Professional Drivers: Ten ways to make more money in 2017

Do you want to make more money? You’re not alone. More financial stability can help you achieve your goals and provide the level of lifestyle you want for yourself and your family. But as a professional driver running as many legal miles as possible, it may feel like you don’t have a lot of options. Here are 10 ways you may not have thought of that could help make you more money this year.

  1. Consider driving as a team. Teams get more miles than a single driver, because you’re able to keep the truck moving all day. It’s important that you find the right driving partner to team up with, especially when it comes to driver personalities and locations for home time. Many carriers will even work with you to make that connection.
  2. Don’t limit yourself to a certain region. Limiting your run area also limits your earning potential. If you’re open to run all 48 states, you’ll have longer length of hauls that will open up more opportunities. Some carriers even offer bonuses to go into locations like New York City and Canada.
  3. Get your Hazmat endorsement. It’s a simple test that many carriers will help you get – and even reimburse you for. Having your Hazmat endorsement gets you more money added to your base pay. If you’re concerned about what you might end up hauling, things labeled hazardous materials aren’t always flammable. They could be things such as first aid kits, fire extinguishers or batteries. Find out what kind of hazardous materials your carrier hauls.
  4. Become a driver trainer. Not only can you make a difference by helping a new driver in the industry, but you can also get more miles, top priority on length of haul and usually get bonuses when your trainee hits certain milestones.
  5. Take time off strategically. If freight is moving well, opt to keep running over the weekend. If you notice that freight seems to be down, take some time off. Be strategic in how you plan your home time. It’s okay to plan your home time in advance, but resist the urge to stop at home in between – even if you’re driving right past home. The sooner you get your loads delivered, the sooner you can get home.
  6. Don’t make emotional decisions. It’s inevitable that you’ll get frustrated at times, whether it’s because of a slow week, a bad week or you just miss your family. Remember that stuff happens. Don’t go home early and don’t quit. Always think about the long term, what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Emotional decisions set you back on the goals you want to achieve.
  7. Be intentional. Set goals, be specific and write them down. Do you want to get out of debt? Save for a new home? You will never have money saved if you don’t plan to set it aside.
  8. Don’t job hop. Sign-on bonuses sound great, but most of them are paid out over a period of time that you’re working for a company. It doesn’t mean that you get that money all at once. If you switch jobs, you’re looking at about a month without a paycheck between leaving and getting up and running again. It could end up costing you more than you realize. You’ll also find yourself starting at the bottom and working your way up again. If you’re going to change jobs, make a move, not a hop.
  9. Handle freight. Regional and dedicated routes typically pay less money, but it’s more consistent work. Look for ways to get additional payments like through stop pay and bonuses for handling freight.
  10. Remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes years to develop a career. The more time you put into it, the more experience you’ll get and the more money you’ll make.

Whether it’s helping you find your perfect team driver match, a carrier that offers extra money for driving into Canada, or a company that will help you pay for your Hazmat certification, let PDA help you choose just the right place that meets all your needs. Visit our website or check us out on Facebook and Twitter to learn more about what we can do for you, or call (844) 401-0955 to speak to a friendly agent today.