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What it's like being a truck driver

Updated on March 28, 2019
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Ashleign is a woodworker and yard enthusiast. She can be found as enthusiast.mysticalnerdtv on Instagram and mysticalnerd on Twitch.

Finding Jobs that pay well.

Let's face it, you're down on your luck, you hate school, you just lost your job, and if it weren't for the fact you had to drop out of school to raise your two kids you would have a degree.

I've been there. I was fired from a job from which I thought I would retire. It was much like everyone else, it was sudden. It came from nowhere and I was forced out. Without a college degree, I was lost. I had nowhere to turn. At first, I thought I would go back to school, learn a skill, and do that job. I thought, if I could only find a means to an end, I could easily get a job similar to the one I had in a few years.

Being blind to our futures is what makes life so interesting. We don't know what is going to happen tomorrow. We don't know what sudden impacts are going to effect us in the future. We don't know when will be our last day at a job we love.

Ultimately it's where you look, but most jobs don't want to pay you what you're worth.

Commercial Driver

We see them everywhere, truckers, but how much do they make? It turns out that truck drivers can average between $45k to $65k per year depending on how many miles they drive per year. The average truck driver with 1 or more years or experience, who also works for a company, makes $.45-$.50 a mile.

Although, there are many caveats to being/becoming a truck driver, the following information is from my own personal experience. On average per day I drove approximately 520 miles a day over a 7 day period for one week. My pay per mile at the time was $.44 a mile, $.48 a mile if I was oversized. Since I pulled over sized loads 90% of the time, my math is based from the $.48 a mile.

A driver is permitted to drive 11 hours per day, work day to not exceed that of 14 hours a day, required each day is a 10 hour reset. A driver is allowed to drive up to 70 hours per week, should the 70 be reached, a driver must do a 34-hour reset in order to drive another 70 hour week.

However, if the driver were to not drive over 8 hours per day, the driver would never reach the 70 hour limit during the week, therefore would never have to make a 34 hour no pay reset at a truck-stop. The last year I drove for a company, I completed a 3 month, no stop, no reset stretch. For the sake of easy math, I have calculated this without layover (time waiting) and without maintenance.

3 months, 4 weeks per month, 520 miles per day, comes out to 43,680 miles. 43,680 miles times my pay of $.48 per mile equals $20,966.40. Income tax and federal tax, was approximately 10% of my income, therefore over the course of 3 months, my money would have been $18,869.76.

Had I stretched the 3 month sentence of prison on the road to 12 months, my total income for the year would have been $75,479.04.

I do know a man who works for a company, he drives 8 hours a day, at approximately 560 miles per day. He makes roughly $.50 a mile, he also lives in his truck, and has no home address. He stops at hotels when he needs a day off.

The home base for the trucking coming for which he works, is littered with his toys, cars, trucks, motorcycles and so forth.

What you need to start this fantastically over-rated job? High School Diploma or GED, and a CDL Class A license.


  • See the open road, states, scenery, etc.
  • Freedom to choose regional driving or OTR (Over the Road).


  • It is very expensive to live on the road. Average cost per day to eat is $30.
  • Drivers cannot park their trucks just anywhere, (truck-stops, shippers, cosignees).
  • Living conditions are cramped.
  • Psychosis from being alone, working everyday, stress and anxiety
  • Back problems from sitting in the driver's seat all day.
  • Back problems from sleeping on a smaller than twin sized mattress.
  • Dangerous driving conditions, or other drivers.

The cons severely out-weigh the pros in truck driving. However there is money to be made, if you can find a way not to spend all of your money on keeping your job.

Are you a truck driver?

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