From food, clothing, cars, livestock, fuel, furniture, and so much more, trucks carry the items we Americans use and consume every day. Long-haul truck drivers deliver products none of us can live without.
Did you know that nearly 70 percent of all the freight tonnage moved in the U.S. is shipped on trucks? Or that those truckers move 9.2 billion tons of freight every year, according to the American Trucking Associations.
The ATA says the trucking industry provides one out of every 16 American jobs for a grand total of 7.3 million. It’s fair to say our economy depends on the truck driving industry. If you’re thinking, should I be a truck driver? Then this list is for you!
1. Income potential:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median income for truck drivers in 2015 was $40,260 per year. The average driver at TanTara earns $55,000/year, a significantly higher amount.
In the trucking industry, a new driver, in the first year, typically earns about $35,000. However, signing bonuses—some up to $5,000—as well as bonuses for safety and retention can increase that salary amount. As an owner/operator, you can average about $141,000 per year.
Because you don’t need a degree to be a truck driver, you can also factor in the cost savings you’d pay for a two-year or four-year degree. Training for trucking is often provided by the company that hires you. If you truck in your own state, you can begin as young as 18 years old. If you wish to drive across state lines, you need to be 21. So while your friends are racking up college debt, you’ll be getting free training and earning an excellent income.
2. Trump’s tax plan
President Trump has even taken time to address the industry at large, knowing it’s vital importance to the daily lives of people across the country. In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on October 11, 2017, President Trump spoke to hundreds of truckers about the impact his tax plan will have on the trucking industry.
He started off by praising and acknowledging the industry saying, “Nothing gets done in America without the hard-working men and women of the trucking industry. America depends on you for the fuel that powers our cars, the produce that nourishes our communities and the beautiful steel that stands up our tallest skyscrapers.”
As President Trump continued he also explained how the tax reform plan would impact those within the trucking industry. According to one White House official, Truckers will be the No. 1 beneficiaries of President Trump’s tax plan.”
The plan has also been touted as advantageous to business as the corporate tax rate will be lowered, a repatriation plan will be in place, and the Trump tax plan would change the way that pass-through business income is taxed, which the President says will benefit many truckers.
All of this to say, the future looks very promising for the trucking industry.
“Truck drivers are safe, dedicated individuals who help provide our daily goods,” said ATA President Chris Spear during last September’s National Truck Driver Appreciation Week.
We agree. At TanTara Transportation Corp., we’ve been hiring, training, and supporting our truck drivers for 36 years. Our Iowa trucking company includes loyal and devoted employees who always put our customers first. We treat our truckers like family. In fact, when they celebrate 10 years with us, we send every employee on an all-expense paid vacation to the destination of their choice. We hire only the best and brightest and because of this, we have very high retention rates.
However, we realize that there is currently a shortage (about 50,000) of truck drivers. As a trusted partner in the trucking company, TanTara knows the benefits and advantages of truck driving. If you’re searching for a new job, a new career, or employment during retirement, we recommend you consider trucking. In addition to Trump’s proposed tax plan, the following are 10 reasons why we believe a trucking career is a great choice now more than ever before.
3. Veteran’s Apprenticeship Program:
Founded by a veteran, TanTara Transportation has always respected the discipline and work ethic of military men and women. In fact, about 30 percent of our workforce are veterans. We offer a veteran’s apprenticeship program to make CDL training even easier and more affordable.
We’ll work with the Veterans Administration to determine what benefits you’re eligible to receive. Through the GI Bill, many people can receive up to $1,400 a month plus earn a paycheck from TanTara. We appreciate your service to our country. We know you’ll appreciate our generous veteran’s apprenticeship program.
If you love to travel, truck driving is the perfect occupation for you. Many truckers say there’s no better way to see the country than behind the wheel of their big rig. If the idea of a desk job leaves you cold, sign up for an adventure to see the United States. How many jobs allow you to look out a window and see the Grand Teton National Park, Lake Tahoe, Florida Keys, Golden Gate Bridge, Rocky Mountains, Grand Canyon, Texas Hill Country, Joshua Tree National Park, Brooklyn Bridge, Mount Rainier, or any other of our stunning American landscapes? Oh, and did we mention all the views are free?
We believe a lot of our nation’s highways and byways are incredibly beautiful. For many truckers, each night, you’ll stop in a new part of the country. Each morning you’ll depart from a different section of the United States. No two days are alike and you have a front row seat to take in the beauty and diversity of this great nation of ours. See the country from the comfort of a truck. Become a truck driver today.
Truck drivers have a unique type of job and that commonality sets you apart. Many truckers describe their job as a “lifestyle.” No one truly understands what you experience every day on the job quite like another truck driver. Much like a military unit, truck drivers form a tight and strong camaraderie with one another. We believe military training is the perfect background for truck driving. TanTara is a veteran-owned business and we were an early supporter of Home Base Iowa. We’re pleased that more than 30 percent of our employees are veterans. We take pride in helping military personnel transition back into civilian life.
As another way to build community at TanTara, we give back to those people who helped us succeed. We believe our truck drivers have big hearts and giving spirits. Each year our TanTara volunteers collect food and toys for the Salvation Army, we send WWII veterans to the war memorial in D.C., and we contribute our time and talents to more than 20 local, state, and national organizations, including:
- American Cancer Society
- American Diabetes Society
- Cub Scouts
- Farmer & Hunters Feeding the Hungry
- Hospice of Central Iowa
- Iowa Special Olympics
- Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
- Muscular Dystrophy Association
- National Child Safety Council
As long-time University of Iowa Hawkeye fans, another fun community service we provide is running the Hawk Truck. This beautiful 18-wheeler is what we use to transport all the Hawkeye football equipment to and from away football games.
6. Job Security:
With the current shortage of truck drivers across the nation, those who do well in trucking may enjoy unprecedented job security. Why? The ATA says this truck driver shortage could climb to 175,000 jobs in the next decade. Some trucking companies have a 100 percent turnover rate. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that heavy-duty truck driving jobs may grow by five percent in the next ten years. So if you get your foot in the door, and you’re a safe and effective driver, then stick with it.
A quick look at the news shows that many companies across America are downsizing and laying off workers. Not so for CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) truckers. We can think of no other industry that offers this kind of career peace of mind. Finally, no matter where you live, it’s always possible to get a job. And if you want to relocate, trucking is a great career option.
7. Easy access to training:
Classes to earn a Class A CDL are available across the nation through trucking companies, community colleges, and commercial programs. Often the full training can be completed in as little as four weeks and some programs help with tuition assistance and job placement after graduation. Trucking school fees range between $3,000 and $7,000 depending on what license class you seek and which endorsements you want. If you’re looking for a job, you’re spoiled for choice in Iowa with nine different truck driving schools across the state.
So would you rather pay for four years of college or finish just four weeks of training? The average 2016 college graduate leaves school with $37,172 in student loan debt. That’s about the same amount that new truck drivers earn in a year . . . and there’s no waiting four years to begin earning income.
If you don’t wish to pay for training, realize that many trucking firms provide paid training after they hire you, sometimes in exchange for a fixed work commitment. Approval for driving programs is based on your driving and work history, as well as a background criminal check. And because the need for truck drivers is so great, your chances of being approved for training are very high.
Contact TanTara so we can explain our training requirements as well as our WorkSteps program. This unique approach to training helps us determine whether our prospective drivers have the mental and physical strength to safely perform their job. We’re very selective about who we hire; we want only the safest and most conscientious drivers driving our trucks.
A steady paycheck is wonderful, but benefits add so much more to the trucking career package. Health insurance, retirement plans, and performance pay are just a few of the extras many trucking companies provide for their employees. At TanTara, our valued drivers receive:
- Paid holidays
- Paid vacation
- Health, dental, and life insurance
- 401 (k) with company match
- Earned bi-annual pay raises
In addition, we provide other benefits that make working at TanTara a wonderful experience. Whether you’re single or have a family, we know the importance of providing a great quality of life. Our drivers appreciate:
- Direct deposit
- Excellent home time: Our drivers have the potential to be home every weekend; how many other trucking companies provide this opportunity?
- In-house maintenance shop
- Regional and national lanes
- Family atmosphere
At TanTara, we pay all miles, loaded and unloaded. We also offer extremely high competitive loading, unloading, and stop pay rates with every load and every stop.
Most importantly, our drivers know they come first at TanTara. They know they can reach a friendly and helpful representative 24 hours each day. In fact, we give all our truck drivers the personal cell phone numbers for our entire management staff, the maintenance shop, as well as for our company president.
If you enjoy punching a clock, seeing the same people day in and day out, attending long meetings, reporting to a boss, sitting behind a desk, answering emails, and dealing with office politics, don’t consider trucking. But if you like flexible schedules, meeting new people, seeing new things every day, and being your own boss, then trucking may be right for you.
As a long-haul trucker, you’ll see the road—as well as beautiful sunrises and sunsets—from inside modern trucks designed for your comfort and ease. While you do have to follow “hours of service” rules, you’re also in a position to call a lot of the shots. You can often set your own schedule. What manufacturing or desk job offers you that type of freedom? You choose: Do you wish to push a pencil or drive a big rig?
Because truckers transport so much freight, they also provide freedom to Americans, including the freedom to have clean drinking water, access to money, and medications and healthcare.
Truck driving is a noble profession and an American way of life. We know that you’ll enjoy the freedom that truck driving gives you. Talk to us today about how you can get behind the wheel of an 18-wheeler.
10. Career Change:
Perhaps you’ve been laid off from your current job. Maybe your children are grown and you’d like to try something different. Perhaps you’re just ready for a change. Whatever your reason, truck driving is a wonderful career.
Our team members describe why they chose to work for TanTara:
“I’ve been here 28 years. I don’t know that I could go anywhere else and get anything better.” ~ Driver Mack Smith
“I get great home time. They make sure that I get that because I do have a family at home – young ones that need some guidance.” ~Driver Stan Clinton
“You wake up, you brush your teeth, brush your hair and then you’re just right there at work. There’s no drive to work, there’s no commute home; it’s just you’re there at work. And it’s nice.” Driver Randy Bishop
If you’re considering a career change, we’d love to talk with you. You may be a perfect fit at TanTara.
11. Open Road:
Poet Robert Frost once penned about having, “miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.” As a trucker, you’re a hero of the highway, a road warrior, looking out at the expanse of highway between you and your final destination. Long haul trucking is a passion for some people.
At TanTara, our modern fleet and a wide variety of equipment—including sleeper trucks, Conestoga trailers, day cab trucks, regular or oversized flatbed trailers, liquid tankers, and dry van trailers—provides you with different driving experiences as you rack up the miles. We take great pride in our fleet and team members, and people like our own Jeff Lauber, appreciate this.
As with any other job, there are always pros and cons involved with being an OTR trucker. But if the previous eleven aspects of truck driving appeal to you, we’d love to talk. We think “should I be a truck driver” is an easy question to answer. We’re proud to be an Iowa trucking company and know you’ll enjoy working with our amazing team. Like TanTara on Facebook, call us, or fill out an online application to become a member of the TanTara family.