Best state(s) to be a local truck driver?

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by Zonno, Aug 13, 2022.

  1. Zonno

    Zonno Light Load Member

    Jun 11, 2018
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  3. Zonno

    Zonno Light Load Member

    Jun 11, 2018
    While I have a CDL A with tankers & hazmat, most of my experience has been in straight trucks, save a few months of hauling wood chips. Occasionally I’ll operate a water truck (requires the tank endorsement but not haz), but no experience hauling hazmat.

    I’m near the Valdosta area.
  4. Buc

    Buc Light Load Member

    Nov 17, 2012
    Yep they do...UPS couriers top out fours in at around $40/hrs depending on location. (Thank their union for that one.)

    That said, and here's the part very few get into when talking trucking, and because of such I make it a personal point to drum this home into the heads of new and prospective pro drivers: don't just look at the money...look at the totality of the job. Take UPS above, the package car drivers, anyway (as is the case in the link above): for all that they're busting out somewhere between 100 and 200 stops daily, riding around in trucks with no A/C (the bigger ones don't, anyway...many of the smaller ones and the Ford Transot cars do), jumping in and out and in and out and in and out and in and out of that package don't realize how much that wears on your lumbar vertebrae or knees until further on down the line. Oh and then there's the length of the workdays...we all know just by nature of the work trucking can be long hours. And for all that, yes one gets to be home every night...but then, and this is different for different jobs of course, but how much good are you when you do get home after doing an 8, 9, 10, 12-hr day? Does all that justify the wage?

    No shade here, of course...I just wish more people took a more holistic approach about this particular occupation we do instead of always, or more often than not, leading with "money money money". There's more to it than that. (And I ain't even get into the benefits and all that, for the companies that offer them.)

    Now, all that said, to the specific query of the OP. In the decade-plus that I've been living in the midwest, I've found that this region, especially the upper Plains, is ripe for picking if you hold a CDL-A. And you might not necessarily need all or any of your endorsements to bank, either. I know right now up here in South Dakota a couple companies that utilize trucks, such as Border States Electric and a couple building and roofing supply companies, are offering between $23-$26 to start. Border States, last I looked, was offering $25-$30 based on experience. (Know, though, that most of those are all flatbed, meaning it's some physicality to the work, and some of those also utilize piggyback forklifts for jobs items drops).

    I don't know that there is a "best" area in the country for trucking jobs, but I DO know one definitely won't go wrong anywhere in the breadbasket...and definitely won't go wrong living in an area near some major interstate junctions (think Omaha, Sioux Falls, Indianapolis, Denver CO, I'd think Madison WI, Fargo ND, stuff like that), just from what I've seen. Even more so if it's a relatively or definitely isolated metro (as are many of the above listed).
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  5. snowwy

    snowwy Road Train Member

    Jul 6, 2009
    I'm surprised wages are that low.

    That's barely above minimum wage with today's record inflation. And sky high housing.
  6. buzzarddriver

    buzzarddriver Road Train Member

    Feb 1, 2011
    Dallas, TX
    While it all sounds wonderful, the entire US working population can't work as a UPS driver.
    Somebody gotta flip those burgers.
  7. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

    Aug 28, 2011
    Henderson, NV & Orient
    I know a married couple in their 20's and both work for UPS as drivers. They're high school sweethearts also. They'll have a very good standard of living.
  8. rbrtwbstr

    rbrtwbstr Road Train Member

    Jul 11, 2012
    in the bush somewhere
    Haven't paid a lot of attention lately, but here around Harrisburg, Pa the local home daily stuff usually pays right around $21-$25 an hour, obviously depending on what you're doing. $16-17 per hour in Georgia is probably equivalent to the 22-23 here, while it's more money here, it don't go far

    But, we are one of the most ridiculously taxed states in the country I think. And our potholes are legendary!

    We only have two seasons here - winter and construction.

    Winters suck here, starting in late October and going until about the end of April, the whole state is void of any real color. We may or may not get much snow. But if dull cloudy days are your thing, come on in! Generally people are pretty much next thing to ax murderers here in February and early March.

    The rest of the year can be quite nice in some places here, but that's offset by construction and tourists passing through.

    Long story short- stay away from Pennsyltucky!
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2022
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