Truck Driver, Heavy / Tractor-Trailer Salary
Job Description for Truck Driver, Heavy / Tractor-Trailer
Truck driver/tractor-trailer drivers must have knowledge of commercial driving regulations in order to transport all types of goods from livestock to materials over long-distance hauls. They must know how to maneuver the truck into the unloading and loading positions. Truck drivers must know how to go through a weigh station before and after loading. They also have to go through weigh stations while on the road. Truck drivers must maintain a log according to I.C.C. regulations. The log is presented to any law enforcement that requests it or to an employer. Some only drive during the day on short haul trips. Others may drive cross-country and take many days to get there. They are only allowed to drive 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty. Truck drivers must navigate through big cities, small towns, rain and snow. Knowledge of how to drive in any weather condition is a must. Truck drivers have to go to school to get the special license. They must complete a CDL (Commercial Driver License) class. They must have a CDL-A in order to drive a heavy truck. Tests and classes are given at a truck driving school. Truck driving must be taken very seriously. Truck drivers put their own lives and other people's lives in the line of fire by being careless. Safety is essential for this job.
Truck Driver, Heavy / Tractor-Trailer Tasks
- Transport, deliver and pickup goods or equipment by heavy truck.
- Keep accurate driving log and may be responsible for general truck maintenance.
Common Career Paths for Truck Driver, Heavy / Tractor-Trailer
While not commonly seen, Tractor-Trailer Drivers who transition into a Truck Owner and Operator position may see a rise in pay. The median salary for Truck Owners and Operators is $92K per year. Tractor-Trailer Drivers most often move into positions as Heavy Truck Drivers or Light or Delivery Services Truck Drivers. Heavy Truck Drivers actually earn $8K less on average, however, and Light or Delivery Services Truck Drivers earn $13K less per year than Tractor-Trailer Drivers do.
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Popular Employer Salaries for Truck Driver, Heavy / Tractor-Trailer
Tractor-Trailer Drivers fill the offices of leading firms Ruan Transport Corporation, FedEx Freight, J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc., YRC Worldwide Inc., and Swift Transportation Corporation. The biggest paychecks can be found at XPO Logistics — the median salary there is $63K; however, employees are subject to a wide range in pay, with the lowest salaries sitting near $41K and highest ones in the neighborhood of $73K. Other employers shelling out big bucks include United Parcel Service (UPS), Inc., FedEx Freight, and ABF Freight System, Inc., where Tractor-Trailer Drivers typically earn around $60K, $59K, or $58K, respectively.
Swift Group Ltd offers the least money; the median income there is just $39K. The pay range is also pretty narrow, as compensation generally sits between $29K and $64K. Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include Swift Transportation Corporation at $41K, Ruan Transport Corporation at $42K, and Werner Enterprises, Inc., where $42K is the norm.
Popular Skills for Truck Driver, Heavy / Tractor-Trailer
Survey participants wield an impressively varied skill set on the job. Most notably, skills in Less than Truckload Freight, tanker, hazmat, and Sales are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 10 percent and 12 percent. Skills that pay less than market rate include forklift, Driving, and Driver. Those proficient in Commercial are, more often than not, also skilled in Safety Compliance and Jobsite Delivery.
Pay by Experience Level for Truck Driver, Heavy / Tractor-Trailer
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Experience does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase in this role. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $42K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $45K. Tractor-Trailer Drivers with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $48K. Tractor-Trailer Drivers who surpass 20 years on the job report pay that isn't as high as one would expect; the median compensation for this crowd sits around $51K.
Pay Difference by Location
Chicago offers some of the highest pay in the country for Tractor-Trailer Drivers, 17 percent above the national average. Tractor-Trailer Drivers will also find cushy salaries in New York (+13 percent), Denver (+12 percent), Houston (+8 percent), and Portland (+8 percent). Richmond is home to the smallest salaries in the field, lagging the national average by 12 percent. Employers also pay below the national average in Phoenix and Orlando (7 percent lower).
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