How to Make More Money As a Truck Driver (2024)

Success in trucking is measured in revenue. In other words, truck drivers who want to grow their operation successfully need to know how to optimize their revenue. A key part to achieving this kind of success is understanding what your potential customers want, and then providing that service exactly when they need it.

In this article, we’ve put together some proven methods for increasing your revenue so you can grow your trucking business. We’ll provide some tips, and show you how you can boost your sales to become an outstanding performer in the trucking industry.

What is Revenue?

To make sure we’re all on the same page, we’ll go over the definition of revenue as it is used in this guide.

Revenue is all income received from the sale of a good or service and made effective through a monetary charge. In trucking, revenue is the sum of all payments received for truckloads for a given period of time. For example, your annual revenue would be the total of payments received for all the loads you’ve transported over a twelve-month period.

Revenue vs. Profit

Revenue is the gross income received from your customer contracts. Profit is the net amount remaining after expenses have been deducted/subtracted from your total revenue. Profitability is another metric used to determine the return you are earning on the investments, i.e., costs, you’ve paid toward your trucking business.

5 Essential Tips to Make More Money as a Truck Driver

Adapt to the needs of the market

As an independent truck driver, you’re probably well aware that the market can greatly influence the pay-performance of your truck loads.

Because the market is in a constant state of flux, it is vitally important to stay as up-to-date as possible on the needs and trends of the trucking industry. Doing so will enable you to make rapid adjustments to your services to take advantage of the trends. And when you do that, your company becomes more competitive, and you’ll boost your bottom line.

Keep an eye on other truck drivers and companies in your area and think of more competitive ways to beat them. And stay on the lookout for weaknesses in your business so that you can react quickly to strengthen those areas.

Be careful not to overlook the advantages of attending as many business and trade events as you can. They are a great way to put your name out there and discover the latest developments in both the trucking industry and the industries of your customers.

Establish a network of contacts

Selling more is also directly related to your networking abilities. If you are not yet part of a trucking network, this is something you should seriously consider.

Becoming a member of one of these groups is one of the most effective ways to search for new markets and make alliances that can increase your sales.

Try to join a forum or sign up for a private trucking business group to get to know other fellow truckers and share your experience with them, as well as learn from their expertise.

Increase your truck loads

If you want to boost your revenue, you definitely need to increase your sales. We have 3 specific tips that will help you get more truck loads:

  • Find the right loads: Finding the right loads requires some finesse, as every step in the delivery process needs to be timed with precision. Developing a working knowledge of freight lanes for the type of cargo you transport will go a long way in helping you to find loads that minimize your empty miles.
  • Plan your loads ahead of time: Loads need to be planned to efficiently fit into your operating schedule. Pay attention to areas prone to congestion and extreme weather as these can create delays that may force a change in the availability of pickups and interrupt the next shipment on your schedule. Every load needs to move as planned, without significant route deviations, added miles, or delays.
  • Choose the right brokers: Working with a trusted broker from the beginning keeps the money flowing and takes you and your driver to the road. Finding a freight broker is as easy as looking through a trade journal or searching for one on Google. However, finding a good freight broker with the best rates and the ability to keep you rolling requires some additional research. We have a whole article with more tips on how to find truck loads that takes a deeper dive into load acquisition.

Aim for the highest rates

Stay abreast of the most current rates by following the pricing trends in the industry. That way, you can negotiate your contracts at a fair rate to offset your expenses and generate a profit.

A solid understanding of spot market rates allows you to back up negotiations with up-to-date data so that you can demand higher rates when brokers are trying to set lower rates.

Higher rates equal higher profits and more money in your pocket. So when it comes to rates, remember, always aim high.

Choose the highest-paying freight types

With the right equipment, right endorsem*nts, and right experience, you can capitalize on specialized cargos that offer the highest-paying rates.

For example, ice road truckers can make as much as $250,000 in just 4-5 months of work. They operate in environmental extremes where a high degree of skill and experience is well rewarded.

Other specialty freight options include coal mine trucking, oversize loads, hazardous materials, and oil field operations.

Many of these routes involve exposure to additional risks, but for those willing and able to take the risks, the rewards are substantial. Oftentimes, to acquire one of these high-paying positions you must be willing to operate on a dedicated basis and have a clean, safe driving record for at least five years.

For more tips on improving your skills and operating in hazardous conditions, be sure to check out our articles: how to drive in winter weather and essential truck driving skills you should master.

Make More Money with CloudTrucks

Drivers who partner with CloudTrucks are able to quickly realize their revenue goals thanks to our use of cutting-edge technology. We are at the forefront of trucking in the twenty-first century with advanced route planning options, business intelligence, and rapid pay. We work hard to deliver the best rates in the industry on every load. But don’t take just our word for it.

Here’s what our drivers are saying about us:

Driver Perspective

“The CloudTrucks load board is the most helpful feature to me. It allows me to choose where I want to go when I want to go.”

D. Maddox

Driver Perspective

“It's nice getting paid as loads are completed rather than being on a weekly payroll.”

M. Kasanda

Driver Perspective

“It’s really helpful to have the ability to access load info and rate.”

D. Otley

And here is Jason’s story in his own words about his journey with CloudTrucks:

How to Make More Money As a Truck Driver (2024)


How to Make More Money As a Truck Driver? ›

When deciding between a CDL A or CDL B, you want to weight your career options. Your Class A CDL will generally be able to garner you the highest wages of any type of truck driver. Most students who graduate with their Class A CDL will get into over-the-road (OTR) trucking.

How to make lots of money as a truck driver? ›

6 Ways to Increase Your Income as a Truck Driver
  1. Add different CDL endorsem*nts. If you don't already, having different CDL endorsem*nts can increase your salary as a driver. ...
  2. Gain experience. ...
  3. Establish a good reputation. ...
  4. Build relationships. ...
  5. Plan your routes. ...
  6. Have control of your finances.
Mar 15, 2024

What makes the most money with CDL? ›

When deciding between a CDL A or CDL B, you want to weight your career options. Your Class A CDL will generally be able to garner you the highest wages of any type of truck driver. Most students who graduate with their Class A CDL will get into over-the-road (OTR) trucking.

Can a truck driver become a millionaire? ›

Whether through small side gigs or your main gig, being in the trucking industry can lead to interesting opportunities. Many people who work in the trucking industry strike gold and become millionaires because of their job as owner-operators, drivers or company owners.

How can I be successful in trucking? ›

How to Make a Successful Trucking Company: 8 Steps
  1. Support the right market niche. ...
  2. Charge the right rate (per mile) ...
  3. Determine your operating costs. ...
  4. Use the right fuel-buying strategy. ...
  5. Work directly with shippers. ...
  6. Run an efficient back office. ...
  7. Avoid cash flow problems. ...
  8. Expand your fleet the smart way.

What's the highest paying trucker job? ›

Highest-paying trucking jobs
  • Company driver. ...
  • Transport manager. ...
  • Long-haul driver. ...
  • Over-the-road truck driver. ...
  • Tanker driver. ...
  • Haul truck driver. ...
  • Team driver. ...
  • Owner-operator driver.
Apr 18, 2024

How can I make extra money with my truck? ›

Here's a list of some side hustles you can do with a pickup truck:
  1. Moving service. One way to use your pickup truck for extra income is by providing a moving service to people in your area. ...
  2. Yard care service. ...
  3. Junk hauling. ...
  4. Towing service. ...
  5. Rental service. ...
  6. Delivery service. ...
  7. Truck wrapping. ...
  8. Construction material hauling.
Mar 10, 2023

What loads pay the most in trucking? ›

Load size and weight

Specifically, when you take on oversized loads or cargo weighing over 80,000 pounds, you can say hello to much better pay. Again, keep in mind that delivering these larger loads typically also comes with higher costs, so make sure to keep net earnings in mind when picking freight opportunities.

Is CDL worth it? ›

The average truck driver in the U.S. earns about $60,000 a year – good money, considering you don't need a college degree. And many drivers earn far more than that, depending on where they live, the type of freight they haul, and whether they opt for Class A or Class B CDLs.

What trucking company pays the most for beginners? ›

Top companies for Entry Level Truck Drivers in United States
  • A. Duie Pyle, INC. 3.1 $95,000per year. ...
  • REVO. 3.2 $84,853per year. 41 reviews28 salaries reported.
  • Spinnaker Oil. 4.1 $82,685per year. ...
  • Liquid Environmental Solutions. 2.5 $77,632per year. ...
  • Clean Harbors. 2.9 $55,040per year. ...
  • Show more companies.

Are truckers wealthy? ›

In the United States, specialized truck drivers at major companies can make upward of $70,000 to $100,000 a year, depending on their load type, mileage, licensing and experience. The median annual wage for U.S. truck drivers in 2020 was just over $47,000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Can you make a good living truck driving? ›

The amount that owner-operator truck drivers can make varies depending on several factors, such as their experience, the type of cargo they are hauling, the distance they are covering, and the current state of the trucking industry. An owner-operator truck driver can earn anywhere from $150,000 to $200,000 annually.

What is the most profitable truck business? ›

The Hazmat industry has some of the best paying trucking companies. This is because Hazmat hauling involves transporting hazardous materials such as chemicals, fuel and explosives.

How can I make a lot of money in trucking? ›

  1. Essential Tips to Make More Money as a Truck Driver.
  2. Pick the Right State.
  3. Pick the Right Trucking Company.
  4. Gain More Experience.
  5. Add Additional Endorsem*nts.
  6. Choose the Highest-Paying Freight Types.
  7. Find a Trusted Partner and Become Part of a Team.
  8. Maximize Available Bonuses.
Oct 23, 2023

What is the failure rate of owner operators? ›

Unfortunately, 90% of new small trucking companies are unable to succeed due to common mistakes made by inexperienced business owners.

Is it profitable to be a trucker? ›

The trucking business can be profitable if done the right way. However, many truckers struggle to make ends meet because they don't have enough cash flow to cover their expenses. The cost of operating their trucks, such as fuel prices and maintenance, can have a huge impact on their bottom line.

Is truck driving worth it in 2024? ›

Getting a CDL in 2024 is a good investment.

The American Trucking Associations, a non-profit organization that represents the interests of the trucking industry in the United States, say that the trucking industry is expected to grow by 10% over the next decade, and there is a high demand for truck drivers.

Do you make more money as an owner-operator? ›

How much can an owner-operator make? The average owner-operator salary ($322,935) tends to be much higher than that of company drivers ($64,900).

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