You might think truck drivers have a hard life, and you’d be right.  Yet one thing you might not know is that driving a truck can be an extremely lucrative profession for millennials. On top of the money, they get paid to see the country and some truckers even bring their families along by converting their rigs into mobile homes.

Why do they make so much money? Well, logistics is an important part of our modern economy and truckers are one of the most important links in the chain. After all, truckers are the ones who make sure the supermarket shelves are stocked that gas stations have enough fuel to meet demand. 

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There are a few things you will need to know before starting your journey as an independent truck driver. For starters, you will need to be licensed – a special license called a CDL or Commercial Driving License.

While you will need to take a test to get your CDL, you will also need to take a class to prepare you. This takes time and money and it is one of the biggest barriers to people becoming independent truck drivers. If you don’t have the funds but still are interested in getting your CDL, then you might also want to reach out to a carrier who is looking for drivers as they will provide paid training.

Another thing to keep in mind is that driving a truck is a serious profession and this means no drugs and no driving while drunk as a DWI arrest could end your career. But think of the money you will save as one of the keys to getting rich and staying rich is to spend less than you earn.

Becoming an Independent Trucker

You’ve got your CDL and your drug-free, but don’t expect that you can strike it rich overnight. First, you’ll need your own truck. Now, you can either lease or buy and if you choose the latter, then you will need to find options to get the semi truck financing you need.

Once you’ve sorted out the financing for your rig, you will also need to make sure you have the proper insurance – not only for the vehicle but also for any goods you might carry.  This brings up two key questions. What will you carry and who will your customers be?

With regards to the first question, the type of cargo you carry will determine how busy you will be and how much you can charge. This is especially true when you are transporting chemicals or other dangerous goods as these items cost more to ship due to the safety concerns. 

But don’t just think that you can start to transport chemicals and other dangerous goods overnight. You’ll need to make sure you have the right equipment, licenses, insurance, and permits required to move these items on public roads.  Beyond this, you will also need to have experience moving this type of freight as this will give you the ability to spot trouble and know what to do if something goes wrong.

Let’s not forget the customers; after all, someone needs to pay for the goods you are shipping. For many independent truckers, the customer relationship either starts by working as a subcontractor for another carrier or with a customer they met while working for another company. 

In either case, you can’t get rich without paying customers so be prepared to have a strategy to find and retain them. For those with few contacts, they can also bid on contracts as they come up. But keep in mind, this is an expensive way to get new customers, not only because of the time it takes to find opportunities and prepare bid documents but also because the lowest price usually wins.  If you want to learn more, read the article How to Start a Trucking Company.

So, How Can I Get Rich?

Assuming you have the right equipment, licenses, insurance, and customers; your next step is to drive as if your life depends on it. Actually, it does. This means putting in tens of thousands of miles every year while keeping an eye on your costs such as fuel, maintenance, food, and lodging.

Also, you will want to be able to keep your schedule tight. If not, then you will end up driving thousands of miles every year with nothing to show for it. But if you can control your costs and keep your customers happy, then you will know the pleasure of working for yourself will laughing all the way to the bank.