From food, clothing, cars, livestock, fuel, furniture, and so much more, trucks carry the items Americans use and consume every day. If you’re thinking, “should I be a truck driver?” yes, you should be because long-haul truck drivers deliver products none of us can live without.
- The U.S. Trucking Industry has a worth of 800 BILLION
- The U.S. Trucking Industry is responsible for moving 70% of all goods in the U.S.
- 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 employs over 8 Million people!
- Over 13% of all registered vehicles in the U.S. are commercial trucks.
- The average truck driver in the U.S. drives more than 100,000 per year.
See our list below to learn how a truck driver’s life is suitable for your lifestyle.
1. Income Potential
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median income for truck drivers in 2021 was $48,310 per year ($23.20/Hour). At TanTara, the average van driver earns more than $65,000/year and the average flatbed driver earns more than $80,000/year—both 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 for an owner/operator, you can average about $184,803 per year.
Because you don’t need a degree to be a truck driver, you can also factor out the cost of tuition you’d save from having to 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. While your friends are racking up college debt, you’ll be getting free training and earning an excellent income.
2. 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 Commercial Driver’s License (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, and 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 of our other 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 and get paid for it. 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 which is why we believe military training is the perfect background for a truck driver. TanTara is a veteran-owned business and we were an early supporter of Home Base Iowa. We take pride in helping military personnel transition back into civilian life.
In addition, 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
5. 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 six percent in the next ten years.
A quick look at the news shows that many companies across America are downsizing and laying off workers but not so for CDL truckers. No other industry that offers this kind of career peace of mind. No matter where you live, it’s always possible to get a job, and if you want to relocate, trucking is a dependable career option.
6. 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 over ten different truck driving schools across the state.
Would you rather pay for four years of college or complete just four weeks of training? The average 2018 college graduate leaves school with $29,800 in student loan debt; that’s close to the $35,000 that new truck drivers earn in a year; you don’t have to wait 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. 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. 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 examples 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 of the miles for our van drivers and offer a paid percentage to our flatbed drivers. For example, flatbed drivers will earn between 24-32% of what TanTara is paid by the customer, and since it is incentive-based, drivers can have a better chance of an increased percentage of payment if their performance is done effectively well.
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, attending long meetings, sitting behind a desk, answering emails, and dealing with office politics, trucking isn’t for you. But, if you like flexible schedules, meeting new people, seeing new things every day, and being your own boss, then trucking is the job 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 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 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.
9. 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 reasoning, 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,” said Mack Smith, a driver for TanTara.
“I think I finally found my home..I’ve been with a few different carriers and the atmosphere here is by far the missing piece for me..they are family run and definitely treat us drivers like they want treated..love the respect and fellowship..when I asked God to give me a way to go, I got a call from this wonderful team..thanks for the opportunity!!! HOOYAH!!!” – Mark Bauer
“Thank you Tantara Transportation for a great 5 years! I have enjoyed working for you and looking forward to many more years! Matt Hubbs has been a great boss/dispatcher and more recently Julie Gibboney has been awesome as well! You may not see me much around the yard because I like to handle my own business and get home. I love the truck I drive, and the people I drive for! Thanks for all you’ve done for me! Thank you!” – Jennifer Rodgers
If you’re considering a career change, we’d love to talk with you. You may be a perfect fit at TanTara.
10. Open Road
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 11 aspects of truck driving appeals to you, we’d love to talk. We think “should I be a truck driver” is an easy question to answer. TanTara Transportation is proud to be an Iowa trucking company, and we 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.