse. Instead of your trucking career being a detriment to your home life, it could provide the chance to reduce loneliness and renew your marriage. 

Tips for truck driving with your spouse

Depending on how you handle it, driving with your spouse can help you reconnect or can drive you further apart. Here are some tips for drivers who are considering hitting the road with their spouse. 

Have You Worked Together Before?

If you two have had any previous experience working together in other professions; what was that like? Did you find your previous experience to be positive?  

Even if you didn’t work together, you may have worked on shared projects together at home. How is your work style while sharing domestic tasks? Did you have a big argument about which furniture to buy, or how to rearrange the kitchen? 

If you’ve had positive experiences while making joint decisions, it’s a good indicator that you’ll be comfortable working together behind the wheel. 

Make Alone Time a Priority

No matter how much two people love each other, they can get on each other’s nerves if they spend too much time together, especially in cramped quarters. Make sure you both bring plenty of books, music, games, and other activities that can be used alone or in tandem.  

While your spouse is driving, you may want to be together part of the time, rest for another part, with the option to engage in a solo activity when needed. 

Still Take Time Off

Truck driving with your spouse doesn’t have to be all work and no play! If you’re lucky enough that the arrangement works for you, make sure to get the most out of it. There can still be date nights and lazy afternoons even though you aren’t at home.  

Since you’re already on the road, get out of the truck and make sure to explore. There are beautiful scenic spots all across the country, and new towns and cities to explore together. You can even document your travels through photography and scrapbooks or engage in a new hobby together.  

Also, don’t forget the importance of days off. Just because you’re together more often and get more rest, doesn’t mean you don’t need time away from work. 


We spoke with Angela, a CDL driver who drives with her husband, Larry. Angela told us about what it’s like driving with your spouse, and what she likes the most and least about it. 

CDL drivers, Angela and Larry

How long have you two been driving together?

Larry and I have been driving together for eight years.  

What do you like the most about driving together?

Our kids are all grown and, in the military, so now we can spend time together and see the country. 

What do you like the least?

For Larry, it’s the lack of quality sleep as we sleep while the truck is moving. For me it is not seeing our grandkids enough. 

Do you have any advice for couples who are thinking about driving together?

Communication and patience are the keys. Being together 24/7 means you’re going to have rough days. Give yourself space even if it means going into the back of the sleeper and closing the privacy curtains. Realize that there will be days when you’ll be running so hard, you’ll barely see each other. Just always keep the lines of communication open and you’ll be fine. 

Any interesting stories from your time on the road together?

I’ve got a few different stories, but my favorite is about my parents. They retired a few years ago and got an RV to travel in. My mom and Dad have never seen me drive a semi before and my mom kept saying, “I know I’m going to a see you out there on the highway one day!” My dad would tell me that she would check every semi-truck that looked like ours. One day I’m driving down the road outside of Tucson and this white van is beside me. Suddenly, I noticed this lady hanging out the window waving at me. At first, I’m like “What is that crazy lady doing?” And then I saw that crazy lady was my mom! Luckily, we were seven miles from a rest area, so we all pulled over so they could get a tour of the truck. My dad for the first time in a long time was holding back tears because he was so proud of me. 

Overall, truck driving with your spouse can offer incredible advantages if you have the opportunity to do it. Being prepared for it and having the right perspective can make the difference between a rewarding experience or a frustrating one. 

two men in a truck

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tanker endorsement

For truck drivers, the path to increased earnings comes with experience and endorsements. Endorsements are special designations given to certain truck drivers so that they can drive specialized types of vehicles or haul materials that are dangerous or difficult to haul. 

Two of the most popular endorsements are the “N” and “X”. Here’s what you need to know about those endorsements including their requirements, differences, and the jobs you can get with them. 

Are There Different Tanker Endorsements?

tanker endorsementYes, there are two different tanker endorsements. The “N” endorsement allows drivers to haul a tank trailer. The “X” endorsement also allows a driver to haul a tank trailer with HAZMAT material inside. This means that the “X” endorsement is really just a combination of the “N” and “H” (HAZMAT) endorsements. 

“N” Endorsement

The “N” endorsement allows a driver to haul a tank or “tanker” full of liquid or gaseous materials that the FMCSA doesn’t consider dangerous. These jobs are often higher paying and usually are local or regional runs, so you’d have more home time than some other jobs.  

A tanker truck driver needs to be able to adjust to having his cargo constantly moving around if the tank is not full. Dealing with the “surge” caused by the movement of the liquid in the tank while driving takes some practice and skill development. 

“X” Endorsement

The “X” endorsement allows a driver to haul large loads of liquid or gaseous HAZMAT cargo inside of a tanker. Having an “X” endorsement even further separates these drivers and their skill sets from the rest. If a driver has any plans to be in the gas and oil hauling business, an “X” endorsement will certainly be required. 

What are the Requirements for an “N” or “X” Endorsement?

requirements for X endorsementAs of right now, all that’s needed to secure an “N” endorsement is to take an additional written knowledge test. This can be done at a testing location in your state. Visit your state’s DMV/BMV for more information on where to test and what information the test will cover. 

Because of the dangerous nature of hauling HAZMAT liquids and gases, obtaining an X endorsement is a little more involved. In addition to passing a written test, you need to pay for and pass a TSA background check as well. 

These requirements are on top of what’s required to hold a CDL A.  

What are the Benefits of Getting an “N” or “X” Endorsement?

More Opportunities

Companies that haul any type of liquids or gases will require drivers to have either an “N” or “X” endorsement. By securing that, you’re already opening yourself up to a number of high-paying jobs that many truckers can’t get into. 

More Money

Drivers with additional skills and endorsements often find that they are paid more than drivers without. Driving a tanker requires additional safety skills due to the unstable nature of hauling liquids. Therefore, drivers with tanker endorsements are many times some of the highest paid truckers on the road. The payoff of seeing those paychecks increase certainly outweigh the up-front costs to pay for a tanker endorsement and training. 

Getting your “X” or “N” endorsement can be very beneficial to any CDL truck driver, regardless of what career stage they’re in. With a tanker endorsement, the job pools is bigger, the pay is likely higher, and overall earning potential as a trucker increases. 

If you’re looking for tanker truck driving jobs, you’re in luck. Drive My Way partners with carriers who have open tanker positions for drivers with “N” and “X” endorsement. Complete your driver profile below, and be sure to include that you have that endorsement. We can match you to a great new job that best fits your lifestyle and driving preferences. 

truck driver at loading dock

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What to Know Before Taking CDL Classes

If you’re thinking about starting a career in trucking, one of your first steps should be looking into CDL classes. These classes will teach you the basics of being a truck driver so that you can test for a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). Here’s what prospective drivers should know before they enroll in CDL classes.  

What is a CDL?

A Commercial Driver’s License or CDL is what the Department of Transportation requires all drivers to obtain before they’re able to drive trucks professionally. There are three different types of CDL that we detail below.  

The 3 Types of CDL

There are three types of CDL which determine the commercial vehicles you’re able to drive, and the different trucking jobs you’re able to apply for.  


This is your standard CDL that lets you drive a semi-truck with a trailer in tow. Here’s the official definition from the FMCSA of what CDL A holders can drive,  

“Any combination of vehicles which has a gross combination weight rating or gross combination weight of 11,794 kilograms or more (26,001 pounds or more) whichever is greater, inclusive of a towed unit(s) with a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight of more than 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds) whichever is greater. “ 

This means that anyone with a CDL A can drive a truck with a GVWR greater than 26,000 pounds and a trailer weighing more than 10,000 pounds. CDL A drivers can drive any CMV, including class B and C vehicles, provided they have the appropriate endorsements.   


A Class B CDL is a restricted license as you are not allowed to drive large tractors that tow 10,000 pounds or more. This eliminates the ability to drive your standard 53’ trailer. So, what can you drive with a CDL B? Think of dump trucks, delivery trucks, and city buses. Two huge benefits to CDL B jobs are that most positions will be local, and the age requirement is 18 since you won’t be moving freight between state lines.   


A Class C is the most unique type of CDL and for good reason. Besides being able to drive a shuttle bus or limo, there’s very little someone can do with a CDL C without the necessary endorsements. Even with those endorsements, most drivers consider it better to just go ahead and get your CDL B or A instead.    


Aside from completing entry-level driving training, there are a few other requirements to earn your CDL: 

  • Have a valid non-commercial driver’s license  
  • Be at least 18 years of age  
  • Pass a medical exam given by a licensed practitioner 
  • Pass the skills, knowledge, and road test that your state administers 

*Drivers can earn any class of CDL at age 18, but can’t cross state lines until they’re 21, which bars them from most CDL A jobs. For more information about what trucking jobs are good for 18–20-year-olds, you can visit our blog on the subject. 


There are a few different ways you can take CDL classes, including through truck driving schools, community colleges, and technical schools. CDL training usually lasts 2-4 weeks and includes classroom learning as well as behind-the-wheel training.  

During training, students are expected to gain familiarity with operating a commercial vehicle and the techniques behind being a successful driver. These techniques include backing up, pre-trip inspections, city driving, highway driving, road signs and rules, among others.  

Classes will also cover a range of other helpful topics such on the road safety and first aid, state and federal laws drivers are subject to, route planning, managing logbooks, and more.

Finding a CDL program

When you’re looking for a CDL program, there are three main factors that you should consider; the quality of the education, cost, and location. Do your research on CDL programs in your area. Find out how much each program costs and look up reviews from former students. Find out what exactly each program offers in terms of classroom learning, and behind-the-wheel experience. Then you’ll be able to make an informed decision on which is right for you.  

While cost will probably be your deciding factor, remember that there are a lot of different ways that drivers can pay for them without breaking the bank. For information on how to pay for CDL costs, plus tips on how to save, you can visit our blog on the subject.  

Once you’ve completed CDL classes, you’re then able to take the CDL test and get on the road as a professional truck driver.  

Deciding which CDL program to enroll in is a big decision. But as long as you do your research and find the best school for you, you’ll have to problem passing, earning your CDL, and becoming a professional truck driver.  

Pay is one of, if not the most important consideration to a driver when taking a new job. While Industry statistics show that average truck driver salaries are on the rise, most drivers are still understandably looking for more money based on the difficulty of the work they do. Let’s take a look at the different ways that drivers can make more money in trucking.

1. Gain More Experience

It’s not the quickest or most glamorous way, but a few years of experience can’t be overstated if you’re looking to make more money in truck driving.  

It’s understandable that carriers will pay more to experienced drivers than to new ones. Much like everything nowadays, insurance premiums for carriers are on the rise. Carriers can decrease these hefty premiums by hiring experienced drivers with a clean driving record.  

That’s why many carriers have years of experience requirements in their job postings. They’re willing to pay these drivers more since it will offset with the lower insurance premiums they’ll be paying.  

If you’re a brand-new driver and not making as much money as you want to right now, don’t let it get to you. While you can’t do anything immediately about the years of experience you don’t have, you can follow the next few tips to start earning more money quickly.  

2. Add Additional Endorsements

truck driving jobs

Once you’re an established CDL driver, you can seek to add additional endorsements that will give you access to a larger range of truck driving jobs.  

The double/triples endorsement allows drivers to haul two or three-times more freight, while driving the same amount of time as you would with a single trailer. A HAZMAT endorsement will open doors to new opportunities with companies that specialize in the transportation of flammable or otherwise dangerous materials. 

There are several of these endorsements that CDL drivers can earn if they’re looking to make more money. A full list of these endorsements (and their requirements) can be found here. 

3. Maximize Available Bonuses

driver payBonuses are a great way to make more money in trucking. Most carriers likely have their own bonus structure, and you should have a copy of the payout information available to you when you start working for them.  

Outside of a standard sign-on bonus, your carrier might offer various additional bonuses based on performance, safety or longevity.  

Planning well and using proper driving techniques could qualify you for a fuel efficiency bonus. Having a track record that shows you’re a safe driver who follows the rules could put you in line for a safety bonus. Being consistently prompt with your deliveries may qualify you for an on-time delivery bonus. Be sure you’re aware of all the available bonuses you carrier offers, and work to achieve them regularly. 

4. Keep Your Skills Sharp and Your Reputation Safe

Another tip is to keep up with the new systems and processes in the industry. Technology is always changing so make sure you’re doing your part to keep up with the necessary tools and systems that can benefit you in the future. Something that’s optional now might become mandatory to use in the future. Learn it now, and you’ll have an advantage later when you’re applying to higher-paying jobs.  

Keeping your skills sharp is important, but your reputation in the industry is just as important. Be sure to always keep things professional and respectful whenever you’re working. You never know when you’ll run into a former dispatcher or fleet manager down the road when applying for a new job. 

While the trend of rising truck driver pay doesn’t seem to be slowing, you can use these tips to add even more to your bank account. The amount of effort you put into it now will be rewarded with a bigger paycheck in the future. 

If you’re looking for a great trucking job that pays well and meets your needs, consider creating a free profile with Drive My Way. Our proprietary software matches drivers with a job based on their qualifications and unique lifestyle needs. 

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This blog is offered by our friends at The National Transportation Institute. NTI compiles, tracks, and analyzes data on hundreds of attributes of driver pay, wages and benefits at thousands of motor carriers per quarter. Learn more about NTI at  

With competition for drivers heated across nearly all industries and the bullwhip effects of the COVID-19-era economy still lingering, the 2020s have been and will continue to be seminal years for truck driver wages. 

Per-mile and hourly base pay has certainly grown, and all factors point to continued momentum for those attributes of a driver’s paycheck. Beyond simply raising pay, however, fleets are also evaluating and implementing structural changes to how — and why — they build their driver compensation plans.  

From more frequent adjustments to base pay to recalibrating bonuses, incentives, and benefits, motor carriers and private fleets are striving to find compensation solutions that work to attract new hires and to retain their existing personnel. 

An analysis of driver wages and benefits data compiled and reported by The National Transportation Institute reveals five important trends evident across segments, region, and fleet type that should be on every fleet and driver’s radar.

1. Rapidly Climbing Driver Pay for New Entrants

trucking carrierNo trend in 2020, 2021, or 2022 has been more pronounced than the rapid pace of wage growth for newer drivers — those with two years of experience or less. By percentage, the growth in mileage and hourly base pay for drivers with just one year of experience is more than double that of the highest-paid drivers with the most experience and tenure.  

For perspective, drivers with just one year of experience in late 2022 are earning more than the highest paid drivers in late 2018.  

Newer drivers expect this type of rapid and frequent wage growth. Fleets must be cognizant of this trend and ensure they offer a pay progression model that meets those expectations. 

2. Incentivizing Safety Over Productivity

This trend is starting to become clearer in NTI data on driver wages and benefits, but increasingly, motor carriers will move toward pay packages that promote safety and move away from pay packages that promote productivity.  

Pay by the load, standalone productivity bonuses, and even the predominant mileage pay model will decline in prevalence and instead be replaced with compensation programs that promote safer operating standards, such as beefier and more frequent safety bonuses, hourly pay, and even salary pay.  

Productivity will become a personnel management issue, rather than inherent to drivers’ paychecks.

3. Smoothing the Bumps with Guaranteed Driver Pay and Transition Pay

ltl truckingA frustration long held by professional drivers is inconsistent and lumpy paychecks week to week — particularly for causes outside of their control, such as detention time, weather delays, traffic congestion, deadhead miles, and other unpaid or unproductive time that chips away at their earnings. 

Over the past half-decade, there’s been a pronounced trend of motor carriers offering guaranteed weekly pay options for drivers to help make their paychecks more predictable and to support driver’s week to week through whatever issues may arise on the road.  

Nearly 40% of carriers surveyed by The National Transportation Institute in late 2022 are offering guaranteed weekly pay programs. That’s up from just 15% five years ago, in late 2017. Look for this trend to continue. 

Also, look for a rise in transition pay incentives in the coming years. Transition pay is either an upfront payment or a weekly paycheck addition that helps bridge gaps in drivers’ pay when they are transitioning into a job at your fleet.  

Due to onboarding time and paycheck schedules, drivers transitioning jobs from one fleet to another could go weeks without a full paycheck, leaving them cash strapped and making it difficult to meet their monthly bill obligations.  

Transition pay helps solve that issue, and it gives fleets another incentive to market in their recruiting programs. Like guaranteed pay, transition pay helps support drivers and their paychecks by offering consistency, reliability, and preventing early-tenure pay gaps that contribute to turnover in the first 90 days.

4. Weighting Bonuses Toward Retention and Tenure — Not Sign-on

buying a semi truck

Sign-on bonuses have long been a mainstay in the driver recruiting world. However, they’re not effective tools for long-term retention, and they often can exacerbate churn of short-tenured drivers.  

The average amount paid out in sign-on bonuses is more than double that of referral bonuses, but more fleets have been placing a greater emphasis on referrals rather than sign-ons over the past year. The number of fleets offering referral bonuses is now nearly 90% in 2022’s fourth quarter, whereas 70% offer a sign-on bonus.  

Also, the dollar amount offered for referral bonuses on average has climbed nearly 10% year over year, while sign-on bonus amounts have grown just 4%.  

In lieu of sign-on bonuses, more fleets are evaluating and implementing retention bonuses, tenure pay, and referral bonuses that put a greater emphasis on keeping their existing drivers rather than relying on hefty sign-on bonuses to bring in new hires to replace departures. 

5. Meeting Demands for Schedule Flexibility

Truck Driver Hiring Events: What to KnowScheduling flexibility may not sound like it’s directly tied to a driver’s paycheck — but it can and should be viewed as an element of a fleet’s driver compensation package and a vital component of recruiting and retention programs.  

Increasingly, due to both generational shifts in the workforce as well as a greater desire by most workers for better work-life balance, demand for scheduling flexibility is becoming a force that fleets must reckon with, whether by altering routing and shift options to meet expectations for greater work-life balance or putting resources into incentives and bonuses to compensate drivers for the tougher and more undesirable schedules. 

For example, for schedules that aren’t desirable (especially for the many fleets that have a seniority-based bid system that consistently leaves less-tenured drivers with the least undesirable schedules), fleets increasingly are building incentive programs that make those schedules more lucrative and help alleviate resentment by drivers working those shifts.  

To learn more about the trends impacting driver pay and to gain benchmarking insights into how your fleet’s driver wages and benefits compare to peers and within markets where recruiting and retention are vital, visit NTI’s website,

two men in a truck

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truck driving simulatorsWhen you think of popular video games, titles like Madden, Call of Duty, or Super Mario probably come to mind. What you’re probably not thinking about are games that simulate what it’s like to drive a semi-truck.

Even with the popular games that center around driving, they’re action-packed racing games like Gran Turismo or classic go-karters like Mario Kart. But surprisingly, there’s a growing market for video games that simulate the experience of driving a semi-truck. 

Here’s what you need to know about these truck driving simulators, including what are the most popular titles, what you can do in the games, and why people are playing them.  

What are Truck Driving Simulators?

A truck driving simulator is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a video game that puts the player in control of a semi-truck.

These games attempt to give players a realistic experience of what it would be like to drive an actual semi-truck. You’re not racing other semi-trucks on the highway or engaging in a demolition derby, but doing what everyday truck drivers do; deliver goods from point A to point B.  

What are the Different Truck Driving Simulators? are a few different truck driver simulation games out there, but the most popular is American Truck Simulator. The game came out in 2016 but is still going strong with new maps and areas being added all the time. Right now, you can travel across the entire western united states from Washington state all the way down to Texas.  

American Truck Simulator is actually a sequel to another game that came out in 2012, Euro Truck Simulator 2. That game is the same concept as the American version, except you’re driving through Europe in European models of trucks. 

There are some other truck driving simulators as well, like Truck Driver, Snow Runner, and On the Road. But, most players agree that American Truck Simulator and Euro Truck Simulator 2 are the gold standard. 

Why are People Playing Them?

So, you might be thinking, “Why would somebody want to play a video game like this?” After all, there are games where you can be a professional athlete, medieval warrior, mobster, or anything else you can think of. So, what’s so exciting about a game where you drive a semi-truck? 

For many players, it’s the chance to live out the American dream of hitting the open road and making your own money (in a virtual sense). Players can then use that money to upgrade their truck, buy new cab amenities, or purchase a brand-new truck altogether.  

The games give the player total freedom of what kind of truck driver they want to be. They can choose what loads to pick up, how many (if any) loads they’ll pick up, or they can choose to just drive around and enjoy the sights of the open road.  

Truck driving simulators aren’t as faced-past or action-packed as other games, but that’s what players enjoy about them. They’re calming and almost therapeutic to play, unlike many high-intensity video games out there right now.  

This is why simulators games of all types are becoming increasingly popular with people who want to use video games to get away from the stress of everyday life, not add to it.  

What are the Features of Truck Driving Simulators?

Truck driving simulators give players the chance to try out a number of different semi-truck brands and models. American Truck Simulator lets players choose their own truck model and features the biggest brands in trucking, including Peterbilt, Mack, Freightliner, Volvo, Kenworth, International, and Western Star. Additionally, players can choose to add real-life carrier logos and decals to their trucks if they want. 

As far as the gameplay of trucking simulators goes, most agree that they’re fairly difficult. The games try to mimic the actual difficulty of driving a semi-truck and trailer in tow. (You can even pull doubles and triples if you’re looking for a harder challenge). Players are faced with obstacles that real truck drivers face, like backing up in crowded yards, or navigating through narrow city streets.  

The popularity of trucking simulators shows that people are still interested in the world of trucking, even if they’re not truck drivers themselves. These games can give players a sense of appreciation and understanding for what it takes to be a truck driver. Who knows, they may even convince some players to become actual truck drivers themselves.  

two men in a truck

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As a truck driver who’s looking for a new job, there are a ton of factors to consider before making your decision. You’re probably thinking about your preferred range, what you want to haul, and what’s the minimum home time you need, but there’s one option that you might not be thinking about; whether you want to be a part of a union or not. Here’s everything truck drivers need to know to decide whether joining a trucking union is right for them.

What’s the History of Unions in Trucking?

Labor unions have a long and storied history in the United States. Going back to the 18th century, labor unions have been the driving force behind workers advancing their interests, not just in trucking but in almost every blue-collar field.  

For many reasons that are too in-depth to get into, labor unions aren’t as popular as they were at their height in the mid-20th century. Around this time, 35% of all workers in the country belonged to a labor union.  

While unions have steadily decreased in popularity over the last 40 years, For trucking specifically, unions were dealt their biggest blow when congress passed the Motor Carrier Act of 1980. Among other things, this legislation led to a sweeping deregulation of the trucking industry. The bill had (and has) far-reaching effects on the industry and economy at large.  

One of the biggest changes it led to was allowing more low-cost, non-union carriers to enter the industry. This started a trend of there being fewer and fewer union carriers, and decreased power for labor unions.  

But it’s not all bad news for labor unions. According to a recent Gallup poll, support for labor unions among Americans is the highest it’s been in the last 57 years. Could this mean that we’ll see an increase in unionization among truck drivers? Time will tell.  

Are There Union Jobs in Trucking Today?

Yes, the vast majority of truck drivers who are unionized fall under the International Brotherhood of Teamsters – Freight Division. This division includes not only truck drivers, but dockworkers, mechanics, and others.  

Though the number of unionized truck drivers is much smaller than it was in years past, there a still a number of companies with unionized truck drivers. You can find a full list of them here 

How Do I Join a Truck Driver Union?

To join a truck driver union, you’ll need to sign on with a company that has drivers who are a part of that union. But don’t just assume that if a carrier has one location that is unionized, that all of them will be.  

With a lot of carriers, they’ll have some locations that are unionized and some that aren’t. If you’re interested in being a part of a union, do your research to make sure the specific location you want to work at is unionized. 

What are the Pros of Joining a Truck Driver Union?

The thought behind a labor union is simple; strength in numbers. The main benefit of joining a union is being part of a group that collectively bargains for better conditions together. A union will negotiate pay, health insurance, pension, and more for its members.  

Though there’s little data that compares the wages of union and non-union truck drivers specifically, earlier this year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found the following: 

“Nonunion workers had median weekly earnings that were 83 percent of earnings for workers who were union members ($975 versus $1,169).” – BLS News Release, January 20th, 2022 

There’s also added job security for union members, since the union will most likely have legal representation. This is particularly useful for drivers who feel that they’ve been wronged by their carrier in some capacity. 

What are the Cons of joining a Truck Driver Union?

Some drivers have reported that the broad protection that unions offer to their members can lead to drivers with less than stellar work habits being able to stay on without punishment. There can also be internal politics, disagreements, and in-fighting when it comes to union leadership.  

While many drivers enjoy the fact that a union negotiates pay on their behalf, some more experienced drivers may not. They feel that they could earn more if they were able to negotiate for themselves.  

Of course, drivers can have very different experiences with unions. One driver might find value in being part of a larger organization with collective bargaining power, while another driver might see being part of a union as having extra money come out of your paycheck with very little to show for it.  

Just like drivers need to decide what pay, home time, and benefits they want; they also need to decide whether they want to be part of a trucking union or not. There are pros and cons to both sides, so do your research to see if it’s a fit for what you want. 

two men in a truck

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