When it comes to truck drivers, most people picture giant 18-wheelers hauling goods across the country, or ice road truckers navigating hazardous conditions on television. But these kinds of driving jobs barely scratch the surface of the field of trucking, and all of the different kinds of jobs to be found within. There is a lot more variety in the kinds of trucking jobs that are available than most people realize, and as such, if you are a driver, it is likely that you will be able to work towards securing the one that suits you the best.
What is the best truck driver job?
So what is the best truck driving job? Because there are so many different kinds of jobs in the trucking industry, it can sometimes be hard to find the right fit for yourself. After all, what someone defines as “best” might not be the right fit for you. So when trying to figure out the best truck driver job for you, it’s important to realize that it very much depends on how you define success in your career. In order to do that, we’ve broken it down by each factor to consider. Here are the most important things to think about in order to find the best truck driver job:
This is the thing that most people think about first when talking about “best” jobs. And obviously, it’s an important factor in any job — you need to make sure that you will have enough money to support yourself and/or your family. However, if you are looking for the highest paid trucking jobs, they are generally as follows:
- Transporting hazardous chemicals
- Transporting oversized loads
- Ice road trucking
- Specialty car haulers
- Dump truck and mining industry jobs
The important thing to note here is that each of these jobs come with caveats; often they pay more for a reason. Perhaps they are more hazardous, require longer hours and more days worked; or, in the case of ice road trucking, all of the above plus a scarcity of jobs available due to the popularity of the TV show Ice Road Truckers.
Often a better solution to finding a good job in terms of pay is to look for a position with a company that pays a set rate, by the hour. Rather than being paid by the mile, hourly pay allows you to know how much you will be paid each pay period, and guarantees that you will be compensated for every hour that you work, regardless of traffic or other factors which may add to your idle time on the road.
Truck drivers often make what many people consider “good money” anyway, so it is worth making sure that the job you do is worth the money you earn.
Another important aspect of any job is the kinds of benefits offered by your employer. Especially if you are working in one of these more hazardous driving jobs, some level of coverage for your health is something that you should look for, as well as other benefits such as retirement plans for example. Even if you are not working with large or hazardous loads, a good benefits package is an important factor in determining a good trucking job. Others to look for are life insurance and employee assistance programs.
Something that can become very important in the life of a truck driver is the amount of home time you have. Jobs that require being on the road for days may pay well, but can often mean being away from your own bed and family for long stretches at a time. As such, if you have a family, a better fit for you may be a local or regional job where you are often allowed greater home time and a set schedule so that you know when exactly you will be at home on a given day or week.
As mentioned, certain kinds of trucking jobs come with much greater risk, for example when carrying hazardous chemicals. So before taking one of these jobs, that is an important factor to think about.
5. Nature of the Job
As mentioned, local or regional jobs with set schedules often provide more benefits in terms of working close to home and finding time with your family. Whether your job is local is a factor to think about in finding the best option for you; furthermore, something like no-touch loads can provide you with greater safety and more time to focus on your driving.
Perhaps you have found your dream job, but it is in a location that is incredibly remote. Or maybe you receive a job offer, but there are no good schools in the area for your kids. Perhaps you live on the west coast, and so a regional job that covers the west coast would be perfect for you; or you live in the midwest, and are looking for a route that is more localized. Location is an important factor in any job hunt, and the right location can turn a good job into a great one.
Work for Matheson
If you have at least a year of experience as a CDL Class A driver, you might consider working for Matheson. Matheson provides some of the best truck driver jobs, because we emphasize those things which create a positive work environment for a driver. This includes paying by the hour, the same schedule week over week, no-touch loads, and more. Check out our job listings and other requirements to see if you can start your career with Matheson today.