Today we got a question from Ella a truck driver in the UK. Here is what Ella had to say let’s see if we can help her.
HeyI was wondering if you could do me a favor and let me know a bit about trucking in the USA? There is a vague possibility that I may be moving over there within the next 12 months or so, and since you seem to amassed a vast amount of information I thought you might be the best person to ask. If your too busy, however, I understand.
What I really want to know is how good my chances are of getting a suitable job over there. I know my driving licence is valid, but with UK trucks rarely being longer than 55′ or over 44 ton (although we do specialize in abnormal loads so I have frequently exceeded these limits) I am relatively inexperienced compared to you lot. That combined with my age would, understandably, I believe, make me a complete rookie. In England I am offered jobs almost daily, but I believe this is predominantly due to my gender and appearance – not that I’m a bad driver by any means; but I don’t have this advantage when the first contact would have to be via email.
There is no way I would be willing to drive a rigid, and in all honesty I am not happy if I see a truck that is bigger than mine; so ideally were talking about the big trucks here.
The other thing of course is wages. I know the USA is huge so you can’t really be specific, but is it on the whole a decent livable wage? I’m talking distance work – out for a week or more at a time.Thanks for taking the time to read thisElla (Mick)
To answer you’re first question I am never too busy to help someone. I’m sure you will also get some help in the form of comments after the article from other truckers in the USA. The first thing you will have to do is get a work permit visa through the Immigration department. After this is acquired you will have to get an American Driver license. It’s very easy to do just apply for the permit, and take all the proper written and driving tests. Now you have a drivers license allowing you to drive a car in the USA.
Now you are ready to get you’re truckers license a CDL class A to drive big trucks in the USA and Canada. The first thing you will need to do is find a truck driving school. There are many options to choose from. Some are paid by the future employer others you will pay for then find employment after graduation. The cost of CDL schools varies between $3000 to $7000 USD depending on the school you want to attend.
Now about the wages and jobs in the USA. There are many truck driving job opportunities here. Almost every company is hiring truckers right now. The wages will vary between which companies you choose “pick wisely” and what type of equipment you wish to haul. Dry Van is the most common type of equipment we have, and therefor the lowest paying. Other types are Tanker, Flatbed, oversize loads, and car hauler. First year truck drivers can expect to earn a salary between $30,000 up to $55,000 per year depending on all of these factors I just explained. I hope this helps Ella, please feel free to ask any questions you may still have that is what I’m here for to help. I also enjoy helping teach others about the trucking industry.